Our congregation has been meeting in Surrey since 1961 when a group of 45 families, mostly of recent Dutch immigrant origin, met at the old Canadian Legion Hall in Whalley for worship services. Their desire was to be a church grounded in the historic Christian faith, a safe place to pass down this faith to the next generation, and a place where they would be challenged to live out this faith where God had placed them. They believed they had something important to offer to Surrey: Christian faith that steers clear of both liberalism and fundamentalism, is culturally engaged and intellectually thorough.
By 1963 the church had grown to 300 members—enough to purchase land on 132nd Street and build their first church building. That building served the congregation until 1998 when it was sold and its present building was built on 160th Street. We thank God for faithful pastors who have guided us:
- Michael DeVries 1962 - 1965;
- Herman Bade 1965 - 1970;
- Gordon Pols 1970 - 1974;
- Jacob Kits 1974 - 1978;
- Albert VandenPol 1979 - 1990
- Albert Westerhuis 1990-2013
- Tom Bomhof 2002—
The congregation has had many joys and some pain in its journey. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Christian Reformed Church was deeply divided about the role of women in church life, and came to the decision to allow women to be elders, deacons and pastors. Disagreement with this decision led a substantial group to leave our congregation. Also during this time, a vision for planting a new congregation grew into a new venture. In 1987 a substantial group left the congregation to form Hope Community church, an outreach ministry in Surrey.
Undaunted by the reduced numbers, the congregation moved ahead in faith by refocusing and reequipping itself for ministry. Fleetwood CRC has developed strong programs for children, youth, adults and seniors, a contemporary/traditional blend in worship, a renewed dedication to the Fleetwood community, and partnerships with community organizations that help teenaged moms, people with addictions, and people with MS. Our staff has grown since then, with three full time pastors, an administrator, and a part time worship coordinator.
And now, 50 years after its beginning, Fleetwood CRC is the spiritual home for five hundred Surrey residents. In its beautiful building, built in 2001, many activities go on to help people of all ages grow in their faith. We remain passionate about our faith and helping people find peace in Jesus Christ. We still offer Surrey a thoughtful, engaged, historic Christian faith.
We look forward to many years of ministry, creating a place where all can belong, where Christian faith is passed down, and where each person grows through healing, learning and service to be the person God calls him or her to be.