How it all Began
In 1988, through the Presbytery of Kamloops, a survey was done by the Revs. David Webber and Robert Garvin to look at the needs and viability for ministry in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. Both ministers had had a vision to see rural and remote people reached with the gospel of Christ and to have the opportunity to worship in their communities.
After the survey was done, David and Robert presented the vision to reach out to these people with a model of house churches. Others took hold of the vision. The Presbytery of Kamloops and then the Synod of British Columbia supported the vision. When the national church was approached they also supported the vision but could not extend that support to the finances needed to make the vision a reality.
A year after the original proposal was presented, the Synod of British Columbia took up the challenge. Through the gifts of the people and the churches of British Columbia, David and Linda Webber were able to move to Lac La Hache and establish the first house church in their own home. They spent many hours driving through the back roads of the Cariboo-Chilcotin meeting people and seeking out interest for the building of the church in the area.
Five years later, there were 7 established house churches meeting throughout the week with more ready to begin. During those early years a body of elders (the Session) was built up. Initially, the elders were ‘borrowed’ from other congregations. Then as the ministry grew, elders were chosen from within the new congregation. At that point the congregation felt that it was time to expand the work by calling another full-time missionary to share the ministry responsibilties with David Webber.
In September 1994 Jon Wyminga and Shannon Bell-Wyminga were called as a team to fill one position between the two of them. Jon and Shannon settled in Williams Lake in the centre of the region. This enabled the team to begin establishing more ministry points and the number quickly doubled during those first 2 years. After 6 years in Williams Lake, Jon and Shannon felt God’s call to move to the village of Nazko, 3 hours North East to focus more on the growing Native ministry there. In 2017 we mark 28 years of mission through the Cariboo Presbyterian Church. Over the whole 28 years of the life of the congregation, there have been up to 30 different ministry points with up to 18 operating at any given time.