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Cariboo Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church – Williams Lake, BC

Proper Title

Cariboo Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1963–1985

Physical Description

0.5 cm of textual records

Administrative History

Cariboo Bethel Church, located in Williams Lake, BC, began in 1963. A group of about 30 people decided to ask the Mennonite Brethren Home Missions Board to accept them into their program. In February of that year, they began conducting Sunday services in a rented hall under the leadership of Neil Isaac. The need for a senior pastor, however, was keenly felt, and thus, by 1965 the congregation had welcomed Paul Unger to the position. The church remained a mission church until 1970 when it became self-supporting with a membership of 35. By 1979, 143 members had joined the church and by 1981, 160 members had been baptized. It was also in 1981 that the church began to hold two Sunday services to help meet the needs of its members.

The church began its first building project in 1966. Ground breaking ceremonies took place in April of 1966, construction began in June, and the building was complete by August of 1967. By 1974 the congregation’s construction debt was paid off, and plans for an expansion began. The expansion project commenced in April and ended in November of 1975, with the dedication service held on November 9 of that same year. Only seven years latter, the sanctuary was gutted by fire (March 3, 1982), and completely destroyed; arson was the probable cause. In response, many groups offered their facilities for use, and soon the Seventh-Day Adventist Church was selected as a temporary home. The congregation met there until April 1983, when a new facility seating up to 650 people was completed. In addition to the large sanctuary, the new church building had spacious banquet facilities, and improved Christian Education facilities.

Cariboo Bethel has experienced the leadership of numerous pastors. Paul Unger served until 1972. The following pastors served in subsequent years: John Balzer (1973–1984), Alex Campbell (1985–1991), Michael Young (1993–2001), and Larry Thomas (2003– ).

The language of worship is English.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of a short history, and a book describing Cariboo Bethel and its ministries.

Notes

  • Location: Volume 388.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory number BB537.
  • Described by Shauna Hudson, June 11, 2004. Edited by Donovan Giesbrecht, August 30, 2004.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 388
1. History. -- 1963–1985.
2. Cariboo Bethel Church Description Book. -- [198-?].
3. Directory. -- 1993–1994.

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