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New Life Christian Church (New Covenant Christian Fellowship) – Scarborough, ON

Proper Title

New Life Christian Church fonds

Dates of Creation

2001–2005

Physical Description

16 cm of textual records

Administrative History

The New Life Christian Church began in 2001, as the first merger between Mennonite Brethren and Brethren in Christ congregations. New Covenant Christian Fellowship, the Mennonite Brethren congregation involved in the merger, began in 1995, under the leadership of Viday and Gwen Narimalla, and with sponsorship from the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Board of Church Extension, Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church, and Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church. The goal was to plant a multi-ethnic, English-speaking church in the suburb of Scarborough.

The meetings began in the Narimalla home, but as the group grew in size, the congregation looked for a more public and spacious facility. For a time, the church met in the chapel of the Serving In Mission (SIM, formerly Sudan Interior Mission) building. Numbers continued to grow, in part due to a merger with Yorkdale Community Church (Mennonite Brethren) in 1996, and by 2001 average attendance was around 120.

Nearby, the Bridlewood Brethren in Christ congregation had more space than it needed. Soon talks began between Viday Narimalla and Bridlewood pastor, Walter Kelly. The two leaders found that their congregations had much in common; both were theologically rooted in Anabaptism, and both involved a wide range of ethnic groups. The merger became official in 2001, under the new name, New Life Christian Church.

Evidence of growing pains soon appeared. In 2002, after committing to a three-year term with the new church, Viday Narimalla left the congregation to serve as senior pastor at the Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church. Walter Kelly left the congregation around the same time, after making a similar three-year commitment. In 2004, Grant Gordon became the pastor; Wayne Wright succeeded him in 2005.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of Mennonite Brethren Herald news stories (2001–2004), a church directory (2005), and church bulletins (2001–2005).

Custodial History

The bulletins and directory were transferred to the archives gradually. The MB Herald articles were collected while the collection was being described in 2006. In 2008, Gerry Doerksen brought in a box of minutes and reports from New Covenant Christian Fellowship, Yorkdale Community Church, and New Life Christian Church.

Notes

  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Location: Volume 574, 1262.
  • Formerly classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory number BD529.
  • Related CMBS collections:
    • Yorkdale Community Church fonds, volume 565.
    • Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Yearbook Collection; see especially: Board of Evangelism reports.
    • Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches fonds; see especially Board of Church Extensions files.
  • Accession no.: 2008-016.
  • Finding aid created by Donovan Giesbrecht, 6 June 2006. Updated by Tamara Dyck, July 17, 2009.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 574
1. MB Herald news stories. -- 2001–2004.
2. Phone directory. -- 2005.
3. Bulletins. -- 2001–2005.

Volume 1262
1. New Covenant Christian Fellowship minutes, reports, budgets and bulletins. -- 1996-1997.
2. New Covenant Christian Fellowship minutes, reports, budgets and bulletins. -- 1998.
3. New Covenant Christian Fellowship minutes, reports, budgets and bulletins. -- 1999-2001.
4. New Covenant Christian Fellowship Report on Evangelism and Outreach. -- 1999.
14. New Life Christian Church minutes and reports. -- 2002-2003.
15. New Life Christian Church minutes, reports and budgets. -- 2001.
16. New Life Christian Church questionnaire, annual church report. -- 2001-2002.

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