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Gospel Chapel Fellowship – Grand Forks, BC

Proper Title

Gospel Chapel Fellowship fonds

Dates of Creation

1945–2021

Physical Description

39.5 cm of textual records and 2 photos

Administrative History

The Grand Forks Gospel Chapel Fellowship had its origins in the summer of 1945 when Peter Schroeder went into the Grand Forks area to distribute and sell Scriptures and Christian Literature. Schroeder’s fluency in Russian opened many avenues for witnessing.

Over the three years following his arrival, the opportunities for personal witnessing, counseling, and winning friends through instructing Russian classes it became clear that if a church or Sunday school were ever to be established, more help would be needed. In 1947, a number of itinerant speakers—such as K. P. Janzen, Abram Huebert, and Jacob Reimer—made home visits. But the need to establish a regular teaching/preaching service could not be met by itinerant workers. So, in October 1948, on Schroeder’s invitation, George Martens and his family arrived with the purpose of aiding the infant gospel witness. Upon their arrival, the scope of the work broadened.

By 1954, the Martens’s old home could no longer adequately accommodate the Sunday school. Thus, on September 25, 1954, the cornerstone was laid for a new church building to serve not only the 70 attendees, but to also allow room for growth. They dedicated their new building on November 27, 1955. The sanctuary was designed to seat about 120 people.

In 1965, the Gospel Chapel saw the beginning of growth outreach through Pines Bible Camp. The Chapel had, up to this point, operated on a “community church” basis with no formal membership roster. In 1976, however, they applied and were accepted into the Mennonite Brethren Conference, with 34 official members.

By 1977, it was recognized that if they expected further growth, it would be necessary to add to their present building or build a new one. After much prayer, it was decided to enlarge the existing building by attaching a new sanctuary, complete with basement. The dedication of this new sanctuary, with seating for 300 persons, took place on June 4, 1978.

Four years later Pastor George Martens, after thirty-four years of service in Grand Forks, retired from the pastorate of the Gospel Chapel. Rey and Anne Nickel, formerly of the Central Heights Mennonite Brethren Church, accepted the new responsibility of shepherding the Grand Forks flock.

In 1985, membership stood at 51 members. As of 2004, the membership had risen to 139 with an approximate attendance of 224.

Those to have led the congregation include the following: Peter Schroeder (1945–1948), George Martens (1948–1982), Rey Nickel (1982–1995), Russ Reid (1995), Henry P. Klassen (1997–2016), Aldon Loeppky (2017–2018), Doug Dunbar (2018– ).

The language of worship is English.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of a brief history and bulletins.

Notes

  • Location: Volumes 368, 1344, and 1346.
  • Description by Shauna Hudson, May 28, 2004; updated by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander November 7, 2010. Updated by Kate Woltmann July 16, 2013. Updated by Emma Sorensen June 2018. Updated by Kieran Schellenberg August 2020.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory number BB517.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 368

  1. Historical Sketch. -- 1945–1985.
  2. Bulletins. -- 1997–1998.
  3. Bulletins. -- 1999.
  4. Bulletins. -- 2000.
  5. Bulletins. -- 2001.
  6. Bulletins. -- 2002.
  7. Bulletins. -- 2003.
  8. Bulletins. -- 2005.
  9. Bulletins. -- 2006.

Volume 1344

  1. Bulletins. -- 2007.
  2. Bulletins. -- 2008.
  3. Bulletins. -- 2009.
  4. Bulletins. -- 2010.
  5. Bulletins. -- 2011.
  6. Bulletins. -- 2012.
  7. Bulletins. -- 2013. -- Note: also includes new members for 2013.
  8. Bulletins. -- 2014. -- Includes a baptism photo.
  9. Bulletins. -- 2015.
  10. Bulletins. -- 2016.
  11. Bulletins. -- 2016.
  12. Bulletins. -- 2017.

Volume 1346

9. Bulletins. -- 2018.
10. Bulletins. -- 2019.
11. Bulletins. -- 2020.

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