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SCENE AND HEARD: First Baptist Church celebrates 80 years in the Alberni Valley

Past pastors return to share memories with congregation
First Baptist Church pastor Bill Cottrill with Marion Bradley, left, and Elsie Mallon, who have both attended the church since they were teenagers. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)


Special to the AV News

Port Alberni’s First Baptist Church congregation celebrated the 80th anniversary of their church on Sunday, June 19.

Previous pastors from years gone by, including Peter Teigrob from 1975-1977 and Henry Schade from 1992-2005, were there to say a few words. Other messages were received electronically.

Following this there was a lunch with approximately 60 parishioners.

The origin of the First Baptist Church started with Mr. and Mrs. A.O Atkins, who moved here in 1936 from West Summerland where they had enjoyed the fellowship of the Baptist Church. They discovered that there was no Baptist Presbyterian Sunday School in the Alberni Valley. In 1941 they approached the BC Baptist Board about starting a work in the Alberni Valley and were subsequently invited to meet a Committee of the Board in Vancouver.

Deacon W.N. Finlay of First Baptist Victoria and Reverend W.L. McKay, Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist came here in June of 1941. They recommended that a Baptist Mission be opened in the “Calgary District” of Port Alberni, and that a hall on the corner of 10th Avenue and Redford Street be rented for this purpose.

In October 1941, Miss Ida Elliott and Miss Edith Spain were sent by the board to lay the groundwork. They remained here until early in 1944, when they were requested by the board to go to Chemainus.

Over the years the Port Alberni church has had different addresses but always the faithful followed. They had a church on Redford between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. This followed with a new church being built on Meares Drive. After an unfortunate fire the church moved to Cherry Creek School where they are today.

Present pastor Bill Cottrill started out as a youth pastor in 2007. He and wife Lisa and their twins Hailey and Hannah arrived here from Niagara Falls. Pastor Bill began his work as lead pastor on Sept. 1, 2011.

Pastor Bill invites everyone to come and be a part of their fellowship. Sunday service is from 11 a.m. and coffee fellowship after. If you would you like more information please call 250-723-7441.