The History of Elim


Elim Fellowship Canada was established in 1984, as a further outgrowth of its sister organization of Elim Fellowship U.S.A. Elim Fellowship is a Christ Centered, World Wide revival fellowship.

The brief outline of Elim Fellowship’s history, provided below, will help you grasp the unique vision and passion that this local church carries as well.

Elim was born out of a vision and passion for end time revival given by God to Ivan Q. Spencer. In 1924, along with his small congregation, Mr. Spencer established Elim Bible Institute, a school to train and equip believers to pursue God and revival.

In 1931, in order to support their graduating students to foreign missions and pastoring local churches, Elim Bible Institute felt the need to establish an overseeing credentialing body which was named Elim Fellowship. At that time, Ivan Spencer was reluctant to take this step, because he believed that the church was a living thing not an organization. He saw the current state of the church in his day as far inferior to God’s intention. He believed that God’s Word promised a restoration of the New Testament church to a power and glory that exceeded the days of the apostles. He was concerned that the establishment of Elim Fellowship as an organization would at some point in time become the very thing that opposed the freedom of the Spirit they had sacrificed so much to come to know. He had observed that throughout history, great revivals had given way to the machinery of great organizations which then degenerated into institutions that knew little of the revival flame that gave it birth or the Holy Spirit that gave it life. He did not want this to be Elim’s story.

That is why that from Elim’s inception the following values have defined what it means to be an Elim church:

• open fellowship with other churches and believers

• an appetite to participate in revival worldwide

• a freedom for the Holy Spirit to move in worship and spiritual ministry

• a priority on gifts of the Spirit and holiness which lead to deeper teaching on relationship to Christ

• a continual quest for God’s best

• an aversion to human organization

• a keen awareness that a sweeping visitation of the Spirit alone can meet humanity’s need.

This brief summary is taken from the book “Willow in the Wind, the Story of Ivan Q. Spencer”.  It is not dry factual material, but reads like fiction, full of romance, heartache, and victory. Ivan’s life was full of adventure – and God’s hand was in it all.

In that history we find a reflection of our own story and a sense of our calling and destiny. It is a story of the refining process of an earthen vessel designed to carry the precious treasure of the glory of God’s presence. It is not a story that glorifies a person, or pretends that the life of faith is not hard. It is a story about real people, pursuing the presence of God and then taking his love to the nations. We are a part of that story.