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Bonnyville Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrates 60th Anniversary

On April 13, 2024, the Bonnyville SDA Church celebrated its 60th Anniversary.

BONNYVILLE - On April 13, 2024, the Bonnyville SDA Church celebrated its 60th Anniversary.

The origin of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in the Lakeland area can be traced back to 1939 when Matthew Synowec, of Beaverdam, became the first to convert to Seventh-day Adventism.

He became acquainted with the teachings of the SDA Church through the monthly Signs of the Times magazines, as well as from frequent visits by Pastor Sam Samograd, who pastored the Beauvallon SDA Church at the time. Four years later, in 1943, Maggie Koluk’s earnest search for Bible truth led to her commitment to join the SDA Church following Bible Studies with Pastors Demchuk and Yakovanko.

The two families formed the first Branch of the Church in the area and became the pioneering members of the Bonnyville SDA Church. Voice of Hope Radio Broadcasts then created more interest in the Adventist teachings in the area. These broadcasts were followed up with an evangelistic series in Bonnyville in October 1963, which was conducted by Pastors P. E. Uniat and Stanley Gallant.

Pastor Stanley Gallant became the first resident pastor who moved to Bonnyville to take care of the work. They first met for worship in a convenience store in Bonnyville on April 11, 1964, and soon thereafter purchased a church from the Baptist congregation towards the end of 1964. Worship commenced in this new building on April 10, 1965, exactly one year after they first began as a little company of believers.

Most of the earliest converts were Ukrainian immigrants. As such, Bonnyville SDA Church started out as a Ukrainian Church. Services were first conducted in Ukrainian and translated into English. As time passed, services were conducted in English and then translated into Ukrainian.

The church has since grown to be a multicultural church comprised of Canadians as well as immigrants from Philippines, Belize and the Caribbean Islands.

Over the years the membership grew in such a way that the little church purchased from the Baptists in 1964 along 5008 53 Avenue became far too small. Then, in 2021, Pastor Adam Bially came across a large 7.3 acre property which was for sale on the outskirts of Bonnyville, with a health facility on the premises. Members acted swiftly to purchase the property and was able to secure the new property along 61009 Range Road 454 in September 2021. Renovations started in November 2021 and lasted six months until the first service in their new building was held on May 7, 2022, and its official inauguration was held on June 18, 2022. 

Much to our delight, the Mayor of the Town of Bonnyville graced the occasion with her presence. Mayor Elisa Brosseau extended her heartful congratulations on behalf of herself, the council and the community of Bonnyville and expressed gratitude for the way in which the church impacts individuals and families within the Bonnyville community.

Annual summer camps are often held on the spacious premises, and a large portion of the grounds are worked into a community garden which yields vegetables and flowers. Future plans include extending the building in order to have a bigger sanctuary for worship and adding more classrooms for Bible Study Classes. The Bonnyville SDA Church also has a weekly potluck fellowship lunch meal after their weekly church services, which fosters true fellowship and friendship among members. All are welcome to attend.

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