A Brief History...
Local churches have a life story, as it is a living, growing part of the Body of Christ.Each church has its own unique personality and characteristics, and each faces its own unique challenges and changes. This life story is impacted by both the leadership and congregation through the years. The following is a small collage of pictures of that story here at The Freedom Centre.
The Freedom Centre’s life story begins in year of 1955, when Reverend M. Gardziliwich began services in the Beverly district. They were using the Maranatha Christian Reformed Church before they began construction of their building in 1957. The church was a Ukrainian-speaking congregation and was registered with the Western Slavic Conference of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, under the name of the Beverley Pentecostal Tabernacle.
By 1964, the services were totally in English, so the church registration transferred from the Western Slavic Conference to the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ReverendGardziliwich cared for the older Slavic-speaking people while Pastor Paul Kerychuk pastored the English-speaking congregation. In 1976, the Beverley Pentecostal Tabernacle purchased an acre in the Clareview district, where the existing building is now. Once the move was made, the church also changed its name, now becoming the Clareview Pentecostal Assembly. The church out-grew its existing building in 1982 thus an extension to the existing building got under way.
The church has had many wonderful pastors and church members who have given themselves to seeing God impact the lives of those in the church and community. In the mid-90s Pastor David Puls and some members began leading in a spiritual awakening to the moving of the Holy Spirit. As the new millennium approached, Pastor Lance Steeves came on staff under Pastor Puls and contributed to the move towards a more modern worship environment and a deeper call to prayer and intercession. This direction and growth continued as Pastor Lance became interim pastor in the spring of 1999 when Pastor David followed a call into teaching at Central Pentecostal Bible College (now Horizon College & Seminary).
In November 1999 Pastor Kenton Rustulka began his ministry as lead pastor. In 2000, God began the process of changing the church’s name to become The Freedom Centre Church – Edmonton. God was also continuing His work of changing the church to become a reflection of the name God wanted it to have. This also included developing a new constitution and by-laws for the church to fit a more biblical model. After much work, the new document was presented to the congregation at its Annual General Meeting in the spring of 2008, where it was approved. Following the establishment of the new Elder Council, Pastor Kenton went on a sabbatical. At the end August, Pastor Kenton returned and expressed to the elders of the church that his need for the sabbatical remained and for health reasons chose to resign as chief-elder. The church then went through another transition which led to Pastor Merril Radford being established as the new chief-elder in April of 2009. Pastor Merril continues to build upon the work of previous leaders and saints who have poured their lives out in prayer and service to their Lord.