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Under La Grand’s leadership the congregation reached out to the local universities and also developed a number of diaconal programmes, including an emergency food service and children’s clothing centre.

The congregation also broadened its ecumenical contacts within the city, through the Halifax-Dartmouth Council of Churches and also through the establishment of the annual “Epiphany Series” in which local ministers of other denominations preached at All Nations during epiphany on the theme “Light to the Nations”.

These meetings took place in adherents’ homes or in the Wiswell Chapel of the YMCA building on South Park Street.

As the size of the church community grew, the attention of the Home Missions Board was drawn to the need for pastoral leadership.

During Gritter’s ministry a number of changes occurred, including holding church school on Sundays and conducting monthly evening services at Joseph Howe Manor (a seniors residence nearby) and, during the summers, in members’ backyards. Gritter had taken a pastoral position elsewhere and the congregation was experiencing decline. However, the process of seeking God’s will led to James La Grand being called to pastor the struggling congregation, beginning November, 1977.

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