In 2009, Rob and Janet Haslam had resigned from a youth pastor position and were contemplating what God would have them do next. A dream to reach people who had given up on church and connect those who were adrift had been a growing passion.
They, together with 5 other couples, began visioning together how to reach those who are not being reached and the concept of Pathway Community Church was developed. After months of meeting and praying together the team decided to put some fleece out for God to show that this was His will. The PCC team needed there to be a denomination willing to take on PCC as one of its plants. Shortly after putting this fleece out the Evangelical Free Church of Canada was contacted and there was an immediate affinity. The Local District Superintendent was so excited that he contacted the Winnipeg Evangelical Free Church and asked them if they would consider being a parent church for Pathway. This was the second fleece. The PCC team wanted there to be a parent church willing to walk with Pathway in its early stages to help guide and launch the church. The Winnipeg E Free committed to the project and a wonderful relationship was born.
The last fleece was approval from the Winkler District Ministerial. Pathway is not a response to what the other churches are doing wrong; it is not a disgruntled group of people trying to start a place to worship based on our preferences. Pathway is a response to God’s call to reach people in the Pembina Valley who have given up on faith and on church. The Pathway team felt it was important that the call to reach out was affirmed at Winkler and District Ministerial as a sign of unity in the Body of Christ. Once again God was faithful and Pathway is now a full member of Winkler and District Ministerial.
The next step now was to envision how Pathway was going to look, so the team began asking questions like: Have you ever felt that there was a community where you could just call your own? A place where you could feel real comfortable in bringing people who have struggled in their faith to? A church community that was relevant to you and your city? Pathway Community Church was envisioned and they began building a community of people radically committed to living and sharing the message of Jesus.
The Pathway team decided to host meetings at the local Smitty’s restaurant with anyone interested in learning more about Pathway and found an overwhelming supportive response. It was then decided that Pathway Community Church would launch on February 14 2010 in the PW Enns Centennial Concert Hall.
Other developments during 2010 which have impacted the present character of PCC include: the development and implementation of Pathway’s preaching; the focus on local mission as a priority, and strategically reaching out into the community.
Pathway’s growth and development have also resulted in the need to develop a strong small group ministry as well as a children’s ministry. The growth of the church has also developed the significant need for a paid pastor. In July of 2010, just five months after Pathway was launched, Rob Haslam was hired ¾ time to pastor and nurture Pathway Community Church.
We are grateful to God for the exciting history of Pathway. More than this, however, we are confident that God has an even greater future in store. As He has so clearly demonstrated, He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph 6:20, NIV).