A vision to plant a church in a new development, then in Ottawa East, formed the seed from which Alta Vista Baptist grew. Nurtured by two years of prayer, it sprang to life on September 13, 1957, with 21 charter members under the Home Mission Board of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. The first shoots were primarily young couples with small children living in the Alta Vista area, drawn from both Westboro and Calvary Baptist Church. Their common bond was a sense of the definite leading of the Lord and enthusiasm to obey His call. They possessed a keen desire to impact their community for Christ, to see lives transformed by God’s redeeming grace. They were eager to step out in faith, believing the Lord would supply everything required to accomplish the task. They shared a willingness to work hard and excitement in what God would do in and through them to translate this vision into reality.
On February 2, 1960, Alta Vista Baptist bought property designated for a church within the new development at our present location, 887 Canterbury Avenue. The next month the church was formally recognized as a member of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. In 1963 Church Enterprises completed major construction of the first phase of our current building. Then a strong team spirit within the congregation promoted great blessing and unity as everyone lent a hand with the finishing details and in announcing our presence in the community. By May 26, Alta Vista had grown to 78 members when we celebrated the laying of the cornerstone, bearing the inscription “To the Glory of God.”
In 1972, a side-shoot from Alta Vista established new roots still further east in Ottawa when 60 people, including a pastor, planted Greenbelt Baptist Church. Seeds have been scattered through members now serving in full-time ministry across Canada; and through generous financial and prayer support of Bible schools, Christian relief agencies and Canadian and foreign missionaries.
From its beginning Alta Vista’s strengths have been: a healthy complement of men, including lay-preachers; a rich, varied music ministry; an emphasis on both evangelistic outreach into the community and on training believers to study and apply God’s Word to their lives; a reliance on God through prayer to guide and bless His people; and a commitment to meet the needs of the whole person so that we might reach our potential in Christ.
Because Alta Vista Baptist reflects the transitory nature of the Ottawa population, welcoming newcomers to our congregation is of prime importance. We provide programs for all ages from children and youth to various adult groups, singles and seniors, including Sunday School classes for all.
Our aim is to maintain enthusiasm for the Lord’s work and faith in God’s ability to multiply our effectiveness beyond mere human effort that His name might be glorified. Our focus remains: spreading the gospel; and guiding believers to spiritual maturity.