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Riverbend Fellowship – Borden, SK

Proper Title

Riverbend Fellowship fonds

Dates of Creation

1906–1985, 1995

Physical Description

60.5 cm of textual records and 1 microfilm

Administrative History

Riverbend Fellowship started as the Borden Mennonite Brethren Church, a member of the Canadian Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, Northern District. It was founded by Mennonites who arrived in Canada between the first two major Mennonite migrations from Russia. They settled in the Borden district in 1902–1903, hoping to benefit from the opportunity to obtain 160 acres as a homestead with the option of purchasing even more acreage. Their leader was David Klassen who had immigrated with them.

People began meeting in 1903 and the church was organized officially in 1906. At first, they used the school of Hoffnungsfeld as a meeting place. By 1907, they had completed the construction of their first church building, which was used until 1952, when the present church sanctuary was constructed.

One of the church’s first outreach programs was the support it gave to Herman Fast and his Russian ministry at Blaine Lake. Another effective outreach ministry was the formation of a Sunday school among the Old Colony Mennonites in the Walter Scott school.

The church was led by lay ministers until 1965. Paid pastors have been Henry Gossen (1965–1977); Rueben Derksen (1977–1978); Ewald Unruh (1979–1981); Richard Schellenberg (1982–1988); Les Riediger (1989–1993); Eldon Fehr (1994–1999); Tony Martens (2000–2016), Ron Mills (2016– ).

In its early history the Borden MB Church was called the Hoffnungsfeld MB Church. In 1997, church membership was 72. In 1955, the church celebrated its Golden Jubilee anniversary and, in 1980, published a history book entitled Precious Memories: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church 1905–1980.

In 2009, the congregation relocated from a rural setting (northwest of Section 15, Township 41, Range 8 west of 3rd Meridian) to the town of Borden, restructured, and changed its name to Riverbend Fellowship. The church chose to rent a hall in Borden instead of building a church. The church wanted to meet in the public square, in a place where people feel welcome.

The language of worship is English.  The transition from German occurred in the 1950s.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of the following nine series:

  1. Membership and family records
  2. Minutes of congregational meetings
  3. Christian Endeavor minutes
  4. historical records
  5. Sunday School records
  6. Church library records
  7. Guest register
  8. Women’s group records
  9. Financial records.

The records show the activities of the church and its members as they establish a church, church programs, and reach out to others in the area.

Custodial History

Many of the records were microfilmed in 1978 through the work of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference. The textual records were donated by the church in 2002 by the church pastor Tony Martens. About one-third of the records had not been microfilmed in 1978. 1 small file regarding application for membership came via Ewald Unruh in January 2016.

Notes

  • Volumes 604–606.
  • Finding aid updated by Conrad Stoesz November 18, 2002; updated by Kate Woltmann, October 2013, Conrad Stoesz January 11, 2016.; microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory BF512.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R13, pp. 1052–1500; R14, pp. 1–614.
  • Files added from Accession No. 2013-22.
  • No restrictions.

Series Descriptions

1. Borden Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family records.
1913–1973.
10 cm of textual material and 331 pp. microfilm.

  • Membership and family record Book I, II, and III are only on microfilm.
  • Finding aid: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church R14, pp. 283–614.
  • Volume 605, files 5–10; Volume 606, file 9.

2.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church minutes of congregational meetings.
1978.
408 pp.; microfilm.

  • Minutes of the congregation from 1906 to 1977.
  • Finding aid: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church R13, pp. 1052–1500; R14, pp. 1501–1560.
  • Volume 605, files 1-4, 24.

3.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church Christian Endeavor and Youth Group minutes.
1911–1969.
9 cm of textual material and 363 pp. microfilm.

  • Minutes of the Christian Endeavor from 1911 to 1969 are on microfilm.
  • Finding aid: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church R14, pp. 1561–1642 and 1–282.
  • Volume 605, files 11–18; Volume 606, files 12, 14.

4Borden Mennonite Brethren Church historical records.
1980–1985.
1.5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of historical notes and a history book of the church entitled Precious Memories: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church 1905–1980. Folder 3 came to CMBS from Bethany Bible School.
  • Finding aid: Volume 604, file #7–10.

5.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church Sunday School records.
[1915?]–1940-1968.
7 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of two ledgers recording Sunday School attendance and offering.
  • Finding aid: Volume 604, files 13-15; Volume 605, files 19–20; Volume 606, file 20.

6.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church Library records.
1922–1970.
4 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of two books documenting people borrowing books owned by the church. Also are some lists of books acquired.
  • Finding aid: Volume 605, file #21–22.

7.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Guest register.
1955.
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a register of guest attending the golden anniversary of the Borden MB Church held on July 10, 1955.
  • Finding Aid: Volume 605, file #23.

8.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church Women’s Group records.
1917–1974.
5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of 4 books recording the activities of the Borden Women’s Missionary Society, also known as the “Willing Workers Aid Society”, “Nähverein Der Hoffungsfeld Gemeinde,” and “Ladies Aid.”
  • Finding aid: Volume 604, file #1–4.

