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British Columbia Conference of MB Churches

Proper Title

British Columbia Conference of MB Churches fonds

Dates of Creation

1931–2001

Physical Description

2.15 m of textual records

Administrative History

Mennonites began settling in the Renata area already in 1907. The Mennonites who founded the Mennonite Brethren conference first settled in the Fraser Valley in 1928. They came from the prairies attracted by the milder climate and the availability of land. The Mennonite Brethren families settled in the Yarrow area. In 1931 they organized themselves into three congregations which together formed a conference. The conference was officially incorporated in 1940. In the succeeding years more congregations were formed, most in the Fraser Valley, but some also in the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island.

The conference was involved in many activities. These activities included missions work, education, and service.

The mission work began with a city mission in Vancouver. A girls home was established in the city to accommodate young working women, there to provide income for their rural parents and siblings. This city effort expanded over the years to other regions of the province. This included the work begun in 1938 known as the Randmission, which ministered to the scattered Mennonites in BC. In 1939 the Western Children’s Mission (later West Coast Children’s Mission) began and resulted in new congregations being formed and joining the Conference. Church planting in other urban and rural areas from the 1970s onwards, has also borne results. Included is the effort to reach other ethnic groups, especially the Asian community in the lower mainland.

The conference has been involved since its earliest years in music, youth, Sunday school, and ministers and deacons services. This involvement has often been in the form of conventions and festivals to expose conference members to broader ideas and make contacts from outside the province.

Education was a major involvement of the conference. A society was formed to begin a secondary school which had major Mennonite Brethren involvement. The conference itself began a Bible institute in the 1950s. This school expanded over the years. In the 1970s the school merged with the United Mennonite Conference Bible institute to become a dual conference school called the Columbia Bible Institute. In the 1980s it became the Columbia Bible College offering a degree programme.

The service motif has been strong in the conference. During the 1940 war-years many alternative service assignments were done in the park and forestry sectors of the province. After the war many Mennonite refugees from Europe were resettled in the province. Since the late 1970s the province has also become the new home for refugees with no Mennonite affiliations from many parts of the world .

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of minutes, financial records, constitutions and bylaws, reports, directories, position and study papers, and correspondence which pertains to the founding and development of the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The fonds contains convention minutes (1931–1954), financial records (1946–1976), constitutions and bylaws (1936–[197-?]), reports including annual yearbooks, brochures, tracts, news releases, newsletters, and prayer guides (1931–2001), directories (1940–1971), and correspondence (1937–1979).

Custodial History

Records were transferred to the Centre for MB Studies archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a regular basis.

Notes

  • Volumes 205–207.
  • Finding aid consists of a series description and a file list is available.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the British Columbia Conference of MB Churches inventory BB-100–BB-700.
  • Described by Bert Friesen 8 May 2002, updated by Conrad Stoesz February 23, 2006, March 12, 2013.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language: Some German.

Series Descriptions

I. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention records.
1931–1954, 1981–1990.
10 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of conference convention minutes and reports (1931–1954) and translations of annual conventions reports and minutes (1931–1954, 1981–1990).
  • This series is located in Volume 205, Box 1, files 1–5, 8–10.

II. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention yearbooks and minute books.
1931–2001.
85 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of convention yearbooks (1950–2001), convention minutes and reports translated from German to English (1931–1954), and conference convention minutes and report (in German) (1945–1954).
  • This series is located with the centre’s yearbook collection.

III. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches constitution and bylaws.
1936–[19-?].
5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of the first draft of the act of incorporation (1936), the original bylaws (1938), and constitution and bylaws (1953–[197-?]).
  • This series is located in Volume 205, Box 1, files 11–13.

IV. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee materials.
1940–1975.
22 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of executive committee meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1940–1975).
  • This series is located in Volume 205, Box 1, files 14–18, Volume 206, Box 2, files 1–3.

V. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches relief committee materials.
1937–1958.
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of Provincial Mennonite Relief Committee of British Columbia meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1937–1958).
  • This series is located in Volume 206, Box 2, file 4.

