By Lloyd Stickland
The Clearwater Christian Church building has changed ownership after it was bought by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on March 1, 2019 with the former group now operating in the old Star Lake Elementary School at 1010 School Road.
The building that’s been taken over by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 11 Lodge Dr., has a long history in Clearwater, having been built by Howard Dillon in the summer of 1964 after he bought the property from Reg Small.
The Howard Dillon family moved to the Clearwater area about 1961 to assist retired ministers Frank and Olive James with their little church group in east Blackpool and with the little Sunday school that Alice Moilliet had in Vavenby.
They also started Dunn Lake Bible Camp and had college students come to assist with vacation bible schools and camp. Don and Carolyn Albert moved to town in 1963 to start holding services in Clearwater.
The students helped with construction of the simple wood frame and plywood building of the church on Lodge Drive.
The inside remained unfurnished for several years with the rough plywood walls and no inside steps to the basement. There was also no plumbing in the building, just an outhouse for those who needed to use it. A few years later one young lady wanted to be married there and the families paid for wood paneling and the platform was constructed.
A few years after that the basement was finished and one bathroom was finally added. The open floor in the basement had a dividing wall and an oil furnace had replaced the wood heater upstairs several years earlier, so a furnace room was added as well. Inside steps were also installed, which was a huge improvement to the building.
There were several work bees over the next few years and eventually drywall was put on the walls of upstairs and down. Two more bathrooms were constructed and Jan Westendorp built cupboards for kitchen and bathrooms in about 2003.
Proper siding with insulation was added when the opportunity arose to get siding from Alberta after it was removed from a larger church building. Insurance had paid to replace it after a hail storm then new better quality windows replaced the old ones.
A ramp was needed for older folks and a wooden one would have been very long and not practical. While pastor Lloyd Strickland, who is now retired, and his wife Jean were away, the fellows decided the current ramp was the way to go, needing no building permits, just landscaping. Jack Patterson built a beautiful arbor that lasted quite a few years and it sat at the top of the ramp. There was a good roof over the landing, which worked fine until the snow load took it down.
Lots of folks have good memories of the building, of fellowship, of many hours donating time and money to improve it.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church will be holding a re-dedication service for the building on June 15.