9.  Borden Mennonite Brethren Church financial records.
1934–1959, 1995.
2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of 2 books and one folder recording donations to the church for various causes and a book dedicated to the building fund for the Tabernacle at Hepburn, Saskatchewan.
  • Finding Aid: Volume 604, file #5–6, 12.

File List

Volume 604

  1. Borden MB Church Women’s Missionary Society (Willing Workers Aid Society). -- 1917–1931.
  2. Borden MB Church Women’s Missionary Society (Nähverein). -- 1950–1954.
  3. Borden MB Church Women’s Missionary Society (Nähverein). -- 1954–1964.
  4. Borden MB Church Women’s Missionary Society (Ladies Aid). -- 1964–1974.
  5. Borden MB Church record of donations. -- 1934–1963.
  6. Borden MB Church building fund for Tabernacle at Hepburn. -- 1953–1959.
  7. “History of the Mennonite Brethren Church at Borden, Saskatchewan” / A.K. Rempel. -- 1985.
  8. “Borden Mennonite Brethren Church,” written by Ken Reddig. -- 1980.
  9. Information and historical sketch. -- 1980.
  10. Precious Memories: Borden Mennonite Brethren Church, 1905–1980.
  11. Financial report. -- 1995.
  12. Sunday School Curriculum orders, list of participants, reports, attendance chart. -- 1962–1963, 1965–1968.
  13. Sunday School record book. -- 1942–1952.
  14. Sunday School record book. -- 1954–1964.
  15. Church Bulletins (one from 1987 and one from 1993), and a 1987 church directory -- 1987, 1993.

Volume 605

  1. Borden MB Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1906–1945.
  2. Borden MB Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1945–1966.
  3. Borden MB Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1966–1977.
  4. Borden [Hoffnungsfelder] church committee [Church council?] meeting minutes. -- 1939.
  5. Individual loose family register pages, membership transfers, and marriage certificates. -- 1913–1960.
  6. Individual loose family register pages, membership transfers. -- 1913–1960.
  7. Borden MB Church record of marriages, births and deaths. -- 1906–1956.
  8. Borden MB Church membership family records (book 9). -- 1912–1922.
  9. Borden MB Church membership family records (book 10). Note: this book is too large for the box and is located in Volume 606. -- 1935–1960.
  10. Borden MB Church membership family records (book 11). -- 1937–1973.
  11. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. -- March 1911–September 1915.
  12. Borden MB Church Jugendverein (book 5). Note: this book is too large for the box and is located in Volume 606. -- 1918–1924.
  13. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. -- 1925–1927.
  14. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. Note: this book is too large for the box and is located in Volume 606. -- 1927–1931.
  15. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. -- May 1931–May 1935.
  16. Borden MB Church Christian Endeavour. -- 1935–1941.
  17. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. -- October 1948–September 1949.
  18. Borden MB Church Christian Endeavour. -- November 1949–February 1969.
  19. Borden MB Church Sunday School attendance and contributions records. -- [1915?]–1929.
  20. Borden MB Church Sunday School attendance and contributions records. Note:  this book is too large for the box and is located in Volume 606. -- 1930–1940.
  21. Borden MB Church Library record of books borrowed. -- 1922–1930.
  22. Borden MB Church Library record of books borrowed. -- 1944–1970.
  23. Borden MB Church special register (guest book for Golden Jubilee). -- 1955.
  24. Borden MB Church congregational meeting minutes and scrap book. -- 1962.
  25. Borden MB Church Historical Records microfilm listing; Church Phone Directory. -- 1978, [197?].
  26. Application for Church membership. -- [198-?].

Volume 606

Vol. 605, #9. Borden MB Church membership family records (book 10). -- 1935–1960.
Vol. 605, #12. Borden MB Church Jugendverein (book 5). -- 1918–1924.
Vol. 605, #14. Borden MB Church Jugendverein. -- 1927–1931.
Vol. 605, #20. Borden MB Church Sunday School attendance and contributions records. -- 1930–1940.

Microfilm file list

Reel 13

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- 1906–Aug.1945. – p.1052–1303.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Oct.1945–Feb.1966. – p.1304–1456 (+152).  – Note: It is unclear what this number represents, but is included because it was in a previous finding aid.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Dec.1966–Dec.1971. – p.1457–1500 (+143).

Reel 14

  • Register of Marriages, Births & Deaths. -- 1906–1956. – p.283–354 (+11).
  • Membership and Family Registers (Book I). -- p.355–441.
  • Membership and Family Registers (Book II). -- p.442–524.
  • Membership and Family Registers (Book III). -- p.542–614.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Dec.1971–Jun.1977. – p.1501–1560 (+59).
  • Christian Endeavor Minutes. -- Mar.1911–Sep.1915. – p.1561–1642.
  • Christian Endeavor Minutes. -- Jul.1918–Dec.1919. – p.1–85.
  • Christian Endeavor Minutes. -- Nov.1927–May 1931. – p.86–132.
  • Christian Endeavor Minutes. -- Oct.1949–Feb.1969. – p.133–282 (+150).
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