Worship By The Lake: A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness – A Reflection by Pastor Kevin Klassen

I first came to Whyte Ridge Baptist Church 21 years ago.  Not really because I wanted to.  And certainly not because I was very interested in finding a church home.  I recall that I visited this church reluctantly, coming here together with someone who had other friends who attended here.  And then I basically never left.

WRBC very quickly became my church family and, ever since then, God has used my time at this church to change my life in some very significant ways.  First of all, it is here that I met my beautiful wife (on the worship team, no less).  And it is also here that I have found and enjoyed many life-giving friendships.  And even deeper than that, God has used the teachings, the relationships, the joys, the challenges and the experiences that I have had in the context of this church family to change me on the inside.  He has used my time in this church to mercifully convict me and lovingly shape me, teaching me about His Word, His grace and His sufficiency.

And in recent years, God has granted me the profound joy of serving as a pastor of worship and care – ministering within the very family that has loved me and walked with me throughout almost all of my adult life.  God is so very, very good!

Because of this history, there are plenty of personal stories that I could tell about God’s faithfulness to us and through us as a church family.  And I know that there are many others who could do the same, whether they have attended for a long time or a short time.

And this coming weekend, September 10th and 11th, we are going to be gathering at our church property on McGillivray Boulevard to Celebrate the Faithfulness of God!  It will be a fun weekend of worship, fellowship and prayer – remembering the stories of God’s faithfulness in the past and asking and thanking Him for His continued faithfulness in the future.

We will be especially be remembering the gift and the purpose of the land that God has given us on McGillivray.  In fact, this weekend will serve as a celebratory kickoff to a Capital Funds Campaign that we expect will move us forward toward the construction of a new church building that God will use to continue to faithfully build His kingdom in and through us.

Worship By The Lake:

On Saturday evening at 7 pm, we’ll have an outdoor celebration that will include much praise and prayer as well as stories that celebrate the Lord and His loving kindness.   Following that will be a bonfire and fireworks.  A few of us are also camping there overnight and you’re welcome to join us (and there are portapotties there, in case that’s a deal-breaker).


Sunday morning we’ll continue our celebration with an outdoor worship service at 10 am, followed by a BBQ lunch.


Everyone is welcome!!!  Bring your friends, bring your lawn chairs, bring your mosquito repellent and bring hearts that are ready to worship the Lord.   Prepare your own heart by reflecting upon your own story of how you have seen God’s faithfulness to you and to this church family.  And let us come before Him with thanksgiving and also with anticipation of how He may use this land and building in the discipleship, worship and witness of His church.

For just as we each have personal stories to tell of God’s work in and around us during our time at WRBC, I believe His faithfulness is most greatly reflected in the way that He chooses to include us in the Great Story that He is writing in the building of His Kingdom for His glory.  God is so very, very good!

– Written by Pastor Kevin Klassen, Associate Pastor – Worship and Care


Worship By The Lake

January 2016 General Meeting Report

On Sunday evening, January 31st, we gathered together to review our year-end reports and celebrate what God has done with and through us.  Our Moderator opened the meeting with Lamentations 3:21-22, ”This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end…”  The meeting was about ‘calling to mind’ what had happened and been achieved over the past year, showing how God had been at work in the lives of our people and acknowledging how we had honoured Him in our love and service.

After the minutes of the November meeting were accepted, we rejoiced in accepting Susan and George Shallcross and Jennifer and Sean Major into membership at WRBC.  Then it was on to the reports from the Senior Pastor, Moderator, Associate Pastors, The Wave, and Children’s Ministries which were presented, discussed and accepted.  Dave Barton, the Chair of Finance, then presented the Financial Report and advised the meeting that the yearend numbers had changed slightly from what was published in the Annual Report in the amount of about $1,500.  Dave led us through the results of our General Fund, Benevolent Fund, Capital Fund and Missions Trip Fund to the result that we had missed meeting our overall disbursements by only $1,847.  Dave then went on to issue a challenge to us as follows:

“That we will continue to meet the requirements of our General Fund (and Missions Trips and Benevolent Funds) as we enter into our Capital Funds Campaign.”

Please note that the corrected financial reports have been updated in the Annual Report 2015 final.

After the Financial Report was accepted, the Church Clerk’s Report was presented showing our present membership at 183 and this was accepted.  (187 with the four additions from this meeting.)

