In the fall of 1993, God pulled together approximately ten families in Chilliwack, British Columbia. After meeting together for a few months in the basement of a local home, they began three small care groups (meeting in separate homes). From here, they began to focus on building a church made up of care groups that was outreach-oriented, vibrant, and engaged with its community.
Simultaneously, but initially unconnected, the church planting division of the Christian Reformed Church (Home Missions), established various growth and demographic studies of the Fraser Valley region. Arising from these studies came the desire to establish a number of church plants, including the Sardis section of Chilliwack—a prime location due to its growth projection, family make up, and the minimal number of existing churches in the area. Eventually, Home Missions heard of this group of families and after a few informal meetings, a ministry partnership developed and Heartland Fellowship was conceived.
These ten families met regularly for the next several months to discuss the values of their emerging church, pray together, discern their sense of call, train, and form care groups. While the exact wording of the vision statement and ten core values would not officially take shape until later, a church based on the care group model, intent on relationship evangelism, was quickly emerging. As growth continued, the assistance of a volunteer (and later part-time) evangelist was sought out. Once distinct goals had been outlined, care groups solidified, and some training had been done, a regular worship service was finally introduced. The project was roughly two years old.
Since its inception, Heartland Fellowship has gone through all the typical celebrations and struggles of church life, but we continue to focus on living the revolutionary life that Jesus calls us to.