Real. It’s not a word we hear much anymore these days. Daily we are bombarded with advertisements and gimmicks for artificial items, surgically enhanced figures, modified foods and imitation things. Isn’t life about something more than that? Isn’t it about something real?
At Woodside, we want to invite you to something refreshingly authentic. Simply put, we are real people, living genuine lives. Not perfect lives, but real ones. Our lives are filled with joys and pains, just like yours. We laugh when you’d laugh. We cry when you’d cry. We celebrate when you’d celebrate. At Woodside we too share the ups and downs of life, but we do it together in community, and we invite you to experience that today.
At Woodside we can relate to where you’re at because many of us are there too. Life is real, and real life is not always easy. As you walk through the ages and stages of life, from child, to youth, to being a college or university student, to an adult, at Woodside our aim is to come alongside you in your journey and provide real, practical encouragement and advice along the way.
Ultimately, being people living real lives, we have come to learn that having God in your life not only makes life bearable, it makes it more enjoyable too. Whether you have had a lifetime of church, it’s your first time, or you’re looking for something new, we welcome you to look around our website, look around our church and introduce yourself. We’d love to get to know you and share about real life with you, over a cup of coffee in our Common Grounds Café, at one of our many events, or at one of our services. We hope to meet you soon.
At Woodside we believe our heritage – where we came from – is an important part of who we are. In the same way God changes you along your personal journey, God has used our journey to shape us and prepare us for today.
In the early 1930’s, a number of people who had recently been saved started to meet in a small house in Hawkesville. This small group faithfully witnessed for their Lord in spite of strong opposition from the community. In 1939, a Gospel Hall was erected in Hawkesville. The Lord prospered their witness and, in 1952, the building was enlarged to seat 200. A larger building in Wallenstein was constructed in 1967 and on November 9, 1969, Wallenstein Bible Chapel was dedicated to the glory of God.
For many years a number of people living in Elmira attended church in Hawkesville and Wallenstein. As this number increased there was interest in starting a similar church in Elmira. After five months of meeting for mid-week prayer and Bible study a number of families formed a new church. The first Sunday service of Elmira Christian Fellowship was held on October 5, 1975, with a congregation of 140 meeting at Riverside School. The new congregation had the full support of Wallenstein Bible Chapel and there continues to be a close relationship between the two churches.
In the summer of 1976 construction of a new building at the corner of Arthur and Whipporwill commenced. It was completed in 1977 and the name of the church was changed to Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Woodside Bible Fellowship is affiliated with the Christian Brethren, or the less desired term, Plymouth Brethren. This movement commenced in England and Ireland in the early 1800’s. In the midst of an emphasis on church hierarchy and tradition, a group of men and women rediscovered the principles of the priesthood of all believers and the final authority of the Scriptures in every aspect of Christian life and practice. Although there are no formal structural ties, we appreciate our association with other local churches and leaders who affirm similar principles.
Ten years after Woodside began, as a result of continued growth, consideration was given to enlarging the building. Discovering that the local Pentecostal Assembly was in need of a larger building, arrangements were made to sell Woodside’s building to them and build at our present location of 200 Barnswallow Drive, on land purchased from the Pentecostal Assembly. This new building was dedicated on October 8, 1989.
Woodside has continued to grow along with the town of Elmira and the surrounding Region of Waterloo. We now hold two services on Sunday mornings with large and very active programs for children and youth. In September 2010, an expansion to the building was completed including a new full-size gymnasium, large foyer, cafe and a youth wing.
Today we worship and serve God with the present in mind, while we celebrate our past.