“We back up to the mid 80’s. Our DS (District Superintendent) and Dex-Com (District Executive Committee) were watching for areas in our district where new churches could be started. They learned a large area east of Sutherland was to be developed.” – Rev. Ernest Regier
Years before Erindale was the bustling neighbourhood it is now, God was already paving the way to reach this little corner of the world. At the suggestion of CMD (Canadian Midwest District) Superintendent Arnold Downey, a small group, primarily out of Lawson Heights Alliance Church and led by Rev. Ernest Regier, embarked on this new venture.
On September 7, 1986, the newly planted church held its first service in the humble auditorium of Forest Grove School. Settling into their temporary home, the congregation named themselves Forest Grove Alliance Church. After seven months, however, the facility was no longer available for their use. Sunday services were then moved to the Saskatchewan School of Performing Arts building and midweek Bible Studies / fellowship was held in various homes. A few short months later, the church was once again relocated, this time to Cardinal Leger Catholic School, and earned the name “The Church on the Move”.
While the church was on the move, God, too, was on the move. In 1987, Forest Grove Alliance Church became incorporated and the growth rate that year was over 20%. As the need for their own building increased, the search became more urgent, and Pastor Ernest found himself down at City Hall examining a map of future development.
“What is on the corner?”“That corner is a farmyard. It’s the Kusch residence. Don’t go there, they are very upset.”
On the corner of what would be two main roads (Attridge and McOrmond) sat a plot of land that had been the Kusch family farm for three generations, and they were not very happy about the pressure to sell and leave. Trusting that the Lord would provide, Pastor Ernest decided to visit the family anyway. Though with the warning in mind, he invited Dr. Bert McBride to accompany him, thinking “it might be good to have a doctor along, we had no idea what might be ahead!” They arrived to find the family a bit preoccupied - their only son, a university student, had a major examination coming up, but he was sick and would likely fail. Who would have expected this to be the opportunity God used to open a door and start a friendship? Rev. Ernest said to them, “Did you know that in your house today sits the head of Student Health for the U of S. He can handle this.”
RE: Purchase of Parcel “B”
Kusch Property - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
After almost three years of borrowing school auditoriums, the Christian & Missionary Alliance purchased the Kusch Property in July 1987. Located in the Erindale neighbourhood, “The Church on the Move” finally had a place to call home and was aptly renamed Erindale Alliance Church. Now all they needed was a building, so plans were submitted and the waiting began. The permit for the basement was issued first. It was quickly built and finished. Then the waiting continued.. and continued.
As it turns out, no public building could get a permit without sewer and water services, and somehow no one had checked to see if those were available on the property. They were not and would not be for another two to three years. Devastated, the church prayed and tried to come up with some temporary answers. Septic tank? Cistern? Nothing met the building code. So an appointment was made to see Mayor Henry Dayday. Rev. Ernest recalls, “[It was] Clare Gitzel, Doug Waind, and myself. They talked to the Mayor and I talked to God. We could hardly believe our ears when the Mayor said, “You’ll have your permits in a week's time”. What a ‘day-day’ that was!” A temporary septic tank was installed as well as a plastic line running from Rev. Ernest’s house, conveniently located right beside the property, and Phase 1 of the building began. The decade closed with the building Dedication Service on October 29, 1989.