It is hard to believe that 10 years have gone by already.
This weekend, Wolf Creek Community Church will celebrate its 10th anniversary.
For some, like WCCC founder Ken Vanderwekken, it doesn’t seem like it has been that long.
Vanderwekken said the anniversary kind of “Snuck up” on him.
“What, 10 years went by already?” said Vanderwekken. “I kind of missed that.”
He said it was an incredible amount of work, particularly in the beginning years, to get Wolf Creek Community Church off the ground. It must have been worth it because while Vanderwekken said he knows there were bad times during those periods, he really only remembers the good ones.
“It’s been an incredible journey,” said Vanderwekken. “A bunch of us were saying that this was the most exciting and yet the most difficult thing we had ever done. Looking back, I remember the excitement, I don’t exactly remember the difficulties.”
Pastor Leon Johnston said that the accomplishment of 10 years may be dwarfed by that of WCCC’s parent churches, but it is still significant.
“It does feel like we are kind of growing up,” said Johnston.
“We are still young and vibrant and active but we are also thinking, ‘Ok, how are we going to stay young, vibrant and active for the long term?’”
Johnston said that WCCC had decided to go for more of ‘family birthday party’ type feel to their 10th anniversary celebration.
While the general public is welcome to join in, Johnston said the congregation is not making a huge deal about the accomplishment, this time.
To mark the milestone, Sunday’s regular worship service will focus on being thankful for what God has given, and look forward and press on to continue His mission.
Johnston said this is a fitting message for the anniversary because although Wolf Creek Community Church has been successful in its mission to reach out to the community, that goal is one that is never fully accomplished.
In addition to the worship service, a pancake birthday breakfast will be held. Johnston said that there may be a few words said in recognition of the achievement, but the celebration is likely to be fairly informal.
When the idea first came about of forming a new Christian Reformed Church within Lacombe, the idea was to form a new church that would have community outreach at the forefront, said Vanderwekken.
It is quite common for CRC churches to birth new ones in the same area for different purposes and Vanderwekken said that the group of like-minded individuals who then formed the launch team for Wolf Creek Community Church felt another was needed in Lacombe.
After forming the idea for the new church, the team then spent a few years brainstorming and planning for the new church.
Then, in February of 2004, Classis Alberta North of the Christian Reformed Church gave permission to form Wolf Creek Community Church.
The period that followed was a busy one for Vanderwekken and the other founding members of the church.
Vanderwekken said there were many things that needed to be organized such as finding the facility a pastor, and a name for the new church.
Wolf Creek Community Church was a name carefully chosen for the church. Vanderwekken said that many CRC churches have the words Christian Reformed Church within in the title, but the founders decided not to include them because they wanted the new church to be a community church first while still being governed by CRC.
The other half of the name, Wolf Creek, was chosen before anyone knew that the church’s facility would be located on Wolf Creek Dr. but Vanderwekken said it seems to be a very fitting moniker now that that is the case.
“It’s interesting how things develop.”
When the church was ready, Pastor Andy Geleynse became the first official pastor of the Wolf Creek Community Church.
After about two years, Geleynse and the church parted ways and the church was without an official pastor for a few years before bringing Johnston into the fold about three years ago.
Today, Wolf Creek Community Church is full every Sunday and is facing new challenges that come along with that growth. For example, Vanderwekken said that the church is starting to outgrow its current facility.
“These are problems, but they are good problems.”