VI. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel materials.
1960–1979.
31 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1960–1979).
  • This series is located in Volume 206, Box 2, file 5–19.

VII. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches ordination materials.
1974–[19-?].
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of correspondence, statement of beliefs, statement of procedures for ordination, ordination examination committee meeting minutes (1974–[19-?]).
  • This series is located in Volume 206, Box 2, file 20.

VIII. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management materials.
1941–1976.
13 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of conference financial statements (1968–1976), minutes, reports, and correspondence (1941–1975). The group was called the Board of Trustees until about 1968 and then the Board of Management thereafter.
  • This series is located Volume 206, Box 2, files 21–32.

IX. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches youth work materials.
1948–1970.
8 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of youth conference materials, youth committee correspondence, and a student directory.
  • This series is located in Volume 206, Box 2, files 33–35.

X. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Sunday School materials.
[194-?]–1970.
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of Sunday School committee meeting minutes and newsletters, Sunday School teachers’ convention minutes and reports.
  • This series is located in Volume 205, Box 1, file 7, Volume 205, Box 2, file 36.

XI. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Bible Institute records.
1969–[197-?].
10 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute Board and executive committee meeting minutes, reports, constitution, and financial statements (1969–1970), Columbia Bible Institute Board and executive committee meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1970–1976).
  • This series is located in Volume 205, Box 1, file 6, Volume 206, Box 2, files 37–45.

XII. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Church Extension materials.
1939–1971.
17 cm of textual records.

  • One of the first mission activities of the BC conference was the home for young female domestics in Vancouver and the Randmission that began in 1938, which ministered to the scattered Mennonites throughout BC. In 1939 Klaas Enns, John I. Wiebe, Peter F. Ewert, A.J. Stobbe began a mission to children known as the Western Children’s Mission with strong ties to the Saskatchewan mission under the same name. In 1942 G.H. Sukkau became chairman of both organizations enhancing the relationship between the Conference mission (Randmission) and the Western Children’s Mission. In 1945 the Randmission and the Western Children’s Mission in BC merged to became a conference agency known as the West Coast Children’s Mission.
  • This series consists of Missionskomitee meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, and financial information (1939–1960), missions board meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1969–1971), and Board of Church extension meeting minutes and financial records (1970–1971). There are missions constitution and policy guidelines ([19—]), and promotional materials (1946–1959).
  • This series is located in Volume 207, Box 3, file 1–8.
  • Related material Reaching the Otherwise Unreached.

XIII. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Constitution Committee materials.
1973–1974.
2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of constitution committee correspondence.
  • This series is located in Volume 207, Box 3, files 9–10.

XIV. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Ministers and Deacons materials.
1945–1973.
2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of minutes, reports, schedules, correspondence, and study papers.
  • This series is located in Volume 207, Box 3, file 11.

XV. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionary outfitting committee materials.
1967–1971.
4 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of missionary outfitting committee correspondence, reports, shipping documents, and a directory.
  • This series is located in Volume 207, Box 3, files 12–13.

XVI. British Columbia Homesteading.
1976.
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of an article in Mennonite Life about Mennonites moving from Saskatchewan to Burns Lake area in 1940–1943.
  • This series is located in Volume 207, Box 3, file 14.

