Hillside Community Church – Aldergrove, BC
Hillside Community Church fonds
Dates of Creation
1 cm textual records
In 1943, an unnamed Christian teacher at the South Otter Elementary School believed there was a need for religious education in the community. She shared her thoughts with a stranger, Miss Hilda Neufeld, on a streetcar in Vancouver. Miss Neufeld wrote a letter to Rev. Abe Stobbe from the South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church who was working with the West Coast Children’s Mission at the time. As a result of this contact the Mission went to the Langley School District and asked if they could use the South Otter Elementary School for teaching boys and girls about Jesus in Aldergrove, BC.
In the fall 1943, Elmer Warkentin and his sister, Leslie Buehler, began a Sunday school with the help of people from the South Abbotsford congregation. Due to vandalism at the school, the Sunday school was relocated to the Cesar Anderlini home. Soon a weekly prayer meeting was held for the people of the community, led by congregational members from the South Abbotsford and McCullum Mennonite Brethren Churches. In 1949, regular services as well as the previously established morning services began in the Anderlini home with Rev. Abe Stobbe leading.
In 1951, a mission hall was constructed under the direction of the West Coast Children’s Mission on property that was donated by Mr. Anderlini that was just south of the Anderlini home. George Konrad and John H. Enns conducted the worship services and Sunday school classes upon its completion.
In February 1959, Mr. Anderlini donated more property for an expansion, and Rev. Jake Neufeld took on the responsibility as pastor. In March 1960, the old chapel was remodeled and was used as the parsonage.
Victor Stobbe took on the responsibility of the church in April 1962, and, in 1963, the church was accepted into the BC and the General Conference of churches. On July 30, 1967, the Victor Stobbe was ordained to the ministry.
Following the Stobbe’s departure in 1967, Rev. Calvin Buehler pastored the church from September 1967 until June 1971. In 1971 the church was extend 16 feet. Rev. Herman Voth came to the pastorate from July 1971 to June 1975.
In August 1975, Rev. Dave Esau came to minister at South Otter, and again it was time to expand. This time the church decided to build a new sanctuary linked to the west end of the existing building. On May 4, 1980, the new sanctuary was dedicated. After Dave Esau left in 1982, Carl Bracewell took on role as lead pastor in September.
In 1987, the church experienced significant difficulties, and the membership dropped from 50 to 16. At this time, the church changed its name from South Otter MB Church to Hillside Community Church. As of 2004, there were 27 members with attendance being around 65.
Eventually, attendance reached 150. However, the congregation slowly declined and held its last service in June 2010. Proceeds from the sale of the sanctuary were used for church planting ventures by the BC Conference of MB Churches, with 10% of the proceeds given to Pines Bible Camp in Grand Forks, BC, a ministry that the congregation supported over a number of years.
Leaders of the congregation included the following: Jake Neufeld (1959–1962), Victor Stobbe (1962–1967), Calvin Buehler (1967–1971), Herman Voth (1971–1975), Dave Esau (1975–1982), Carl Bracewell (1982–1986), Vic Peters (1987–1993), Bill Keyes (1993–2009).
Scope and Content
This fonds consists of a brief historical sketch of the South Otter Mennonite Brethren Gospel Church up to 1985 and bulletins from 1985 and 1986.
It is unclear when the records came to the archives.
- Location: Volume 355.
- Description by Shauna Hudson, May 26, 2004; edited by Conrad Stoesz, November 14, 2006.
- Finding aid consists of a file list.
- No restrictions on access.
1. Historical sketch. -- 1943–1985.
2. Bulletins. -- 1985.
3. Bulletins. -- 1986.