Rimbey Church of the Nazarene will soon celebrate its 100th birthday.
In honor of the event a service of celebration is to be held on June 19th at 2 p.m. and local dignitaries including MP Blaine Calkins, MLA Jason Nixon and Rimbey mayor Rick Pankiw will be in attendance.
Dr. Larry Dahl, District Superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene will speak and all community churches are invited to attend.
Coffee and cake will be served following the service.
“The Rimbey church is one of the oldest Nazarene churches in all of Canada,” said Rev. Grant Rainey.
In a written history of the Rimbey Church of the Nazarene he noted the birth of a church is as unique and individual as the people who make it up. The Rimbey Church of the Nazarene is no exception, he said.
“Like many other Nazarene Churches, it began in the fires of revival.”
The first church was built on land donated by Jim Rimbey. It was constructed by his son, Phineas.
Charter members of the church were Vera Rimbey, Retha (Rimbey) Wright, Nancy Rimbey, Phineas Rimbey, John Wright, Mr. and Mrs. James Rimbey. Mrs. Sam Rimbey, Mrs. Bill Cork, Frank Gorney and the Muech family.
Rev. Wright preached the dedicatory sermon and Rev. G. H. McLachlan became the church’s first pastor.
“If this were a fairy tale instead of a history it might be said the church lived happily ever after,” Rainey said in his history.
Sadly within a year of its construction (May 16,1906) the building was destroyed by fire, and four-year-old Elvin Rimbey died in the blaze.
Another church was built within six months. That church is now the Seventh day Adventist Church.
An addition was built to the present Church of the Nazarene in 1980.
Rev. Rainey said early leaders like the Rimbeys, the Thomas Wrights, the Starozik, Webb and Pregoda families, the George McCracken’s, the Mert and Phena Challands and the Max Vliets left a great legacy to which those celebrating this centenary year are deeply indebted.
“Children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been deeply committed to Rimbey Nazarene Church including Rod Challand, Vera Webb and Jack Webb.
“As we move into our second one hundred years our challenge will be to realize we all must embrace the vision that we are called unto holiness, called to salt and light, called to proclaim the good news of the gospel with the same fervor and conviction as these early pioneers and leaders,” said Rev. Rainey.