In 1917, a small company of Seventh-day Adventists in Kelowna began meeting in a little school on Benvoulin Rd. On March 27, 1919, the Kelowna Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized by Elder A.C. Gilbert, Western Canadian Conference President. The local church elder chosen was J.E. Bellis. Gothard Johnson and his wife (parents of Sylvia Edstrom) were the only charter members of the original thirteen who were present at the dedication. On November 18, 1923, the church was reorganized – still as the Kelowna SDA Church – by Elder Gilbert with 68 charter members.
Due to the polio epidemic of 1927, the church closed its doors from September 17 to October 7.
In 1924, a group “swarmed” to form the Kelowna SDA Company, which was later organized into the Kelowna church; a church board action, on October 11th of that year, changed the name of the church meeting in the two-story school on the north side of Black Mountain Road (now Hwy. 33) to the Rutland Seventh-day Adventist Church. Until a proper sanctuary was constructed in 1939-40, the church continued to meet in Okanagan Academy.
The white church building with its steeply-pitched roof served the Rutland congregation for many years. German and Ukrainian speaking churches continued to meet in schoolrooms as did several children’s Sabbath School classes. By the late 1950’s an over-flowing congregation prompted the purchase of property at the southwest corner of Gertsmar Road and Hwy. 33, where our present sanctuary – built with mainly donated materials and labour – was erected during 1961 and the first part of 1962.
Since 1962, a new foyer, Youth Chapel and Fellowship Room, and an extension to house the Ukrainian Church, Community Services, Pastors’ offices, and Sabbath School classrooms have been added. In August of 1988, our church closed its doors and met in the Okanagan Adventist Academy auditorium for several months to allow for the extensive renovations that have beautified our grounds and enhanced our worship. We have since renovated the Community Services area and made it into our Fellowship Hall which officially opened February 2020. We were sad to close the doors on our Community Services, but we believe now we may help the community with more Health Outreach in cooking classes, etc. IServe replaced the Community Services in their own special way and reach an even larger expanse of needs. We are a growing church as The Holy Spirit is guiding us, and we eagerly await Jesus return.
Is there a need that we may be able to help you fill?