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Hillside Christian Fellowship Church – Beechy, SK

Proper Title

Hillside Christian Fellowship Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1920–2010

Physical Description

67cm of textual records

Administrative History

The first Mennonites in Beechy, Saskatchewan were 1920s immigrants from Russia. When they first arrived in Canada, they settled in the Main Centre, Saskatchewan area, but eventually moved north of the Saskatchewan River in search of land.

The Mennonite Brethren church in Beechy organized on July 19, 1925, as an offshoot of the Main Centre MB church. By 1927, the Beechy group had organized as an independent congregation called the Friedensheim Mennonite Brethren Church. Early on, the congregation met in Homaker’s Hall, which formerly served as a schoolhouse. On most Sundays, however, the congregation divided into small groups and met in homes.

The Depression stalled plans for a new church building. But in 1942, the Beechy congregation purchased a town hall, formerly used by the Mennonite Brethren congregation in Gilroy. The building was dismantled, transported to a section of land just outside of Beechy, and then used to construct a new church building. The building was moved to town in 1953, when the church became known as the Beechy Mennonite Brethren Church. Renovations to the building occurred in 1969 and again in 1975–6. In 1982, a new 10,000 sq. ft. building was constructed largely with volunteer labour. Again, with the new building came a new name, Hillside Christian Fellowship Centre.

Until 1963, lay-ministers and leaders led the congregation. Henry Berg was Beechy’s first hired minister, serving from 1963 to 1966. After Berg, the congregation was served by a variety of other paid ministers, many of whom also served the Mennonite Brethren church at Lucky Lake. These include the following: Ed Lautermilch (1966–1969), Ed Epp (1969–1973), Ed Giesbrecht (1973–1976), Helmut Schroeder (1977–1987), and Mike Housek (1987– ).

Sources: Mennonite Encyclopedia, “Friedensheim”; Mennonite Brethren Herald (10 September 1982): 12; and (27 May 1988): 63.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists historical writings which tell the story of the congregation’s organization, buildings, ministry, and special events. They also include family stories and several selections from early church minutes.  There are also financial records, minutes from various meetings and committees, church bulletins, family registers and a copy of the blueprints for the church.  This information would be helpful to anyone doing research on the history of the church, or of Mennonite churches in Saskatchewan.

Custodial History

The materials were donated by the church ca. 1977 and 2003. The historical sketch (file 1) was written in the 1970s by the Centre’s staff.   The church transferred most of the information in 2010.

Notes

  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Location: Volume 602, 1314-1315.
  • Formerly classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory number BF510.
  • Related CMBS materials: Main Centre MB Church fonds (CMBS).
  • Accession no.: 2010-027.
  • Language: mostly English, some German.
  • Finding aid created by Donovan Giesbrecht, 25 May 2006; updated by Tamara Dyck, January 2011.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 602
1. Beechy MB Church historical sketch. -- 1977.
2. Beechy MB Church 50th anniversary booklet (2 copies). -- 1977.
3. Hillside Christian Fellowship Church (Beechy MB Church): Celebrating 75 Years of God’s Faithfulness, 1927–2002.
4. Financial report. - 1995.
5. Beechy-Lucky Lake joint meeting minutes. -- 1969-1976.
6. Annual meeting minutes. --2004-2010.
7. Church meeting minutes. -- 1971-1976.
8. Church meeting minutes. -- 1976-1979.
9. Church board meeting minutes. -- 1961-1966.
10. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1986-1992.
11. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1993-1998.
12. Church council meeting minutes. -- 1999-2010.

Volume 1314
1. Bulletins. -- 1976, 1979.
2. Bulletins. -- 1980-1981.
3. Bulletins. -- 1982-1983.
4. Bulletins. -- 1984-1985.
5. Bulletins. -- 1986-1987.
6. Bulletins. -- 1988-1989.
7. Bulletins. -- 1990-1991.
8. Bulletins. -- 1992-1993.
9. Bulletins. -- 1994-1995.
10. Bulletins. -- 1996-1997.
11. Bulletins. -- 1998-1999.
12. Bulletins. -- 2000.
13. Young Peoples minutes. -- 1926-1937.
14. Young Peoples minutes. -- 1957-1969.
15. DVBS Planning committee minutes. -- 1962-1973.
16. Music committee minutes. -- 1960-1961.
17. Christian Endeavor minutes. -- 1937-1950.
18. Christian Endeavor minutes. -- 1958-1962.
19. Christian Endeavor minutes. -- 1963-1985.
20. Cash book. -- 1925-1943.
21. Cash book. -- 1929-1953.
22. Sunday School attendance books. -- 1957-1968.
23. Sunday School attendance books. -- 1969-1987.
24. Sunday School attendance books. -- 1989-1992.
25. Sunday School attendance books. -- 1992-1996.
26. Sunday School attendance books. -- n.d.

Volume 1315
1. Financial records. -- 1947-1960.
2. Congregation minutes, Church Council minutes. -- 1927-1939.
3. Congergational minutes. -- 1930-1943.
4. Congregational minutes. -- 1943-1961.
5. Congregational minutes. -- 1961-1978.
6. Minutes of General Meetings. -- 1960-1965.
7. Church records, photocopy. -- 1993-2010.
8. Church register, photocopy. -- ca. 1938-1959.
9. Church register. -- ca. 1920-1929.

Architectural Drawing
110.  Photocopy of architectural drawing for proposed new church. -- 1981-1982.

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