About Okanagan Falls Community Church

A Brief History

Beginnings are so vital, because in many ways they set the ongoing genetic code of the church. OKFCC was planted for the best of reasons – to spread the gospel. At the very first exploratory meeting called by Pastor Sid Waterman on January 28, 1979, Fred King, who later became the MP of this area, spoke for many in that room of fourteen believers, when he responded to a question. He was asked how his congregation, Kaleden Baptist Church, would respond to having another church start just miles away from theirs. He said that they would welcome such a plant for two reasons. 1) Because the gospel was being spread to another community, and 2) They looked forward to the Christian fellowship they would experience with that new church.

And so, later that spring, the charter members of that new church called Pastor Dan Watts and his wife Sharon to come to OK Falls for that purpose. Pastor Dan led his first service on June 10th in the OK Falls School gym. Many baptisms soon took place in Skaha Lake. As Pastor Dan told the local newspaper, “the person being baptized is declaring to the world that they have turned their backs on sin…and that through Christ’s life in them they will live a new life in ‘victory over sin’.” And in the years since then, that mandate to spread the gospel has been at the heart of this church.

God richly blessed this new work. On March 14, 1981 this community broke ground for the building that has housed this vision ever since. The building was completed and dedicated on November 15th of that years. Rev. Watts served this community until 1984, followed by many other faithful servants including pastors Ron Schindel, Gary Lawrence, Ted Searle, Dave Kelly, Ron Crooker, and Wade Harvey. Pastor Jon Manlove is our present pastor.

But this church has been built on far more than its pastoral leadership. As Baptists, one of our core convictions is the priesthood of all believers. And over the years, it has been ordinary Christians, using the gifts the Spirit has given, to contribute together in the building up of this work. All, for praise of His glory! (see Ephesians 1:12)

A Caring Community Seeking to Emulate Jesus Christ and Make Him Known to Others

Our Lead Pastor

Jon and Barb Manlove have been members of a variety of strong Bible believing evangelical communities where Jon has served as pastor. In a way they’ve come full circle, Jon, having been trained and mentored at a CWBC in New Westminster, BC, and now, after 35 years, serving in that same denominational family here in OK Falls. Along the way Jon has pastored at New Life Community church in Burnaby, BC where he was ordained as a Reformed Church of Canada pastor, at an Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada in Surrey, BC, at an interdenominational mission in Baja Mexico, and now here at OKFCC. And so, Jon and Barb feel very much at home at a community church like this one where the emphasis is not on a particular denomination, but on the unity of all those who have come to the Cross of Jesus to be saved by His amazing grace.

Jon and Barb’s children flew the coop long ago, but they cherish being with their children and grandchildren as often as possible. As for hobbies, Barb loves to read, do crafts, and solve cryptic crosswords. Jon loves reading, choir singing, doing home renovations, and exploring backroads on his motorcycle.