Canada’s first-ever Punjabi church is ready to open its doors in Surrey next month.
The church, which has been operating out of a rented annexe at a Delta church for nearly 20 years, is a multicultural and community-serving church that widely caters to the Lower Mainland’s South- Asian Christian community.
“It is a Christian church, but mostly people from India, Pakistan — different East-Indian people gather,” said Rehan Garstin, one of the pastors. “Normally when you think about a Christian church it is Caucasian (and) mostly services held in English.”
The Punjabi Masihi Church caters to all cultures and ethnic diversities and holds services in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi as well as English. While the congregation of about 300 people has spent the last 19 years at the Delta Pentecostal Church, it was important for the group finally to get a building of its own.
“When we rent we do not have the option to do the services in the morning because they have their services in the morning,” said Garstin.
So after a significant amount of fundraising and volunteer hours, the community started building the church in 2008 and on March 9 its doors will officially open — making it the first of its kind in Canada.
The facility is currently 9,500 square feet.
“There is a large community in Vancouver and Surrey, so people come from Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby and Delta — all those Lower Mainland people,” he said.
The Punjabi Masihi Church will hold its grand opening at 10am on March 9.