File List

Volume 205, Box 1

  1. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention meeting minutes (1931–1937), act of incorporation (1936), conference bylaws (1938), and certificate of incorporation (1940). – 1931–1940.
  2. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention meeting minutes and reports. – 1938–1944.
  3. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches convention meeting minutes and reports. – 1945–1950.
  4. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches ministers and deacons meeting minutes, convention meeting minutes and reports. – 1951–1954.
  5. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches annual reports. – 1981.
  6. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches annual reports and Columbia Bible Institute/College materials. – 1984–1986.
  7. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Sunday school convention minutes. – 1952.
  8. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches annual reports, keynote address, and brochures. – 1988.
  9. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches annual reports. – 1989.
  10. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches annual reports and brochures. – 1990.
  11. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches act of incorporation, bylaws, certificate of incorporation, constitution and bylaws, with subsequent revisions (1953, 1965, 1972). – 1936–1972.
  12. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches constitution and bylaws. – 1974–[19-?].
  13. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches correspondence concerning incorporation, act of incorporation, Black Creek congregational directory (1940), Alberta and B.C. Sunday school convention reports and minutes (1942), Bethel Girls Home reports and minutes, correspondence concerning pacifism and alternative service, Bible School committee meeting minutes [regarding the founding of a Bible college] (1943). – 1940–[194-?].
  14. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee correspondence and reports, committee for higher education meeting minutes, report on the city mission in Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, Bible school teachers convention proceedings, and MEI committee meeting minutes. – 1944.
  15. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee correspondence and reports, Bethel Girls Home licencing correspondence, position paper on Bible Schools in Canada, resolution on relationship to the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization. – 1945–[194-?].
  16. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee meeting minutes and correspondence. – 1964–1968.
  17. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee meeting minutes. – 1969.
  18. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, joint meeting minutes of the executive committee, Columbia Bible Institute Board, and board of management, joint meeting notes of the executive committee, board of Spiritual and Social concerns and Canadian Conference executive committee, and special convention minutes. – 1970–1975.
  19. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches: Board of Church Extension (BOCE) directory. -- 1991-1992.
  20. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches: "Partnership" newsletter. -- Spring & Fall, 1991.
  21. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches: Church Growth Seminar overview, prepared by the Church Growth Commission (BOCE). -- 1983.

Volume 206, Box 2

  1. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee correspondence, Sunday School reports, and Bible School financial records. – 1946.
  2. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee meeting minutes, correspondence, and Herbert (Sask.) congregational meeting minutes. – 1947.
  3. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches executive committee correspondence, minutes, reports, position papers on missions and education. – 1948–1949.
  4. Provincial Mennonite Relief Committee of British Columbia meeting minutes, reports, and correspondence (1937–1958), British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches missions committee correspondence, resolution of land transfer, guidelines for wedding celebrations, and ministers and deacons meeting minutes. – 1937–1959.
  5. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Fürsorgekomitee meeting minutes and report. – 1960.
  6. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Fürsorgekomitee meeting and Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports. – 1961.
  7. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, correspondence, and reports. – 1962.
  8. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Study Commission meeting minutes and Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes. – 1963.
  9. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, financial statement, and reports. – 1968.
  10. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches position paper on deacons, correspondence, financial statements, joint meeting minutes of Board of Reference and Counsel, Church Planning Board, and the MB Mission of B.C. board, Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports. – 1969.
  11. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, financial statements, reports on the amalgamation of MBBI and BBI, draft and revised constitution documents, Home Missions Board and Board of Church Extension reports. – 1970.
  12. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, financial statements, Board of Church Extension reports and financial statements, and a study paper on the charismatic movement. – 1971.
  13. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, revised conference constitution and bylaws. – 1972.
  14. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, financial statements, ordination examination committee meeting minutes, revised conference constitution and bylaws, financial statements, job description of the executive secretary, guidelines for church building construction, position paper on Christian ethics, and Board of Management meeting minutes. – 1973.
  15. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, review of merger of working together at Columbia Bible Institute, financial statements, report on revisions to the conference constitution and bylaws, Board of Management meeting minutes. – 1974.
  16. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, financial statements, revised joint conference agreement to operate Columbia Bible Institute, Board of Management meeting minutes. – 1975.
  17. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes, reports, financial statements, Board of Management meeting minutes, Ministers and Deacons committee meeting minutes, Board of Church Extension policies on establishing new churches. – 1976.
  18. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, financial statements, correspondence, draft of renewed working agreement for Columbia Bible Institute, revised job description of Board of Church Extension executive director. – 1977.
  19. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Reference and Counsel meeting minutes and reports, correspondence, financial statements. – 1978–1979.
  20. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches correspondence, statement of beliefs, statement of procedures for ordination, ordination examination committee meeting minutes. – 1974–[19-?].
  21. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Trustees report. – [1968].
  22. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management correspondence and reports. – 1941–1964.
  23. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management meeting minutes, reports, and financial statements. – 1973–1975.
  24. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements. – 1968.
  25. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements. – 1969.
  26. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements and reports. – 1970.
  27. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements and reports. – 1971.
  28. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements and reports. – 1972.
  29. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements. – 1973.
  30. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements. – 1974.
  31. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements. – 1975.
  32. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Management financial statements and budget. – 1976.
  33. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Youth Committee leadership training curriculum. – 1960; Stewardship and Tithing, prepared by the Young People. - [19??].
  34. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches youth programme (1948) and post-secondary student directory (1970). – 1948–1970.
  35. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches youth committee correspondence and leadership conference programme. – 1954–1970, Couples Retreat. - 1959.
  36. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Sunday School committee meeting minutes and newsletters, Sunday School teachers’ convention minutes and reports. – [194-?]–1970.
  37. Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute Board meeting minutes, Board executive meeting minutes, reports, and financial statement. – 1969.
  38. Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute Board meeting minutes, joint meeting minutes of board, Christian education directors, and faculty. – 1970.
  39. Columbia Bible Institute joint Board and faculty meeting minutes, Board executive committee meeting minutes, Board meeting minutes, reports. – 1971.
  40. Columbia Bible Institute Board executive committee meeting minutes, Board meeting minutes, reports, correspondence. – 1972.
  41. Columbia Bible Institute Board meeting minutes, executive committee meeting minutes, joint meeting minutes of Board, Board of Management, and executive committee. – 1973.
  42. Columbia Bible Institute Board meeting minutes and statement of faith. – 1974.
  43. Columbia Bible Institute Board meeting minutes and third year programme proposal. – 1975.
  44. Columbia Bible Institute Board meeting minutes, duties of board summary, reports, rationale for offering a three-year degree programme, reports. – 1976.
  45. Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute constitution. – [196-?].

