Saskatoon Chinese Alliance Church (1962 - present)

Augustus Chao, a Hong Kong banker, obeyed God's call to come to Canada, leaving behind his wife and five children. After taking some classes at Canadian Bible College, he began his ministry of opening Chinese Alliance churches. The first church established was in Regina.

Once that church was underway, he broadened his scope. He came to Saskatoon in 1961 and shared his concern for the Chinese in this city at a mid-week prayer meeting at University Drive Alliance Church. Art and Vivian Ford heard him and were impressed with his vision.

His first request was to have a home made available for prayer meetings. The Art Fords offered their home. Soon a pattern developed. Pastor Chao would arrive in Saskatoon on Friday evening and hold a meeting with any Chinese that he could find. Saturday morning he would meet with other interested believers at the Ford home for prayer, then spend the afternoon visiting in Chinese homes. A student, Arthur Louis, usually accompanied him on these weekend ministries.

At first, they held the services in University Drive Alliance with an attendance of about 20 people.

Arthur became the pastor of the church in 1962. He reported in the University Drive Alliance's Annual report that it had been a year of struggles. Their program included Sunday afternoon church services and Sunday School, Wednesday night prayer meetings and Saturday Young People's Bible Study. Margaret Louis held Chinese language school for one hour after school.

A number of people from University Drive Alliance became involved in this ministry. Eli & Mina Rowney joined Art and Vivian Ford and a few others providing various services to this new church. Vivian Ford served as superintendent of the Chinese Sunday School. Art Ford and Eli Rowney were on the Board of Elders of the Chinese Alliance church until 1975.

Maylane Der, her sister Yvonne and brother Kenny were among the attenders at the Sunday School. Maylane accepted Christ and is still involved in the work of the Chinese Alliance.

Louis Quan was the first convert of the Chinese Alliance. Observing Chinese people entering the University Drive Alliance church next to the house he lived in, he became curious and joined them. He heard the Gospel and accepted Christ. He then began attending the Saturday morning prayer meetings. One morning he shyly requested that the group join him in prayer for a wife. Margaret Louis, the pastor's wife, knew a young woman in Hong Kong and later gave her name to Louis. He wrote to this young woman and they corresponded for two years. Esther came to Canada after papers were signed stating that she would marry Louis within a month of her arrival. She stayed with the Fords. Vivian prepared the wedding and Art gave her away. Louis and Esther Quan later moved to Calgary where they were involved in the Chinese Alliance church.

They officially established the Saskatoon Chinese Alliance Church on February 23, 1969. In 1970, Rev. Gabriel Tsang was called to pastor the church.

By 1972, the Chinese Alliance was able to purchase their own building. They bought the original white Alliance Church building, which had been moved to Maple Street. The attendance increased to 50. As the attendance increased to 120, they were able to have the mortgage for the building paid for in two years.

The increase in students attending the services forced the congregation to move to a larger building. By prayer and in faith that God would supply, the church decided to buy the building on 25th Street and Idylwyld Drive. With 90% of the congregation being students, this decision was a large commitment.

In 1978, there were 49 people baptized as university students came to Christ through the outreach work of the church. They then trained them to serve the Lord, so that wherever they went after their university days were finished, they would be prepared. Some of the young people dedicated their lives to full-time ministry and pastors and missionaries.

In 1981, Rev. Tommy So was called to be the pastor. The plan, Miracle '84, had three goals:

1. Begin an English service

2. Add one more pastoral staff

3. Pay off the existing mortgage.


Praise God that all three goals were reached on time.

In March 1986, this church made its facilities available on Sunday afternoons to the Saskatoon Indian Alliance church being started by Ken and Lena Rutherford.

Rev. Wilson Hu followed Rev. So in leading the church. A second staff member, Miss Esther Fehr, Director of Youth and Children Ministries, joined the staff in July 1989 to meet the needs of the English-speaking second generation Chinese youth and children. Rev. Hu wrote in 1989,

"The Saskatoon Chinese Alliance Church is a young church both in history and in congregational composition. Its strength has been the enthusiasm for evangelism, evidenced by the several hundred Asian students who were converted while staying in Saskatoon, and by over 20 former members who are now serving the Lord full time in various parts of the work.

Conscious of its beginnings in the Saskatoon Alliance, the church is assisting another daughter church of Circle Drive. The Saskatoon Indian Alliance holds their services in our building, and receives some financial and prayer support as well."

Rev. Wilson Kaan is the current pastor of the Chinese Alliance Church.

Augustus Chao

Prayer Meeting at Ford's Home

Arthur Louis

Officially organized on February 23, 1969

The white church
was moved to Maple Street and became the home of the Chinese Alliance in 1972

Chinese Alliance Church, 25th St. & Idylwyld, November 1974


Historical Flashbacks were researched and written by Lorraine Willems. Contributors are noted on the related pages. Copyright 2003 and 2013 by copyright holders.