“The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”
The first pastor of CHORAC was Suffragan Bishop Edgar C. Wilson, D.D. He was baptized in the Name of Jesus on January 23, 1953; received the baptism of the Holy Ghost on August 7, 1960, and was ordained an Elder in August 1988. He received his Doctorate of Divinity in July 1996. His wife, Evangelist Dr. Nola Wilson, and their children helped in the establishment of this ministry. Pastor Wilson’s vision for this congregation was to realize the vision of becoming “the Church in the heart of the city, with the people of this city in its heart”, through its ministries, programs and activities. In December of 2012, Suffragan Bishop Wilson retired from pastoral ministry leaving a great legacy.
The CornerStone House of Refuge Apostolic Church (CHORAC) held its first service in Ottawa on April 19th, 1992 in rented facilities at Cahill Community Centre.
The Saints who left their previous place of worship, came together and began seeking the Lord for direction. In a short time, the gathering of the Saints took place at Cahill Community Centre during the week. However, on the weekends, there was difficulty finding a suitable place to worship.
The rapid growth of saints forced them to seek more suitable accommodations and the Lord led them to hold prayer meetings in the community centre on Shillington Ave and the membership continued to grow. The Saints were not only coming in ones and twos but groups of four and six. They now realized that the Lord wanted them to establish a church for His Name sake. Caution was taken not to invite any members from the existing churches, but folks came anyway. Elder Edgar Wilson who was pastoring in Montreal, Quebec, but felt the leading of the Lord to return to Ottawa, provided the leadership for the group. Some meetings were also held on Tuesday nights in the basement of the Wilson’s family home. After seeking God for direction, together they decided to officially launch the ministry we are now a part of.
With the Lord on our side, City View United church agreed to allow us to rent their building on Sundays and Friday nights. Our meetings were well attended and if you were late coming to the Young People’s meeting you could find yourself outside the area used for this service. The Pastor and Assistant Pastor City View United church were very supportive. They allowed us to use the building for more than what we had asked and included our church membership in their system for the provision of “Christmas Hampers through the Christmas Exchange.
In 1992, CornerStone House of Refuge was granted a Federal Charter to have religious services and a Christian School. Three years later (1995) with just two students, CornerStone Academy of Biblical Studies was launched. This contributed greatly to our success.
After worshipping at City View for three years, God opened the way for us to acquire the building that we now worship in, which was formerly the Elmdale Theatre. Our departure from City View United Church was very sad, but God wrought a miracle for us to purchase this property at 1194 – 1196 Wellington Street West, Ottawa. By the grace of God and the cooperation of the saints (some from other denominations), we were able to make the changes necessary to convert two theaters into a beautiful sanctuary dedicated to the worship of God on Sept. 9, 1994.
How we were able to raise an almost impossible mortgage is a story for another day! Suffice it to say: IT WAS GOD AGAIN TO OUR RESCUE! So here we are, still worshipping a God who never fails!!! What challenges will we face in the future? We do not know, but this we are sure of “HE DID NOT BRING US HERE TO LEAVE US!”
In December 2012, CHORAC’s leadership made a transition. Bishop Wilson retired and Elder Desmond A. Hutchinson was elected to the position as Pastor. District Elder Desmond Hutchinson and his wife Andrea, continues to lead the family of CHORAC. They believe with Jesus Christ leadingus, our purpose to bring glory to God will be accomplished through the establishment of Christian ministry that empowers individuals by emphasizing the development of body, soul and spirit. The preparedness of each member will enable the empowerment of our community by sharing with them the Word of God.
CHORAC continues to grow from strength to strength and with the help of God will continue to fulfill the mission to which we are called: “THE CHURCH IN THE HEART OF THE CITY, WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY IN OUR HEARTS.”
Contact us today to find out more about our church, our services, and how you can get involved.