After a survey of Lutherans in the area, both home based Bible studies and a weekly larger Bible class began in the Collingwood area in 1988. Enough interest was shown to hold our first service at the Leisure Time Club on June 25 1989, led by Rev. Paul Woebbeking of Faith Lutheran Church, Desboro. On July 2, 1989 regular Sunday morning services began at 10:30 am at the Lions Club.

On October 1, 1989 the East District of LCC called Rev. Mark Koehler to serve as missionary at large for the Collingwood area. During the early years much of Collingwood was canvassed by telephone and door to door. The efforts of the little mission was blessed by God, and they were able to hold their first Vacation Bible School at Connaught Public School in the Summer of 1990. A meeting place and office space on Peel Street was rented from the very generous Dr. McGillivray.

Rev. Lee Barnai was called as the mission’s second pastor on September 1, 1996. At this time the mission began work to become a congregation, creating a constitution and name. Christ Our Hope Lutheran Church was accepted as a congregation of Lutheran Church Canada, East District on June 9, 1997. Rev. Barnai was called as the first pastor of the newly formed congregation.

In 1997 a building committee was established to find a new home for the congregation which was quickly outgrowing the existing office space. On April 30, 1998 the current building (formerly a restaruant, grocery store, and motorcycle shop) was purchased, and with the help of Labourers for Christ, architect Eneri Taul, and many volunteers both local and from around Ontario was transformed into the beautiful house of worship we enjoy today. The first service in the new building was held on December 20, 1998, with an official dedication service held on May 16, 1999.

Early members chose Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” to express their faith to the community, and selected an anchor as a reflection both of the history of Collingwood as a shipbuilding community and as a symbol of the steadfast nature of their faith in Christ. To this day a large banner (made by the ladies of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church London) featuring this verse and anchor proudly hangs in the church to remind us of our history, our calling, our mission, and our hope.

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