Having looked back and reviewed this past year, we changed our focus to what lies ahead.  David Wynne reviewed our attendance numbers for the past four (4) years and updated the meeting on the Board Retreat from November and how the Board has been looking at our attendance with a view towards growth.  The Board has been looking at many options including replacing the pews with chairs, moving Children’s Ministries to the first service to make more room in the second service, parking at the Dairy Queen and other potential options to open up more room in the second service.  There was excellent participation and discussion from the floor as we considered these options and these questions will be taken out to the rest of our congregation.  Our hope is that our people will share their thoughts and even volunteer to shift their attendance to the first service for the next couple of years to open up space and parking in the second service for new comers.  Throughout this discussion it was wonderful to note the interest, openness and support for new ideas aimed at growing our outreach, worship and service to God.

From the focus on growth, we started to look ahead at what is happening with our plans for building.  The plans have been posted for a few weeks now and the Building Committee has received many questions and good feedback.  The attendees were informed of the importance of asking questions now while changes can be made because once the plans are drawn, it becomes prohibitively expensive to make changes.  The Moderator then updated everyone on Azhar Laldin’s role as Project Manager to draft the plan and steps of each committee and the Board in order to plan the timeline and ensure that each step is successfully completed and the appropriate responsibilities are set and signoffs received.

Finally, we moved to the most important part of the evening – prayer.  The Moderator commented of the different methods available to request prayer and of the encouragement received when emails are received saying “I prayed for you.”  The chairs of the three committees were then called to the front along with the pastoral staff and we prayed over them asking for the Lord’s guidance, directions, strength and blessings while they continue to move us through the building process.  The meeting was then turned over to Tim Hague, The Chair of the Prayer Committee, as he led us through a time of group prayer.  Tim also commended the people on being so open and receptive of the discussion on potential changes to our current services etc.  Tim then closed the prayer time by leading us all in our Guiding Prayer.

The Moderator then asked if there was any business from the floor and, hearing none, entertained a motion to adjourn.

David Wynne


Download: Annual Report 2015 final

The story of how God provided the McGillivray property

by David Wynne – Church Moderator

I have been asked to share the story of how Whyte Ridge Baptist acquired the McGillivray property. Many of you, maybe even most of you, do not know the story behind how we acquired the land. I believe God provided the property so we can continue with and grow our present ministry.

Let me share with you the way God provided this amazing gift.

Facilities Planning Committee Formed

In 2002 our church was fairly full (not as full or busy as it is today, but still fairly full.) We put together a Facilities Planning Committee to look at our options. The committee was made up of Ralph Dyck, Milton Kelm, Eric Bergmann, and Al Donald. They conducted a survey very similar to what we did in 2013, and interestingly enough, with many of the same results and conclusions. The major outcome was to find land that would allow us to grow and increase and expand our ministries. The desire was to stay close to this locale because we had built up a very strong presence and relationship within Whyte Ridge.

Search for Land

So the search started. They estimated we would need about 10 acres for a building and to provide all the required parking. There weren’t a lot of options in order to stay close and the cost was going to be fairly high. If you drive out to the corner of Columbia and McGillivray you will see a new Roman Catholic church built on the south-west corner. The Facilities Planning Committee started looking at the land immediately west of there and extending almost all the way to the railway tracks.

God Provided

Original parcel of land considered for purchase

The committee discovered there were 16 different parcels of land owned by 16 different groups or individuals. It became quite the challenge to try and pull these parcels together. Some of the people, including a couple who attended our church, lived in houses on the land. They were reluctant to leave their home of many years. Others were speculating on the land and were willing to sell, but at inflated prices. Some were owned by developers to build homes. They were not that interested in selling to a church. The negotiations were complex, very time consuming and looked like they were going to be quite expensive.

A God Moment

Almost 2 years later, in 2004, Ralph Dyck, Chair of the Facilities Planning Committee, was walking across the package of land. He was trying to decide how they might move forward because things had bogged down. He wasn’t sure they were going to be able to accomplish the task. As he stood there pondering, he was looking across McGillivray at the Lafarge Cement office building. Ralph had a thought, or maybe, guidance from the Lord. He walked across the road, into the office, and asked if the manager was in. It was unusual for the manager to be in because he travelled a lot. This day, however, he had a few moments to talk to Ralph. When Ralph sat down with Ken Ross, he asked if perhaps Lafarge was thinking of selling any of their property. Ken was surprised and asked Ralph how he knew they were considering selling off some land. Ralph replied, “Because you just told me!

A new relationship was started. Notice I didn’t say negotiations. Ralph cultivated a friendship with Ken. They started looking at how things could be worked out. Not everything was straightforward. Lafarge employees had started the FortWhyte Alive Centre, now called Fort Whyte Alive. Lafarge still had an attachment to Fort Whyte and wanted to protect the Centre from anyone who would be on adjacent property. The negotiations were three way – Lafarge, ourselves, and making sure Fort Whyte Centre was happy with the terms of sale. This led us to another relationship wherein we agreed not to build a multilevel building that would detract from their nature setting. It also involved putting into the registration of the property that it could only be used for church use. That was our suggestion, not theirs. It was aimed at continuing to build the relationship.

