The Emmanuel Alliance Church of Ottawa (EACO) is a member church in the Eastern District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada (The Alliance), and subscribe to its beliefs. We are also a member of the Canadian Chinese Alliance Churches Association.
From planting the church to developing it into a trilingual (English, Cantonese, Mandarin) and dual-language (English, Chinese) cross-cultural church, EACO has gone through three stages of development: church establishment stage, pre-growth stage, and cross-cultural stage.
Church establishment stage: August 1989-August 1991
In August 1989, the Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church (OCAC), located in Chinatown, Ottawa city centre, sent seven families to plant a church in Kanata, a western suburb of Ottawa, to serve the spiritual needs of Cantonese residents in the district. The church borrowed the Kanata Pentecostal Church site to establish the Kanata Chinese Alliance Church (KCAC). On August 20th, the first Sunday worship was held and the church was established. In July 1990, the church held the first Vacation Bible School for children. In August of the same year, Pastor Li Shen-Lin became the first pastor of the church.
Preparatory growth phase: September 1991-June 1995
In 1991, the church established adults and children fellowships. In order to meet the needs of church growth and development, the church moved to Castlefrank Elementary School as a place of worship, and held Sunday worship at the new site for the first time on September 8, with Sunday schools for adults and children. In the years that followed, the church continued to grow and develop. Various ministries were established including missions and gospel outreach, and fellowship groups for students, youths, young careers, women, and children. These ministry areas became more mature, and the congregation grew to more than 120 people.
Trilingual ministry stage: July 1995-present
In the summer of 1995, the church moved from Kanata to the current site at Bells Corners, and the process of purchasing the site was completed by the end of the year. At the beginning of 1996, the church determined that the goal of KCAC was to become a cross-cultural church and spread the gospel to all people. As a result, the word “Chinese” was deleted from the name of the church, and the church took on its current name of Emmanuel Alliance Church of Ottawa (EACO).
The grace of God is unmeasured. In September 1995, the English Ministry was officially launched, and the English congregation began to worship independently. In January 1998, the Mandarin Ministry officially began, with its separate Mandarin Sunday worship. In October of the same year, the first youth pastor arrived at EACO. In 2002, the first Director of Children’s Ministry took office. In 2003, the Church Mission Committee was established. In September of that year, the church vision was confirmed: “To be a vibrant church in the city of Ottawa, leading people of different cultures to become devoted followers of Christ.” To date, the church has formed three worship services, in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Within this trilingual ministry, we have comprehensive ministries for children and youths conducted in English. EACO has become a multilingual, cross-cultural church focusing on ministries of the gospel and missions.
From planting a church to developing into a cross-cultural trilingual church, EACO has experienced God’s rich blessings and abundant grace. Borrowing a poem by Pastor Yu Jinsong delivered during the church’s 20th anniversary celebration, we express our praise and gratefulness to our God:
【Xijiang Moon】Twenty Years of Lord’s Grace
Tracings of the past,
cradled by heavenly grace,
From seven families meeting in Kanata,
to multitudes singing into the night.
Bridging the language divide,
serving all status and age,
Freely join in our celebration, with
Praises to God from whom all blessings flow.