Living Hope is a vibrant faith community with a strong heritage.
The Early Years
The year was 1928. Regina had a population of 50,000 people, with little industry except that which had been generated by a hardy breed of wheat farmers. A small prayer group had been meeting with the hope of gathering a group of people committed to world missions and the message of the good news about Jesus Christ.
A Welsh evangelist named John Thomas held meetings in the city in the spring of 1928. The services were held on the second floor of the Canadian Legion Building at Albert St. and Eleventh Ave. Myrtle Bradley (known as “the girl evangelist of Ohio”) was brought to Regina to continue the ministry. By Christmas of 1928 Myrtle and Gordon Wishart (a student from the Canadian Bible Institute of Toronto who had also come to Regina that year) were married. They pastored the church that met in the Legion Hall. The church later moved to the Moose Hall on Eleventh Ave.
Throughout 1930 there were numerous evangelistic meetings. By the fall of that year a rented hall at 2019 Broad St became the church home and was called “The Alliance Gospel Hall.” The first church committee included Henry Allinger, H. H. Johnston, George Dibden, Sidney Anderson, and J. W. Denison.
In September 1932 the congregation moved to 1611 Victoria Ave and became known as “The Alliance Chapel.” Ruby Johnston was drawn to work among the Chinese people of Regina. In 1934 the church had its first Annual Congregational Meeting, with 25 families in attendance. In May 1935 one of the first district conferences was held in Regina. Dave Rempel, a city policeman, also had an interest in serving the Chinese and started English classes for them.
The Tabernacle Era
1936 saw the first Vacation Bible School for the children. It was held in the old Earl Grey School on Ottawa St. By 1939 the church needed more space. A lot at the corner of Osler St. and Thirteenth Ave. was purchased for $1,150. The first service in the new building, “The Alliance Tabernacle,” was held on October 9. Rev. W. H. Brooks was the pastor. He was the speaker on “The Haven of Hope” radio program that aired on CJRM.
By the fall of 1941 the Western Canadian Bible Institute opened in the basement of The Tabernacle. G. M. Blackett was the first president of the school. By 1945 the Bible school needed more space for the increasing number of students and purchased the old Clayton Hotel. In 1956 the Bible college would move to its new site at Fourth Ave. Its name would change to Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary and then in 2003 would move to Calgary, Alberta to become Ambrose University.
By the time the relocation took place to Hillsdale St. in 1967 these men had given pastoral leadership to The Tabernacle: Gordon Wishart, George Magnus, Raymond Hess, L. M. Stephens, Gordon Skitch, W. H. Brooks, Gordon Ferguson, T. J. Spier, Wayne Carr, J. F. Conner, A. H. Orthner, and and Ernest Bailey.
The Hillsdale Era
By 1962 property had been purchased for a new church location on Hillsdale Ave. Albert Lutzer was the contractor for the new building on Hillsdale. During Canada’s Centennial Year, on May 28, 1967 the first service was held in Hillsdale Alliance Church. The Chinese Alliance Church purchased the Tabernacle building on Osler and began holding services there in 1967
One of the signifcant moments of the Hillsdale years was the revival experience God brought to the church, and the city, in 1971. The services spanned fourteen evenings, with attendance reaching as high as 800. Through the work of Ralph and Lou Sutera, God touched many lives and homes in the city and beyond.
During the Hillsdale years the pastoral leadership came from L. R. Hamm, Richard Sipley and Gordon Grieve.
The Tabernacle and Hillsdale had a long tradition of missionary involvement and activity.
Becoming Living Hope
In March 2001 we changed our name and became Living hope Alliance Church. In an agreement between Living Hope and Heritage Alliance Church, the Hillsdale building became the home of Heritage Alliance Church in exchange for land just outside the city limits in Southeast Regina. A 66,000 square foot building was designed to further the ministry of Living Hope in Regina. Phase 1 saw the completion of children’s ministry space, youth ministry space and a gym-natorium (joint use gymnasium and worship space).
Over the next 14 years the city would reach out to meet Living Hope as the church, led by Larry Hurst, established itself in a new and fast growing community. In late 2013 construction began on Phase 2 of Living Hope’s building, a 947 seat sanctuary which was completed in spring 2015.
Today Living Hope is a vibrant faith community that is helping families through out Regina, both in Arcola East and beyond, become what Jesus envisions.