God Provided

As the negotiations were close to being finalized, Ken received a call from his head office. They wanted the new Lafarge office to be located on McGillivray. That meant an end to the sale of the property. However, as the team sat with Ken to discuss this latest development, Ken was called away to the phone. The head office had changed their mind and the sale could proceed. Was this God’s will intervening once again?

How God Provided

Parcel of land purchased from Lafarge

Lafarge agreed to sell us the land for around $52,500 per acre – well below the going market rate. Then, as we went through all the checks and balances on transferring the property, it was discovered there were a large number of kiln bricks from old ovens spread over the property. Lafarge immediately took responsibility. They brought in crews, at a fairly significant expense, to clean up and remove the bricks before the sale was finalized. When the sale was finally settled, we were hit with another ugly surprise. The City of Winnipeg required a development tax on the transfer of title in the amount of $164,000. This was not something we had foreseen and was quite a shock. But our friends at Lafarge stepped forward once again. They contributed $75,000 towards the tax bill and the sale went through.

There were many other little things that happened but I’ve tried to give you the highlights of what transpired. Through all this, as one thing after another fell into place, I saw the Lord’s hand in it. He directed the Facilities Planning Committee. He seemed to work on the hearts and minds of those we dealt with in pulling everything together. This is why I believe God gave us this land and that we need to use it to His honour and glory.

An addendum to this story is that the “church use only” designation is the main reason for our tax adjustment to reduce our taxes.

Land is Purchased

Overall, we purchased 14 acres of land. However, the first 100 feet of property off of McGillivray Blvd. cannot be used by us. The City of Winnipeg has a variance on it for the twinning of McGillivray at some time in the future. This will reduce the usable portion of the land by 2.3 acres. We will have 11.7 acres for development.

Cost of the Land

Property$ 710,000.00
GST$ 49,700.00
GST Refund$ (24,850.00)

Sub Total

$ 734,850.00
City Development Fee$ 164,430.00
GST$ 11,510.10
GST Refund$ (5,755.05)

Sub Total

$ 170,185.05


$ 905,035.05
Lafarge Donation $ (75,000.00)


   $ 830,035.05
Cost per acre$ 59,288.22

 Through the generosity and faith of our people, the land was paid off within two years.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  — Ephesians 3:20–21, NIV

For a history of Whyte Ridge Baptist Church, go here.

For a graphical representation of White Ridge Baptist’s history, check out our Timeline.

Past, Present, Future


Past Present Future

WRBC began in 1961 as Grant Park Baptist Church at the corner of Grant Ave. and Wilton St. After 25 years we were looking at expanding that location when we received an offer on our land and building that encouraged us to move to our current location in 1988. Now, 25 years later, we find that it is necessary to consider a move once again. But let me tell you a bit about us first.

WRBC is firmly committed to the community around us. Right from when we moved into Whyte Ridge, we have run community carnivals with the community, hosted the community volunteers for barbeques, cleaned up the school yards and even painted the fence around the hockey rink at the community centre. We have worked closely with the schools in the neighbourhood even hosting school events in our church. And recently, the elementary school approached us and asked for our assistance in providing a form of daycare for the parents of children in the school. The result was the startup of the Before and After School program within the church five days a week. WRBC is also the home of the Somang Presbyterian Church, a Korean church within our church.

For regular activities, we have two worships services each Sunday morning, special groups or activities for all age groups, discipleship, leadership and growth programs, and loads of service opportunities. WRBC is service oriented both at home and abroad with ministry outreach to India, Bolivia as well as Garden Hills First Nation here in Manitoba. And service means involvement as we send our people to these locations for short periods of time to both assist the people in those locations but also teach and give experience to our own people. So with all that going on, our biggest challenge is finding the space in our current facilities to continue to grow.

10 years ago, the Lord blessed us with 14 acres of land on McGillivray Blvd. just east of Fort Whyte Alive. We are currently in the process of setting our plans to start the process of building a new facility that will give us the space and resources we require to continue our growth and service to God and our community. We are just in the process of setting up three committees, Prayer, Capital Funds and Building.David Wynne - Moderator Of the three, the Prayer Team is the most important to ensure that we are communicating and listening to God and following His will.

Looking for a place to serve and become part of a vibrant body of believers? Join us and let’s serve Him together.

David Wynne – Moderator

Listen to the Past, Present, Future presentation made to the congregation at Whyte Ridge Baptist on June 23, 2013