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A Brief History of our Church
by Pastor Mike Wilkins
On June 1, 1952, Rev. Richard G. Simpson arrived in London, Ontario under the authority of the Christian and Missionary Alliance to establish an Alliance Church in London. It was the third such attempt since January, 1896 when Alliance founder Albert Benjamin Simpson first held a convention in London for "The Deepening of the Christian Life and the Evangelization of the World." Richard first held meetings in a tent pitched on the southwest corner of Grosvenor and Elliot Streets. By September of that first year, a full schedule of services had begun in the rented facilities of the Orange Hall on Adelaide Street. By the time Richard and his wife Della had been in London one year, the congregation had purchased a house and lot at 577 Oxford Street. At that time, the subsidy from the New York office was terminated and Richard began to support his family by means of a weekly "love offering;" an arrangement which continued until January, 1957 when a salary was set at $50 a week (plus a car allowance of $10 a month!) With the work firmly established as the Oxford Street Alliance Church, Richard accepted a call to serve as an Alliance evangelist. The church's second pastor Victor Freeman began his ministry in November. On December 2, 1957, the new church building, which had been under construction since the fall of 1954, was completed and dedicated. Through the sixties and into the seventies, the church continued its ministry in London. Special services featured such well-known preachers as R.G. LeTourneau, Leonard Ravenhill, and A.W.Tozer. The number of Chinese university students in the congregation grew to such a number that they daughtered the London Chinese Alliance Church in 1975, a church family still in existence, and in fact the church that daughtered the London Mandarin Alliance Church that worships in our present building on Sunday afternoons. In 1975, the Oxford Street congregation purchased eight acres of land on Hutton Road (which was to be renamed Wonderland Road upon the completion of the Guy Lombardo Bridge.) The ground breaking ceremony was held on Sunday, July 10, 1977 and the new building was officially opened on February 4, 1979. Our present pastor, Mike Wilkins, the ninth pastor of the church in thirty-two years, began his ministry here in September, 1984. The building was expanded to its present size in 1988.