From humble roots as a coffee house ministry to the less fortunate in Calgary's downtown core, The Mustard Seed has grown into a provincial leader, providing innovative solutions to addressing homelessness and poverty in Calgary, Edmonton and Sundre.
In 1973, The Burning Bush Coffeehouse, a gathering place that welcomed Calgary's street people in the basement of the First Baptist Church, opened its doors with the simple vision to be a supportive space providing nourishment for spirit and body. In 1984, the ministry moved into its own building and became The Mustard Seed Street Church.
In 1989, The Mustard Seed made a significant leap, moving from "street church" to a "ministry of the church" to the street people of Calgary. This change was the turning point that laid the groundwork for The Mustard Seed to realize our present growth into an organization that serves the needs of the less fortunate through the provision of basic services, employment and housing programs.
Through God's provision, The Mustard Seed Calgary has continued to grow, adding a Creative Centre facility in 2001 and a 370-bed emergency shelter in 2007.
While The Mustard Seed grew in Calgary, a similar story was taking place a couple hours north in the city of Edmonton. The Mustard Seed Edmonton took root in 1988, inspired by the pioneering street ministry modeled in Calgary and elsewhere and began to address poverty through partnering with the wider community. The Mustard Seed Edmonton has grown to address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of Edmonton's less fortunate through community meals and small groups, as well as advocacy, chaplaincy and outreach.
The Mustard Seed Edmonton joined with The Mustard Seed Calgary in 2008 to form a province-wide organization regarded as a leader in the programming and care for Alberta's less fortunate.
In 2006, The Mustard Seed purchased Mountain Aire Lodge, a camping and retreat destination near Sundre, AB. The Lodge provides a place where clients from Calgary and Edmonton can go to heal from addictions while they gain work experience in an inspiring, natural setting.
As a provincial ministry, we continue to strive to support sustainable change in the lives of those we serve. The Mustard Seed recognizes that the root causes of poverty are complex and diverse, and so we continue to grow and evolve with the needs of the men and women we serve.