“Here by the water, I’ll build an altar to praise you, out of the stones that I found here, I’ll set them down here, rough as they are.”
So the voices were heard at the corner of Admirals Road and Lyall Street on May 13, 2006. It was the official launch of Harbourview Church in Esquimalt. Wheeley Hall was filled; partly with Harbourview’s small congregation, and largely by supporters from Victoria Pacific Rim Alliance, Westshore Alliance and the Chinese Alliance communities.
A year had elapsed since Pastor Paul Bergmann had departed from his role as Assistant Pastor of Victoria Pacific Rim Alliance Church. He had done so with his sights set on planting a church near the shores of Esquimalt.
In September of 2005, a steering committee of five came together to provide direction to the mission and accountability for their pastor. Those involved in the infant, un-named church plant hit the streets of Esquimalt to distribute loaves of bread as a symbolic gesture of life, and a practical gesture of love.
The first weekly gatherings occurred on Wychbury Avenue. Early in 2006, the basement of the Esquimalt United Church was secured for Saturday evening services. The congregation also adopted its name: Harbourview Alliance church.
In 2009, the Mayor of Esquimalt asked the local churches to assist in hosting the Olympic flame in the community. In December, permission was granted by the township to stage an outdoor Christmas Carol Sing-along in the town’s central park. More than 500 residents participated in our Christmas Celebration.
The surroundings of Esquimalt offer a visual reminder of life’s ebb and flow, the storms that life brings us. Harbourview Church aims to be a refuge, a sanctuary where God’s mercy, truth, and provision are supplied.