The article below has been slightly updated since its publication for our 40th anniversary in 1999. We’re a bit older now. You do the math. Besides, congregational histories are generally more important to those in the congregation than to those who are curious about a church in their neighbourhood.
In the Beginning ….
Throughout the years many people have been a part of this congregation. We are grateful for all those who have worked in faithfulness to uphold the mission of this congregation in proclaiming and embodying God’s love in Jesus Christ.
In June 1958, the American Lutheran Church approved Richmond, BC, as the location for a new congregation to be established under the “Package Mission” program. Funds were made available to purchase land and house, build a new church, and call a pastor. The location of this new mission, Our Savior Lutheran Church, was 8080 Francis Road.
Construction of the church began in October 1958, completed and dedicated July 12, 1959, the same date which services began in the new chapel with 135 baptised charter members.
Throughout the years, Our Savior’s, at times a struggling congregation, has ministered to the needs of this community. The debt of $80,000 was retired and the mortgage burned on the 25th Anniversary, September 1984. Beginning in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, plans were formulated and reformulated for an expansion program on the 8080 property. However, this proved economically unsound. In 1987 a congregational decision was made to sell the property and relocate to our present site, 6340 No.4 Road. With an active Building Committee, a vibrant congregation, a stewardship program, and the funds realized from the sale of 8080 Francis, dreams for a new worship home were formulated.
Construction began April 17, 1988. Our first worship service was held in the Fellowship Hall on September 4, 1988, an incredible feat! Our sanctuary seats 255 people with overflow seating for another 100. The Chancel furnishings including the mahogany crucifix, altar, lectern, credence table, and baptismal font were the creation of Ernst Schwidder, then Professor of Art and Design of Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle. We enjoy individual classrooms for our Sunday school and house a Childcare Centre and a Preschool, both of exceptional calibre. The total cost of this facility with land was $1.15 million.
On February 4, 1989, our name changed to Our Saviour, as a new constitution was accepted. October 21, 1990, two years after moving in, the wonderful stained glass windows, designed by Mark Eric Gulsrud of Tacoma, Washington, were dedicated. The cost of $42,000 was raised primarily by donations from individual congregants.
In our short history Pastor Ken Harris is the pastor with the longest tenure. His ministry among us and in the community was significant for the redevelopment of the congregation, for articulating a vision of the future, and for extending the ministry of the congregation into the community.
As we give thanks for our past, we know that God is our future.