Our Church Heritage … Who We Are
100 Mile House Baptist Church had its birth in organizational meetings held in area homes in 1981. Forty attended the first Sunday morning meeting held on January 3, 1982 at the student lounge in Ogden Senior Secondary School. David Cross was called from Wetaskawin, Alberta, to come as the first pastor and he began his ministry here on July 1, 1982. The church was officially recognized as a member of British Columbia Baptist Conference (BGC) during a special recognition service on March 13, 1983.
During the 1980’s the church moved to the Junior Secondary School and later to 100 Mile Elementary and grew to an average of 60 in attendance each Sunday. The church began a bus ministry into the community and held many “Singspiration” gatherings. Over the following years, the church family experienced many joys and struggles. Some of the joys were the opening of a church office in the Rosewood Building across from Donex in downtown 100 Mile, and the purchase of 1.35 acres of property overlooking the high school (where the Seniors Residence now stands).
During the years leading up to 1995, the struggles seemed to outweigh the joys. The church’s pastoral leadership experienced a number of rapid changes, and a significant number of church members moved out of the area. The building fund had to be used to keep the church doors opened, and in March 1995 the church seemed to be facing imminent closure with only about fifteen still attending.
When facing the question of closing the church, the people were challenged by District Pastor, Wally Wieser, to delay closure for three months and to pray for God’s leading. During those three months the Lord began rebuilding the church family both in numbers and vision, and within a year, Helmut Strauss was called to come and pastor the flock.
By the end of 1996 the church attendance had grown to 70. The church family was led to purchase our current property near the end of that year. In early 1997 a new formed building committee began looking for direction on the facilities to construct, and led the church through the building process in September of 1997. On March 1, 1998 we said farewell to 100 Mile Elementary School with thanksgiving to God for His provision through all the years, but with rejoicing about having “a home of our own”. There was a strong sense of gratitude for God’s resurrection of this arm of His church!
With the new facilities and the possibilities for ministry that they brought, the church continued to grow, reaching an average attendance of 135 by the end of 1998. The church family adopted the “Purpose Driven Church” ministry model, focusing on the mission “to bring people to Jesus and membership in His family, develop them to Christ-like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and their life mission in the world, in order to magnify God”.
The church entered a season of turmoil when the Strauss’s became ill and Helmut resigned early in 2002. This, coupled with a sense of uneasiness in the church family over some of the innovations of the Purpose Driven Church model, led to an abandonment of the model and a change in board leadership.
Pastor Greg MacRobbie was called to pastor the church in March 2003, and he and his family arrived from Montreal in the summer of 2003. The church leadership began a process of prayerful strategic planning in the fall of 2003, along with ministry initiatives such as our LIFE Groups, and Children’s Ministry. Since that time the church has been rebuilding from the inside out, focusing on our mission of leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and of mobilizing the entire church family to see that mission realized.
In 2007 Greg MacRobbie resigned as senior pastor of the church and was called to pastor a church in Alberta. This left the church in the position of having to search for another senior pastor. In the time of transition and waiting for the Lord to provide another Shepherd the Elder board assigned Dave Powell as a part time interim pastor.
While waiting for the Lord to provide a senior pastor the church was led into a time of introspection. What was the Lord doing? Where was the church going?
In 2009 Pastor John Wyness was recommended by the BCBC as a transitional pastor for 100 MHBC to help the church through to seeing a new full time senior pastor come. In July 2010 Pastor John Park was called to candidate and accepted the call as Senior Pastor for the 100 MHBC. Pastor John began ministry at the church in September 2010 and continued until June 2014. During Pastor John’s time here, he lead the church in rebuilding for long term spiritual growth.
October 2014 the church was blessed with Pastor Dean Denlinger being called to serve as the senior pastor. Pastor Dean brings a great passion to stand firmly on the Word of God and refuses to give into the pressures of this modern day to soften the gospel. Each Sunday he delivers an expository verse by verse sermon with truth, grace, love, and hope. Pastor Dean has also put into place the importance for discipleship and for building a solid foundation of faith in each believer individually and within the church body as a whole.
What lies ahead is in the hands of the Lord, but we are thrilled with the honor of serving our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we continually seek His face for those in the Cariboo around us who have yet to come to Him. The 100 Mile House Baptist Church stands firmly on the Word of God as the template for how we conduct ourselves within the Body and within the world.