A Short History
Most people driving by the church at the top of Connors Hill don¹t realize that although the building was constructed in 1973, this is one of the oldest congregations in the city. Central’s history goes back to the 1893 when the town of Edmonton, in what was then the Northwest Territories, had a population of less than 2000 people.
Rev. F.A. Mueller of the Baptist Church in Leduc held meetings for the German immigrants (mainly from Russia) in Edmonton at Robertson’s Hall on Jasper Avenue and 97th Street. This work continued intermittently and by the late 1890’s Rev. Abraham Hager of Rabbit Hill Baptist Church walked the 15 miles to Edmonton each week to minister to the young people moving there from the rural areas. He eventually decided to devote all his time to the work in Edmonton and moved there from Rabbit Hill. Worship services were held at the old Methodist Church (now relocated to Fort Edmonton.)
Regular church services were conducted for several years and on April 22, 1900, the First German Baptist Church of Edmonton was officially organized. One of the members of the recognition council was Attorney A.C. Rutherford of Strathcona Baptist Church who would become Alberta’s first premier and also established the University of Alberta.
In 1900 the church had 17 members and attendance ranged between 50 and 70 people, with one third of those coming from a Roman Catholic background. The following year the congregation erected the first church building for the cost of $1500. Edmonton continued to grow with an increasing German population that was the target of the outreach of the church. In 1904 and 1906 the church building was enlarged twice and a baptistry was added.
By 1912 the congregation decided to sell the building because it had become inadequate for their needs. They built a new, much larger brick building on 96th Street and 106A Avenue which served them until 1973 when the present building was constructed. The 96th Street building is now the Mustard Seed Street Church.
Although our church has grown and become more diverse in recent years, our core conviction remains the same: we believe Jesus can be most faithfully followed when we follow together. Our desire is that, as we share our lives, God by his grace would continue to grow us up every day in our love for him and other people. These days our specific prayer is that God would grow a special love in our hearts for those who don’t know Jesus, and that as we mature in our relationships everyone in our lives would come to see and know Jesus through us.
We look forward for the future that God has for us, and our hope is that his Kingdom of love, peace, truth, justice and joy would become more and more a reality in our hearts and world today--that the reality of heaven would increasingly become the reality on earth. To this end we meet, we serve, we work and we pray.