The following abbreviated version of our history is extracted from the 50th anniversary booklet, Celebrating Fifty Years of Grace, October 22, 2006, compiled by Joyce Petznik and Pastor Earl Lewis.
In the Beginning: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (LCC)
In reviewing Lutheranism on the North Shore we think of two synods – The American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). These synods are known today as Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Lutheran Church Canada (LCC)
The Reverend Fred T. Gabert, historian, notes “that a canvass in the spring of 1934 resulted with the first service being held on June, 1934, by Rev. O.A. Schedler, Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Vancouver, BC in the K.P. Hall on 4th Street and Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver, with 26 in attendance.
Temporary services were conducted at Eastview School, North Vancouver. While St. Mark’s was searching for suitable property to relocate, Mount Olivet invited them to conduct their worship at the latter’s new premise. This was accepted and on January 1, 1970, St. Mark’s moved to Mount Olivet.
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church (ELC)
In the 1940’s the American Lutheran Church’s (ALC) presence on the North Shore began with North Shore Lutheran Church at 167 East 6th Street, North Vancouver, BC. The first pastor, Rev. Arne A. Berstad, was installed February 24, 1952 and served until October 9, 1955. After a two-year hiatus, a new mission congregation of the (then) American Lutheran Church was formed. In 1955 the Home Mission Board of the ELC (Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Canadian arm of ALC) made a decision to relocated to the growing subdivision being developed in Westlynn Park. Mount Olivet was established at its present site on Mountain Highway. On February 12, 1956, Rev. L. Tom Nilson held the first worship service.
Federated Parish of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church
From 1970 to 1974, two services were offered in which the ELCIC and the LCC liturgies were used interchangeably. Pastor Jim Voigt of St. Mark’s and Pastor Ron Soine of Mount Olivet conducted services together. In January 1, 1972, Pastor Earl Lewis replaced Pastor Soine when he accepted a call to the United States. Pastor Eifert becomes the second pastor, serving from October 9, 1986 to October 31, 1994. Pastor Randy Faro served as third pastor of the Federated Parish of Mount Olivet beginning May 14, 1995. Pastor Randy served until September 28, 2002.
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church (ELCIC)
During Pastor Randy’s tenure it became apparent that the congregation functioned, for all intents and purposes, as a single congregation. Even though both St. Mark’s and Mount Olivet had their own church Councils, all aspects of worship and common life had become seamless. Responding to this reality, the two congregations voted overwhelmingly to dissolve the Federation Agreement and become the ELCIC parish of Mount Olivet Lutheran effective September 29, 2002.
While waiting for the pastor vacancy to be filled, Rev. Ken Harris and Eva came into our midst at Mount Olivet from October 2002 until February 2003.
Pastor Steve Boros, Lorraine and their children Caitlin age 13 and Andrea age 7, came to Mount Olivet where Pastor Steve was installed February 23, 2003 and served until July 28, 2005.
Once again Pastor Ken Harris and Eva came to Mount Olivet, serving from August 7, 2005 until August 31, 2006.
Pastor Alan Lai and his wife Fanly and their children, Pauline, Matthew and Gloria come to serve at Mount Olivet as of September, 2006. Pastor Alan Lai became a professor at the Laurier Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.
Rev. Katalin Janko was our interim pastor from June 24, 2012 until November 9, 2014.