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Pacific Grace Chinese Church – Vancouver, BC

Proper Title

Pacific Grace Chinese Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1950–1992

Physical Description

20.5 cm of textual records

Administrative History

Starting 1950 Rev. Henry Classen, sent by the Mennonite Brethren Conference of British Columbia, began street meetings in Vancouver. By 1964 a congregation was formed, worshiping in English and German and was known as the Pacific Grace Mission Chapel.

In 1972 leader Henry Classen began an outreach to the growing Chinese population in the area and by the fall there were 22 Chinese attendees. By 1973 they asked to meet separately due to their increased numbers. The Mission Chapel was formally organized in 1974 with Henry Klassen as the founding leader. Paul Li was a founding leader for the Chinese group.

In 1974 the church started an English department and a Chinese department, which held its meetings in Cantonese. In 1977, with the Chinese department growing rapidly the English department suggested that it close and the church become a Chinese congregation. In April of 1977 the church changed its name to the Pacific Grace Chinese Church and focused solely on ethnic Chinese ministry.

The church saw an opportunity in the influx of people immigrating to Canada from China and Hong Kong due to the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and the take over of Hong Kong in 1997. Membership jumped from 155 in 1987 to 240 in 1989. Two Sunday services were introduced to ease the crowding. In 1987 Miller Zhuang joined the pastoral staff and was followed by Keynes Kan in 1988 and Valerie Yiu in 1989 who began an English worship service for the English speaking youth.

The Church worked hard at outreach and sent Miller Zhuang to Venezuela and helped establish two Chinese churches there. In 1990, 1995, and 1997 the Pacific Grace Chinese Church planted three congregations in Vancouver, the Burnaby Pacific Grace Chinese Church, the South Pacific Grace Chinese Church, and the North Shore Pacific Grace MB Church. In 1998 the Pacific Grace Chinese Church changed its name to the Pacific Grace MB Church. In 1999 simultaneous translation for Mandarin-speaking Chinese was added to the worship services.

Pastoral leaders include Henry Classen (1950–1976), Paul Li (ca. 1973–1975), Eddie Chu (ca. 1975–1977), Enoch Wong (1980–1987) and David Chan (1987– ).

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of materials created by the Pacific Grace Mission Chapel including a dedication service recording, membership registers, minutes, correspondence; and material created by the successor group, the Pacific Grace Chinese Church such as bulletins and anniversary book.

Custodial History

It is unclear when this material came to the archives.

Notes

  • Location: Volume 384.
  • Description by Conrad Stoesz, January 18, 2007.
  • Language: English and Chinese.
  • Some restrictions on access may apply.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.

File List

Volume 384
1. Empty.
2. “We are in the same family: The growth of Chinese MB churches”, in the Mennonite Brethren Herald, accessed online on January 18, 2007. -- Nov 9, 2001.
3. Dedication Service Recording from the Pacific Grace Mission Chapel. Reel to reel recording. -- Jul 22, 1956.
4–27. Membership certificates from “A” to “Z”. -- 1963–1974.
28. Sunday School Worker’s applications with testimonies. -- 1954–1963.
29. Correspondence regarding street meetings. -- 1950–1961.
30. Pacific Grace Membership Register, including families. -- [ca. 1964–1977].
31. Family register. -- [ca. 1964–1977].
32. Correspondence with Vancouver city hall regarding building issues. Note: includes blueprint of church building dated 1965. -- 1955–1966, 1978.
33. Topical papers including: Mennonite brethren Confession of faith, June 1972; Statement of the Ministers of the MB Conference of BC Concerning the Tongues Movement/ H.H. Janzen, [196-?]; “What Other Said”, various articles duplicated dealing improper and immoral behaviours. -- 1969.
34. Pacific Grace Mission Chapel Church Council minutes including correspondence and finances. -- 1964–1977.
35. Pacific Grace Mission Chapel membership meeting minutes. -- 1964–1977.
36. Celebration: A Decade of Grace, Pacific Grace Chinese Church Tenth Independence Anniversary. -- 1981–1991.
37. Pacific Grace Chinese Church bulletins (incomplete). -- 1991–1992.

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