Volume 207, Box 3

  1. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionskomitee meeting minutes, reports. – 1939–1947. – Note: includes minutes relating to the West Coast Children’s Mission, Randmission, and Western Children’s Mission.
  2. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionskomitee meeting minutes and correspondence. – 1948–1953.
  3. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionskomitee meeting minutes, mission policies, missions prayer guide (1959), correspondence, balance sheet and financial statement (1957), and reports. – 1954–1960.
  4. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches joint meeting minutes of missions board executive committee, church planning board, and the conference moderator. – 1969.
  5. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches mission board meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, news release, board of church extension meeting minutes, guidelines for Board of church extension executive secretary, financial statement, joint meeting minutes of board of church extension and pastors. – 1970–1971.
  6. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches missions constitution and policy guidelines. – [19-].
  7. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches missions committee correspondence, brochures, prayer guide (1959), prayer reminder (1965), Traktatmission of the Canadian conference constitution, Peter Penner’s book: Reaching the Otherwise Unreached (1959). – 1946–1969.
  8. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches radio sermons. – 1962, 1963.
  9. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches constitution committee correspondence. – 1974.
  10. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches constitution committee correspondence. – 1973.
  11. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches ministers and deacons meeting minutes, reports, schedules, correspondence, study papers. – 1945–1973. Statement of the Ministers of the M.B. Conference of B.C. Concerning the Tongues Movement.
  12. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionary outfitting committee correspondence, reports, shipping documents. – 1967–1968.
  13. British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Missionary outfitting committee correspondence, reports, shipping documents, pastors directory. – 1968–1971.
  14. Article by T. P. Devlin in Mennonite Life, Homesteading in Northern British Columbia, Dec. 1976, describing Mennonites moving from Saskatchewan to Burns Lake area in 1940–1943. – 1976.
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