Historically, the Lutheran church in Nova Scotia began in the mid 1800ʼs as Germanʼs immigrated to Canada. The first Lutheran Church was established in Halifax somewhere between 1750-1752. A German community then developed in Lunenburg and a church was established there.
Although the ELCIC continued to have a presence in Nova Scotia, LCC did not have any representation in Atlantic Canada. During a convention in the 1980ʼs Lutheran Church Canada East District approved motions to begin work on the East coast. The first toehold in Atlantic Canada was with the establishment of a mission in Moncton, New Brunswick followed by the establishment of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Congregation on September 8, 1991.
At the time when the Prozenko family moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia in 1994, there had been no further development of LCC churches in Atlantic Canada and subsequently there were no LCC churches in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.
With the Holy Spirit leading them with a deep desire to continue in their Baptismal faith and the confessional teaching of their faith, the Prozenkos began lay services in their home led by Philip Prozenko. Rev. David Millette, Pastor of Good Shepherd in Moncton, came to encourage this new little church by bringing them the Lordʼs supper once a month. And so the LCC Church began its roots in Nova Scotia.
In the summer of 2001, LCC East District called Pastor David Maffet to serve as a missionary in Nova Scotia. Pastor Maffet’s mission was to gather and serve the scattered LCC members throughout Nova Scotia and to encourage the growth of this new church as the Holy Spirit led them.
After a few years of worship in a rented church, the East District LCC made the decision to purchase a building in order to provide a clear LCC presence in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). During the spring of 2005 a suitable house, located in Dartmouth was purchased. There was considerable work required to convert a house into a church. With the help of members from our sister congregations in Ontario including Redeemer and First Lutheran (Logan) in Monkton, Zion in Dashwood and Good Shepherd in London, the building was transformed into a church. Now called Faith Lutheran Church, the building was dedicated March 26, 2006.
Led by the Holy Spirit, the congregation of Faith carried out the Lord’s work including outreach in the community, VBS for neighbourhood children and weekly bible studies.
During the spring of 2008, Pastor Maffett received and accepted a call from Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada to be their Executive Director. Due to the financial restrictions experienced by East District a new pastor was not called to replace Pastor Maffet. East District, however, continued to provide financial assistance over the next several years.
In the absence of a pastor, lay services were led by several of our members with sermons provided by Pastor Kurt Reinhardt, at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kurtzville,
Ontario. We have also been blessed by visiting Pastors who were able to vacation in the Maritimes, stay at the residence in our Church, which we affectionately call the 'Luther Inn' and provide a Communion Service. We also have had Pastors who specifically traveled to Faith Lutheran to provide pastoral care, especially Pastor Milette, who became our supervising Pastor.
With 15-20 members the little band of Christians press on, as the Holy Spirit leads, to bring the Gospel to all who will come. The church has its challenges because members come from as far away as Greenwood,Wolfville, Truro, etc...... driving over two hours to worship. We often have visitors from all over Canada and the USA that seek us out to worship on Sunday. We are thankful for the many volunteers and financial help, during our struggles, that our brothers and sisters in Christ have given us as we walk by faith that our God is faithful, because He has promised to build and protect His church.
Our church has been blessed with the arrival of Pastor Paul Williams and his family who relocated from Moncton to Halifax in January to take on the role as a reserve chaplain in the Canadian Forces. Pastor Williams has been leading Sunday services since his arrival.
The church has taken a new direction in the past year. Since acquiring our church building we have discovered some serious hurdles. With the blessing of the building we have found that our focus has no longer been Gospel based but rather church building based. Upon discovering some serious flooding problems in the basement of the building the congregation began the long road of renovations and repairs. This has only had negative effects on our body of believers resulting in frustration since the great demand of the work outweighed the volunteers that could help. In short the building required more attention than what the small group of members could give. The location also seemed to be one that was a negative aspect for anyone travelling from the Universities, the downtown Halifax area or for those travelling visitors from away. It simply is not very accessible for anyone who does not own a car.
At the beginning of 2012, the congregation of Faith met with President Zabel and Pastor Gajdos to discuss future plans for Faith. Through our discussions it was decided that the best course of action was to relocate to a rented space in a more central location in downtown Halifax. Following this meeting, the members of Faith voted to accept the recommendation and to relocate.
The other decision that was made during our meeting was to allow Pastor Milette to focus on the needs of his own congregation and to seek another pastor and congregation who would be willing to supervise our church. The members of Faith decided to ask Pastor Teuscher and the members of St. Peter’s in Stratford, Ontario to become our new supervising Pastor. Pastor Teuscher was one of the Pastors who blessed us with a visit while vacationing in the Maritimes and was familiar with our struggles and challenges. Pastor Teuscher and the congregation at St. Peter’s enthusiastically accepted our request for which we are very thankful.
With the almost certain change of location to a small chapel on the campus of Kings college located in the downtown core of Halifax we are hopeful that our focus may return to what God has called us to do which is to preach the Gospel. In this new location, we may worship without the concern of paying for heating, snow removal/grass cutting, maintenance and
renovations. Since we will be located in the heart of the Dalhousie University campus we will be very accessible to students both of Dalhousie University and also Saint Mary’s University, which is close by. We will also be accessible by all forms of transportation.
With such a major change in both our focus and our location it seemed to make sense that we should also start fresh with a new name. Since St. Peters in Stratford graciously accepted to oversee our congregation as our proverbial big brother, we have decided to change our name from Faith to St. Andrews. St. Andrews being the patron saint of Scotland and also the brother to St. Peter was an inspired choice. This name change links us better to the Nova Scotian heritage and to our dear brothers and sisters in Stratford.
As we look forward to this new phase in our church development we first would like to thank the literally hundreds of brothers and sisters in the Lutheran church who have supported us along the way.
Thank you to the guys from Redeemer and Logan in Monkton, Good Shepherd in London and Zion in Dashwood who worked so hard to turn a house into a beautiful church and then to come back several times more to make additional improvements.
Our thanks to our friends who provided beautiful pieces of artwork including a stain glass window from Steven Wolfe and a wood scrollwork carving of the Lord’s prayer from Duncan Anderson.
Thank you to the pastors who traveled to Nova Scotia to help provide pastoral services and the young people who came here to run VBS and to participate in neighbourhood improvement projects.
Thank you to our sister congregations and individuals who have provided financial support over the past 10 years.
Thank you to the Department for Outreach, East District for their support in establishing and maintaining an LCC presence in Nova Scotia.
And a final thank you to Pastor Milette for being our good friend and supervising pastor since the very beginning and to Pastor Williams for being our shepherd.
Even though this is the end of one chapter, it is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter. We look forward to spreading the good news of the Gospel to our fellow Nova Scotians and continue to ask for your prayers and support.
The peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.
Philip Prozenko, Chairman
Faith Lutheran Church, Dartmouth, NS
St. Andrew's is a confessional Lutheran congregation in Halifax, Nova Scotia belonging to Lutheran Church Canada. Rev. M. L. Smith is the serving Pastor.