First Alliance Church (FAC) was started as a church plant of the Rocky Mountain District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in the fall of 1967. There have been five senior pastors in FAC’s 33-year history: William Siewert (1967-1970), Harvey Town (1970-1977), Leon Jensen (1977-79), Steve Gunderson (1979-1986), and John Reese (1986-present).
A major remodel and expansion of the original facility was completed in 1995. This expansion doubled the size of the building, enlarging the sanctuary, and adding much needed classrooms and offices. In 2003, we secured the adjacent property on 10th Avenue South, allowing for the possibility of future expansion, providing a yard for activities, and ensuring our visibility on that main thoroughfare in town.
In recent years, we have implemented three major initiatives to expand our influence in Great Falls and beyond. In 2003, we began reaching out to married couples in our community through the Marriage Encounter Ministry. Since that first Encounter weekend, we have ministered to over 250 couples from Great Falls and other communities throughout Montana and surrounding states. We also were instrumental in expanding this ministry to Missoula Alliance Church beginning in 2008.
In 2006, one of our life groups piloted the DivorceCare support group seminar. We have currently served over 150 people in our community hurting from the pain of separation and divorce. Since we began offering this seminar, several other churches in our area also started DivorceCare groups.
To extend our influence beyond our borders, we began a partnership (along with other churches in our district) with Envision Wired in San Salvador, El Salvador. We partner with the missionaries there to lead children and youth ministries, including vacation Bible schools, and to assist with needed building projects. We have also maintained a partnership with a church in Cebu, Philippines and have sent a couple of teams there to assist the church with outreach. We hope to pursue additional partnerships in the near future..