It was the 1940's...

Amidst the hectic activity and population explosion related to the construction of the Alaska Highway, a small evangelical movement was started in Whitehorse alongside the military chapels and existing churches. The Gospel Hour led by Rev. and Mrs. S. C. Cronkhite met weekly in the Whitehorse Public Library. The Cronkhites, however, were scheduled to leave in the summer of 1946 and they prayed earnestly for a shepherd for their tiny flock.

Their prayer was answered when Rev. and Mrs. Harold Lee arrived in Whitehorse on May 5, 1946. Although planning to go to Alaska with the Alaska Evangelization Society, the Lees saw the need and decided to locate in Whitehorse. Rev. Lee, a man with boundless energy, held meetings in the local theatre and in the U.S. army chapel before renovating a dilapidated garage and moving it to a rented property on Second Ave. and Steele St. On Sept. 8, 1946 it was dedicated as the Gospel Chapel, replete with a $50 piano and a donated pulpit.

The next year the ‘garage’ was replaced with a more suitable building obtained through Crown Assets. The property was also purchased and on Oct. 5, 1947 that site became known as Whitehorse Gospel Chapel.

Whitehorse Gospel Chapel

On June 7, 1949, Rev. and Mrs. D. Smith arrived to continue the work started by the Lees. The Smiths took up residence in a newly acquired parsonage and spearheaded a plan for outreach to the youth of the community through a summer camping program. In 1953 a suitable spot was located on McClintock Bay of Marsh Lake. The following year Rev. Smith directed two camps with seventeen girls and twelve boys in attendance. Marsh Lake Bible Camp was dedicated in July of 1954.

The original camp on 2.1 acres of leased land consisted of one building (kitchen and dining hall), one cabin and two toilets. Campers and counsellors slept in tents. Eventually the camp would be situated on 6.2 acres of titled land, has six log cabins for campers, staff cabins, and a lodge. The lodge, constructed in 1982, houses the kitchen, dining room and chapel. Staffed by volunteers, the camp can accommodate sixty campers and continues to minister to the children of the Yukon.

Whitehorse Baptist Church

On June 25, 1955, after the congregation of the Whitehorse Gospel Chapel had drafted and approved a constitution, Whitehorse Independent Baptist Church was incorporated. The following year the name was officially changed to Whitehorse Baptist Church. Rev. D. L. Harbridge served as pastor during the transitional period.

On May 21, 1957 plans for a church building to be located at Second Avenue and Rogers Street were presented and approved by the congregation. The new building was dedicated on April 9, 1961 and remains our church home to this present day. Rev. E. Hill was pastor during the building phase and remained until 1969.

Whitehorse Baptist Church was affiliated with the Gospel Missionary Association from 1960 to 1990 and from 1991 to the present is associated with the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada (FEB).

Ministry continued for a couple of decades until it became clear that the church would need new direction to thrive in the future. This prompted a revitalization effort that began in 2012 under Pastor Mark Carrol, continued by Pastor Jeremy Norton in 2014.

Mountainview Church

2015 would become a significant touch-point in the church's history. After a leadership and staff consultation with the FEB President Steve Jones, the evidence was clear that a new vision was necessary to chart a course forward. The Pastor-Elder Team held a spiritual retreat at a cabin on Marsh Lake, to pray and cast a new vision which the Lord provided!

As anticipated, God blessed this new vision! The church was revitalized; leading to salvations, baptisms, new members and new ministry opportunities.

In 2018, the revitalization led to a new name, Mountainview Church. Not long after the name-change, the Pastor-Elder Team released a new mission as well; one that better mirrored the Great Commission that Christ gave all disciples and churches.

During this season of revitalization, we were approached by a couple, Harrison and Kaitlyn Kwok, requesting a sending partnership for a church plant in the downtown core, called the Northern Collective ChurchThe Lord blessed this partnership, launching the church in 2019 as the Yukon's first church plant in decades. The Northern Collective has become a thriving church and a blessing to our city.

In early 2020, like every other church across Canada, the pandemic caused a significant upheaval to ministry. Thankfully, the Spirit had revealed to us the year previous that technology was going to be an important asset to the future of church-life. Although there were many adjustments, we were able to pivot and provide for our church, our community and beyond.

Looking forward, we have a revitalized future, with a Gospel-centred mission and vision to guide us. And we would love for you to join us on this journey! Click here to take your next step with Mountainview Church.