In late 60s and early 70s, Keralites came to Canada for educational purposes and for jobs. As the diaspora community continued to grow, the need to have traditional worship services and prayers in their own language became a priority. The people motivated by their faith brought their passion to the newly adopted land and wanted to build a sense of community and wanted to build a church. Mar Thoma Christians were following the path of Father Abraham who built altars for worship wherever he went. Early settlers faced a lot of challenges coping with the climate, culture, food, language, travel, and accommodation. Sheer determination, unfailing faith and the willingness to adapt to new environments made the transition to the chilling northern climate easier.
The first Holy Communion was celebrated on August, 1972 by Rev. Ipe Joseph, who was a visiting clergy from Kerala. Members from different denominations were excited and happy to welcome Reverend Joseph and attend the Holy Communion and Worship Services. This was a very rare opportunity for the Malayalee immigrants, in this part of the world, to attend worship services in their own language.
A majority of Malayalee families from different parts of Alberta eventually moved to Edmonton or Calgary. A few immigrants were attracted to the numerous job opportunities in the oil and gas industries in Fort McMurray and other northern locations. In September 1980, Rev. George Jacob (now Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa) began his doctoral studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He was appointed as the Vicar of the Mar Thoma Group in Alberta for a period from September 1980 to 1982. As the number of Mar Thoma families grew in Edmonton, the then Diocesan Bishop, the late Rt. Rev. Thomas Mar Athanasius, elevated the prayer group to a Mar Thoma Congregation in 1982. George Jacob Achen continued to be the Vicar of the newly elevated congregation till June 1984. His service was a great blessing for the church community in Edmonton, Calgary and Fort McMurray. Although Achen lived in Hamilton, he was the Vicar of all the congregations in Eastern and Western Canada. Achen ‘s dedication and hard work resulted in the establishment of several Mar Thoma churches across Canada.