← Back to Institutional Records

South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church – Abbotsford, BC

Proper Title

South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1969–2006

Physical Description

29.5 cm of textual records, 2 microfilms, and 2 photos

Administrative History

The South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia was originally known as the Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church. It had its beginning in 1931 when the first Mennonite settlers came to Abbotsford. These people began meeting for Bible study and prayer in their homes, as well as conduct Sunday School for the children. The official beginning of the Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church took place on May 1, 1932 when local families agreed to found a church. The church consisted of 31 members and they chose Abram Rempel to be their leading minister. Others elected into leadership were Cornelius Enns, Isaak Sawatsky, John Rempel and David Peters.

On October 27, 1935 the group decided that the church was too far for some people to travel to so another church was founded known as the North Abbotsford MB Church (later known as the Clearbrook MB Church) and the existing church became known as the South Abbotsford MB Church. !935 was also the year it joined the Mennonite Brethren family of conferences.

In 1936 the South Abbotsford group erected a church building. Its membership was about 137. Land was also purchased next to the building to be used as a cemetery. The building was dedicated on March 1, 1936.

The South Abbotsford Church was a key player in the founding of the Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute (now Columbia Bible College), which was begun in 1943 in the facilities of South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church. Also, in 1944, the Mennonite Educational Institute was first housed in this church.

While the church grew it also lost members to many other new congregations in the area including The congregation lost members to Matsqui Mennonite Brethren (1944), East Aldergrove Mennonite Brethren (1947), Otter Road Mennonite Brethren (1947), Central Heights Mennonite Brethren (1949), Bakerview Mennonite Brethren (1966), and King Road Mennonite Brethren (1966).

In 1960 an English sermon was added to the Sunday service and then in 1966 the church made the transition to having all services in English. Membership in 1931 stood at 32, in 1965, 357, in 1985, 386; in 2000, 611.

Leaders of the congregation include the following: Abram Rempel (1935–1945), Frank Janzen (1945), Henry H. Nikkel (1944–1949), William I Neufeld (1959–1966), David Nikel (1966–1972), Don Balzer (1972–1980), Henry Born (1980–1981), David Epp (1981–1987), Clifford Janzen (1987–1995), Stephen Berg (1997–2003), Ed Balzer (2004–2005), Dan Nicholson (2006–2014), Matthew Ewert (2014– ).

.

Scope and Content

This fonds contains an annual report, family directory, bulletins, congregational and church council meeting minutes, and marriage, family and membership registers and a congregational history.

Custodial History

It is unclear when the textual materials came to the archives. The microfilmed material came to the archives after a Conference wide microfilming program in ca. 1978 led by J.B. Toews.

Notes

  • Location: Volumes 351–353, microfilm 57.
  • Description by Shauna Hudson, May 13, 2004; edited by Conrad Stoesz, January 23, 2007.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language English and German.

File List

Volume 351
1. Annual Report. -- May 1, 1992–Apr 30, 1993.
2. Family yearbook. -- 1980?
3. South Abbotsford MB church history, including 2 photos. -- 1975–1985.
4. Bulletins. -- 1968.
5. Bulletins. -- 1970.
6. Bulletins. -- 1971.
7. Bulletins. -- 1972.
8. Bulletins. -- 1973.
9. Bulletins. -- 1974.
10. Bulletins. -- 1975.
11. Bulletins. -- 1976.
12. Bulletins. -- 1977–1978.
13. Bulletins. -- 1979.
14. Bulletins. -- 1980.

Volume 352
1. Bulletins. -- 1981.
2. Bulletins. -- 1982.
3. Bulletins. -- 1985.
4. Bulletins. -- 1986.
5. Bulletins. -- 1987.
6. Bulletins. -- 1988.
7. Bulletins. -- 1989.
8. Bulletins. -- 1990.
9. Bulletins. -- 1991.
10. Bulletins. -- 1992.
11. Bulletins. -- 1993.
12. Bulletins. -- 1994.
13. Bulletins. -- 1995.
14. Bulletins. -- 1996.
15. Bulletins. -- 1997.
16. Bulletins. -- 1998.
17. Bulletins. -- 1999.

Volume 353
1. Bulletins. -- 2000.
2. Bulletins. -- 2001.
3. Bulletins. -- 2002.
4. Bulletins. -- 2003.
5. Bulletins. -- 2004.
6. Bulletins. -- 2005.
7. Bulletins. -- 2006.

Microfilm file list

Reel 57

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- May 1932–Sep 1943. -- p. 1385–1590.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Nov 1943–Dec 1949. -- p. 1591–1313.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Dec 1949–Jun 1954. -- p. 1814–2049.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Jun 1954–Oct 1960. -- p.  2178–2390.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. -- Feb 1954–Nov 1960. -- p. 2050–2177.

Reel 58

  • Marriage Register. -- 1934–1950. -- p. 1072–1170.
  • Marriage Register. -- 1950–1968. -- p. 1171–1270.
  • Membership Register. -- current. -- p. 867–915.
  • Family Register. -- current. -- p. 916–1071.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. -- Dec 1960–Jun 1966. -- p. 1–59.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Nov 1966–May 1967. -- p.  278–248.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Jul 1966–May 1968. -- p. 349–453.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- May 1968–May 1971. -- p. 454–568.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Jun 1971–May 1972. -- p. 569–653.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Jun 1972–May 1973. -- p. 654–733.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Jun 1973–May 1974. -- p. 734–798.
  • Congregational and Church Council Minutes. -- Jun 1975–May 1975. --p.  799–866.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. -- Dec 1960–May 1966. -- p. 58–88.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. -- May 1976–Oct 2, 1978. -- p. 89–239.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. -- Jun 1976–Oct 1978. -- p. 240–277.
← Back to Institutional Records