In the summer of 1988, a group of people from both Wallenstein Bible Chapel and Woodside Bible Fellowship met together with an interest of possibly planting a church in the Alma area. Throughout the winter of 1989 this group met to study church principles and evangelism.
On Easter Sunday (March 26, 1989), the first service was held at the Alma Public School. By June, a move was made to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Those facilities were used for seven and a half years. After a major addition had taken place at the Alma School, arrangements were made to use it again for the next three years and ten months.
In November 1992, a property was purchased on Peel Street in Alma. Two specific goals were set – the first, was to reach out to Alma and the surrounding communities, and the second was to raise a certain amount of money for the building fund. The Lord blessed, and by August 1999 the goals were reached. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on October 3, 1999.
Many hours were spent through the winter and spring in construction, and by September of 2000 the building was closed in and the interior work was complete, except for the sanctuary. The first service in the building was held on September 10, 2000.
Since its inception, Alma Bible Church has continued on a steady pattern of growth. We have gone from just a few families in 1989 to a regular attendance now that averages just under 150 people on any given Sunday.
While we exist today as an independent Bible church, functioning autonomously from any denominational office or governing body, we do share in a rich heritage having roots in what is known as the “Plymouth Brethren” movement. Names such as George Muller and John Nelson Darby stand out in the beginnings of the Brethren back in the early 1800’s. In the early days of Alma Bible Church, it fit very much in the mold of the Brethren churches having two services every Sunday morning – one for communion and open sharing and the other for preaching/teaching.
Over the years as we have grown decisions have been made such that we now enjoy one service where everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ has the opportunity to participate in our time of communion while also enjoying a rich time of singing and a time to learn from God’s Word.