PAC Neepawa opens its doors


PAC online

Photo by Eoin Devereux. PAC Neepawa pastor Stafford Greer spoke to the congregation at the church’s inaugural service last Sunday. 

By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press

It all began on Sunday morning with a group of new parishioners very unsure of what to expect from PAC Neepawa’s inaugural church service. It would end however, with those same people singing in unison and celebrating the word of God.

After several months of preparations, the Prairie Alliance Church (PAC) hosted its first public service on Oct. 18, in the former Neepawa Funeral Home building.\Just over 80 people attended the event, which featured a band and a live-stream message from the congregation in Portage la Prairie.

PAC Neepawa pastor Stafford Greer said it was very important for them to make a positive first impression with visitors and make them feel at ease with the new surroundings. Greer said they felt as though they accomplished that through their first service.

“When people show up to a new place, they don’t know what to expect from that new environment. Everyone is excited and nervous at the same time. But myself and all the volunteers [with PAC], we had a lot of energy about the day and did what we could to assure those new to PAC that it’s a welcoming place,” said Greer. “After the service was completed, people were saying that it was different from what they were expecting, but that they enjoyed the feeling of being welcomed here.”

The service led by Greer featured a much more modern and interactive feel to spirituality. Videos and quotes from the scriptures were shown on the television screens throughout the main room and a message from PAC Portage lead pastor Nathan Westlake was livestreamed  to Neepawa. Greer said the services will feature a lot of collaborative teachings between the two locations.

“Part of being the one church in two locations is that the communication  will be shared between Neepawa and Portage la Prairie. We had pastor Nathan, who is our lead pastor, do a vision cast to help people in Neepawa to understand what kind of church Prairie Alliance is and who we are. After that, I took the responsibility of teaching. In the future, there will be time where we livestream portions of the service from Portage, while also doing things here as well. It’s a sharing of responsibilities,” said Greer.

The complete purchase and renovation price for PAC Neepawa at its new location was just under $700,000. As of Sunday morning, about $440,000 had been raised in donations to cover the cost. Greer noted that an additional $156,000 was raised on Sunday evening during a Thanksgiving banquet held in Portage la Prairie, cutting the remaining balance down significantly and allowing the church to operate without a heavy debt load.

“It really allows a new congregation, that’s growing here to really find their identity quickly. So it helps expedite us. As a new church, we get to start on the shoulders of an established church, with an established history and vision, which has been extremely helpful,” said Greer.

As for the future of PAC Neepawa, Greer stressed that this will be a place that is open to all people who are curious about spirituality,

“I really hope that people will feel that this is a place where anyone, from any walks of life, regardless of your church background, that you are more than welcome here.”