Our church’s (Abundant Life) philosophy, from the beginning, is to this day, “Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness.” In fact that was our very first tape teaching by the husband and wife Ministry of the Hunters.
Our first meeting was December 5, 1987 at Keddy’s Motel on Prince Street in Truro, Nova Scotia. Although most times we had a particular room, sometimes we had only five minutes notice to move all our equipment, which by the way fit in a large box. That was our whole church, in that box.
Our pre-service prayer was held in one of the motel rooms, as was our Sunday school – that changed mostly every Sunday – so we learned to be flexible. We were there about 18 months – and had some really good times. Example: one service we had to shout over a rock band that was performing next door for a wedding.
Our music at first was Pastor Dave Meyers on guitar, Billy Murphy on banjo and Doug Richardson on guitar.
Our first Overhead lady was Barb Archibald – with her daughter Colleen as her helper and the first worship team was Barb and Billy Murphy. First Sound man was Vaughn Cormie (trained by Pastor Dave). 1st Ushers were Dick Provencher and Ab Archibald, and were also the first Money counters – until Ab moved to Alberta in 1998, then Esther Provencher joined her husband Dick.
Rev. Derek McClarey from Sydney was our first guest speaker on April 17, 1988, then Steve Witt and Denis Roy of St. John NB on May 22, 1988.
We sponsored a Peter Youngren Tent Crusade in July 1988. The town of Truro kindly allowed the huge outdoor tent to be set up on the Legion Stadium parking lot. Everyone in the church helped pass out flyers around Truro and Bible Hill. (Pastor Peter stayed at Billy and Debbie Murphy’s and Reese and JoAnn James stayed at Dick and Esther Provencher’s)
All eight or nine men from our church put up the large tent, brought a piano from Ab’s basement and returned it a little the worse for wear (a broken leg). The men also had to take turns sleeping in the tent all night to watch the equipment. One night during the crusade, the band from Rock church was competing with music from a rock video night next door at the arena – they called the Police saying we were making too much noise.
A lady named Julene Schroeder who lived in Lockport NS was pianist at the crusade; she became secretary at Victory Churches in Calgary. Guest speakers were Grady and Myrna Etheridge and our Pastor wrote the song ‘Rain on Me’ for the occasion. Jeff Brown is a result of that crusade.
As the church continued, we began monthly fellowship meetings at Dick and Esther’s home in Glenholme. The Holy Spirit inspired them to sell their home in Truro and buy a large property on four acres and was a gathering place for all fellowship activities for three and a half years.
One of our first get-togethers was a New Year’s celebration and 18 people from the church came (almost our total congregation). From there, fun times included monthly theme meals- Chinese, Pizza, Pot Luck, Corn Boil, etc. On one occasion we had a BBQ followed by a water fight that lasted three hours on one hot May Day.
We had a father-son tent overnight on the property followed by fishing and swimming at Little Dyke Lake. We had a Hallelujah night, with apple bobbing – Pastor Dave introduced his ‘Monkey Song’ -baseball game on the front lawn – wedding receptions and guest pastors as well as Covenant Players stayed in the guest room.
Our church – Abundant Life Fellowship – also co-sponsored with several other area churches, a well-attended Barry Moore Crusade April 25, 1989 at the CEC Auditorium. Guest speakers were Dick and Lottie Green, from Frostburg, Maryland. They had begun a project to build a church shaped like the Ark and the same size.
The following Spring we had permission to use the Butler Centre on Lorne Street. Everyone pitched in to tear down a wall, fix cupboards, paint, scrub, put up dry-wall and Pastor Dave, with a background in sheet metals fixed the furnace.
It was in the Butler Center the Women’s Ministry really came into full bloom. There were weekly prayer meetings and Bible studies.
Searching for land to build our own church brought us to Dunromin Avenue in Bible Hill, where the congregation purchased a property. On the last Wednesday of August of 1990 we had an outside midweek meeting at our new property. Everyone gathered around our golden spade, while Pastor Dave lifted the first shovel of earth – the beginning of our building.
To secure adequate financing, a note for the mortgage was signed with Richard Provencher, Dwane Johnston, Ab Archibald, Billy Murphy and Pastor Dave Meyers putting up their homes as collateral. Tithing was faithfully given by the small congregation.
Under the direction of Pastor Dave and Terry Hodder, our general contractor, a labour of love with donations of time, money and skills built our new church home. Just under two months later we held our first service on October 26, 1990.
The cross, podium, overhead cabinet and drum wall was built and donated by Garfield Johnston. First Bookkeeper was Barb Archibald, followed by Dwight McNutt, Donald Cox, then Esther Provencher.
After joining Victory Churches International, our church name was changed from Abundant Life Fellowship Church to Abundant Life Victory Church.
Pastor Dave left to work in a Victory church in Alberta and was replaced for a time by co-Pastors Steve McLean and Abe Brown, who later became our Pastor. After Pastor Abe left to be Dean of the Victory Bible School in Calgary, Pastors Maureen and Evan McNeely came from Red Deer Alberta. After two years here, they moved back out West. Then for about two years Pastors Brian and Teena Bourque, from Shemogue, New Brunswick until fall of 2003.
Pastors Casey and Dana Sitter came from Leader, Saskatchewan in April 2004 and are leaving May 2005 to go into full time ministry with Agua Ministries – (that is a ministry that drills wells and preaches the word in Mexico) they have been involved with this ministry for several years.
We are having Pastors David and Barbara Ross as interim pastors – as we seek full time pastors – services will go to one service (AM) on Sunday May 29th, 2005 until further notice, Sunday School, Youth and home groups will continue as usual – the Ross’ will be in town for mid-week activities as well as some Saturdays for consultation.
Pastor Wayne Berry from Amherst Victory Church acted as our temporary interim pastor – as we sought full time pastors. Pastor Gerry Bezanson and his wife Kim took this office Aug. 13, 2006. We were honored to have them as our pastors for a season, until they moved on to what God was calling them to.
In April, 2016 Pastors Dave & Julie McLean came to be our Lead Pastors. Them and their 3 wonderful children are a joy, and we are very excited to have them lead as we continue to believe God to reach Bible Hill, Truro, and all other surrounding areas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are still reaching every available person at every available time with every available means with Jesus.
Very exciting things have happened since and we continue to serve the needs of our Lord’s community. The purpose of our church is to loose people from bondage as Christ, the Head of the Church loosed Lazarus from the grave. We must bring people to a new life in Christ, equipping them for service and releasing them to serve.
Our church currently meets together each Sunday morning at 10:30, for a time or worship together; and on Wednesday nights LIFE Groups at 7 PM.
Details are available by calling our office at Abundant Life at 902.895.LIFE (5433). Come visit, learn, connect, and make new friends!