Arnold Community Church – Arnold, BC
Arnold Community Church fonds
Dates of Creation
1 mm of textual records, 2 photos, and 1 microfilm reel
The Arnold Community Church (Arnold, BC) traces its roots to a small gathering in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Hamm in 1942. The Hamms were among several new settlers to the community that was then called Perrigo – named after John Joseph Perrigo who originally owned a large piece of land in the area. Mr. Perrigo divided up his property and invited the Mennonites to settle there, viewing them as a hardworking nationality. In these early years, about 20 people – most of whom were children – gathered in the Hamm household to worship and pray. The group was named the Perrigo MB Church and was affiliated with the Yarrow MB Church.
In 1945, the church was renamed Arnold MB Church, after a creek that runs through part of the property. Unfortunately, however, the name change annoyed Mr. Perrigo, who had originally donated the property to the church. As a result, Mr. Perrigo demanded the church pay him $600 for the once-donated land. Despite this setback, the church continued to grow, and, by the beginning of 1948, the Arnold church had 225 members. From that point on, however, membership slowly declined, as many of the young people moved away seeking opportunities outside the community.
It was not long before those who attended the first gatherings at the Hamm household began plans for a church building. Early in 1943, construction of a 30’ x 40’ basement began. Times were hard and getting the money was a challenge. Fortunately, many of the men of the church donated their labor. By July 1944, an additional structure at the east end of the church had to be erected to accommodate the congregation’s rapid growth. Several other construction projects followed, including an upper sanctuary in 1946, a front foyer and two washrooms in 1965, a remodeling of the interior in 1977, and another addition in 1987.
In 1988, Arnold MB Church was renamed to Arnold Community Church, underscoring a desire on the part of the church to reach out into the community, and consequently membership began to rebound in the 1990s.
In 2015, the congregation had 161 members and an average weekly attendance of 220.
Several ministers have served the congregation as leader, including Johann P. Braun (1943–1948), J.J. Klassen (1949–1952), Is. P. Görtzen (1953–1957), Gustav P. Ratzlaff (1958–1965), John J. Rempel (1967), Peter C. Penner (1968–1973), Harry R. Loewen (1974–1979), Wilfred Richert (1980–1983), Syl Dirks (1984–1987), Irvin Penner (1988–1990), Mark Burch (1991–1996), Douglas Braun (1997–2000), Robert Dyck (2002–2017), interim Terrance Froese (2017–2018), Cam Stuart (2018– ).
The language of worship is English. The transition from German occurred in 1967.
Scope and Content
This fonds contains a history of the church, a publication of their 25th anniversary bulletin, membership and family news, minutes from congregational meetings and church council meetings, testimonies of baptismal candidates, Sunday School, Christian endeavor and women’s missionary society information.
- Location: Volume 349.
- Finding aid consists of a file list.
- Formerly classified under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory Volume 349.
- Described by Shauna Hudson summer 2004. Edited by Donovan Giesbrecht September 2, 2004.
- No restrictions on access.
1. History of the Arnold Mennonite Brethren Church. -- [197-?].
Microfilm file list
- Early History. [ca. 1942]. pp 2256–2264.
- Church Membership Register, Baptisms and Marriage Records. 1943–1952, 1952–? pp 2125–2358.
- Congregational Meeting Minutes. Mar 1942–Dec 1947. pp 245–418.
- Congregational Meeting Minutes. Dec 1947–Mar 1954. pp 419–619.
- Congregational Meeting Minutes. Apr 1954–Dec 1959. pp 620–835.
- Congregational Meeting Minutes. Jan 1960–Oct 1967. pp 836–1065.
- Congregational Meeting Minutes. Dec 1967–Oct 1978. pp 1066–1265.
- Testimonies of Baptism Candidates. 1947–1948. pp 1663–1674.
- Church Council Meeting Minutes. Jan 1948–Apr 1957. pp 1266–1356.
- Church Council Meeting Minutes. May 1957–May 1969. pp 1357–1556.
- Church Council Meeting Minutes. Aug 1969–Oct 1978. pp 1557–1662.
- Young People’s Christian Endeavor. 1956–1963. pp 1675–1806.
- Young People’s Christian Endeavor. 1963–1968. pp 1807–1866.
- Tabea Mission Society. Oct 1966–Apr 1972. pp 1867–1900.
- Women’s Mission Fellowship. Oct 1958–Apr 1969. pp 1901–2046.
- Helping Hands Circle. Sep 1972–Apr 1977. pp 2047–2124.