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Foothills Community Church – Pincher Creek, AB

Proper Title

Foothills Community Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1947–2014

Physical Description

42 cm of textual records

Administrative History

Foothills Community Church located in Pincher Creek, Alberta, traces its beginnings to October 18, 1947, when a group of 8 families, through the help of the Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Church leadership organized as a church. There were 19 charter members. (Some of these Mennonite families had been farming at Pincher Creek since 1935.)

After organizing as a church, they held weekly worship services and operated a Sunday School for the children. They maintained close ties to the Coaldale M.B. Church for a number of years. On their own, however, they constructed their first meeting place which was dedicated on Oct. 23, 1949. During the late 1940s, a several refugee families arrived, having been sponsored by families of the Pincher Creek church. Not all of these “homeless” remained at Pincher Creek due to lack of employment, but by 1950, the church membership had increased to 28 members. Throughout the 1950s, this church, known as the Pincher Creek M.B. Church, remained the smallest M.B. congregation in Alberta.

[Pincher Creek MB Church in 1955. Pastor David Durksen is the man on the far right. Images courtesy of Melissa Friesen.]

The spiritual leader of the early group was David Durksen with Alfred Bensler serving as the assistant. In 1968, the Alberta M.B. Conference Missions Committee placed George and Elma Reimer in Pincher Creek to assist the small congregation. The meeting place was moved into the town of Pincher Creek from its rural location and re-dedicated on Nov. 10, 1968.

In 1972, the original name of this church, Pincher Creek Mennonite Brethren Church, was changed to Foothills Gospel Chapel. The name changed again in 1986 to Foothills Community Church. By this time the church was no longer under the program of the Alberta M.B. Conference committee for Church extension, the predecessor of the Home missions committee. In 1999, the local Alliance Church joined with Foothills, the Alliance property was purchased, and a new building erected. It was completed in 2004, with first services held in October 2004.

The congregation closed on January 31, 2014. The building and church assets were given to the Alberta Mennonite Brethren Conference for a possible church plant in the future.

The leaders in the congregation were: David F. Durksen (1947–1969); George Reimer (1969–1975); No pastor (1976); Victor J. Nickel (1977–1981); Henry Nikkel (1981–1984); Gary Andres (1984–1992); Ed Schmidt (1992–1995); Peter Boschman, interim (1995–1996); Blake Wagner (1996–2000); Leo Siemens and George Reimer, interim (2000); Ernie Bergen (2001–2012); and Jim Nightingale (2012–2014).

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of the following files: Congregational meeting minutes, church council meeting minutes, membership registers, constitutions, church bulletins, youth executive records and financial records. The earlier materials (i.e., 1947–1980) are originals except for the church registers. The files from 1985–1994 are photocopies. The originals were returned to the church. When the church closed in 2014, a final file deposition was made. This fonds documents well the work of the Alberta Mennonite Brethren Conference committee for Church extension in southern Alberta.

Custodial History

These materials were acquired by Dr. Abe Dueck in 1995 during his trip to visit Alberta MB Churches. In 2014, conference minister Paul Loewen deposited several more years of church bulletins.

Notes

  • Volume 339, nos. 1–13; Volume 1226, nos. 1–15; Volume 1448, nos. 64–75.
  • Described by Alf Redekopp [1995?], updated by Conrad Stoesz August 2004; updated by Andrew D. Brown November 2017; Updated by Andrew D. Brown December 2017.
  • Some of the records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches as BA512.
  • Acc. Nos. 1995-91, 1995-92, 2014-25.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • No further accruals expected.
  • Language: German and English.

File List

Volume 339
1. Congregational meeting minutes in draft form. See #4, for clean copy. See #5–8, for English translations. -- 1947–1973.
2. Congregational minutes (rough draft, later recopied). 2 notebooks. See #5–8, for English translations. -- 1947–1951.
3. Familien Verzeichnis [family register]. -- 1947–1968.
4. Congregational meeting minute book. Official version. See #1 and 2. 80 pp. -- 1947–1955.
5. English translation of congregational meeting minutes. -- 1947–1950.
6. English translation of congregational meeting minutes. -- 1951–1956.
7. English translation of congregational meeting minutes. -- 1957–1964.
8. English translation of congregational meeting minutes. -- 1965–1973.
9. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1974–1975.
10. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1976.
11. Ministry report of Foothills Gospel Chapel. -- 1976.
12. Record of Membership [membership register]. -- 1968–1992.
13. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1977.
14. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1978.
15. Foothills Gospel Chapel Youth Executive.  -- 1978–1980.
16. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1979.
17. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1980.
18. Foothills Community Church constitutions. -- 1978, 1986, 1988.

Volume 1226
1. Membership Record. -- 1950–2013.
2. Foothills Community Church Book. -- 2001.
3. Death Certificates and Burial Sites. -- 1991–2013.
4. Constitution of Foothills Community Church (M.B.). -- 1950–2010.
5. Alberta Conference Correspondence. -- 1952–1982.
6. Church Incorporation Papers and Name Change. -- 1987.
7. Certificate of Land Title. -- 1987.
8. Pastoral Correspondence. -- 1963–1968.
9. Official Documents re: Moving the Church into Town. -- 1967–2004.
10. Statistical Reports. -- 1973–2000.
11. Pincher Creek Mennonite Brethren Church Cemetery. -- 1972–1974.
12. Membership Transfers. -- 1950–2013.
13. Foothills Community Church History. -- 1955–2014.
14. Foothills Community Church Guestbook. -- 1973–1985.
15. Foothills Community Church Guestbook. -- 1985–2002.

Volume 1448
64. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 1995.
65. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 1996.
66. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 1997.
67. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 1998.
68. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 1999.
69. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2000.
70. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2001.
71. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2002.
72. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2003.
73. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2004.
74. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2005.
75. Foothills Community Church Bulletins. -- 2006.

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