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South Langley Church – Langely, BC

Proper Title

South Langley Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1985–2019

Physical Description

1 cm of textual records, 1 microfilm reel, and 2 photos

Administrative History

The South Langley Mennonite Brethren Church in Langley, British Columbia, was originally known as the Brookswood Mennonite Brethren Church. It finds it roots in an outreach endeavor of the East Aldergrove MB Church in the late 1940s. Rev. H. G. Klassen of the East Aldergrove church gathered a few young people and started a Sunday school in the Brookswood community hall on the outskirts of Langley. Support also came from the West Coast Children’s Mission of the British Columbia Mennonite Brethren Conference.

In 1958, the East Aldergrove young people decided to raise funds to build a chapel in the community where they held the Sunday school classes. Construction began in 1958, with all work done through voluntary labour donated by East Aldergrove members. In 1960, the Sunday school left the Brookswood Community Hall and moved into the basement of the new chapel, where classrooms had been completed. The sanctuary on the main floor remained unfinished for several years due to lack of funds.

In 1963, several families moved into this area and formed a core group for the church, and George and Shirley Warkentin became the first pastoral couple. The dedication service in the completed sanctuary took place on October 13, 1963. The church was known as the Brookswood Mennonite Brethren Chapel. The church became independent and had 17 charter members on November 22, 1964.

In 1968, an educational wing was added to the existing building. George Warketin served as pastor from 1963 to 1968 when Jacob Dyck became leading minister.

Over time, the church grew out of their facility, so discussion began regarding relocation. Property was purchased just outside of the Brookswood area on 22nd avenue in 1975. In 1977, the church called Paul and Betty Fast to be the next pastor couple.

For the next two years, services were held in a public school and the group continued to grow. Construction of the new building began in 1978. Many hours of labour were donated and by July 1979 services were held in the gym and Sunday school in the classrooms. On November 18, 1979, the new church was dedicated. The second phase of the building project was finalized in 1982, when the second floor of the educational wing was completed. Since the church had moved out of the Brookswood area, the church chose the name South Langley Mennonite Brethren Church in 1980.

In 1975, membership stood at 52; in 1985, 248; in 1994, 258; in 2000, 223; in 2018, 276.

Leaders of the congregation, since officially joining the Canadian MB Conference, include the following: George Warkentin (1963–1968), Jacob Dyck (1968–1973), Herb Kopp (1974–1977), Paul Fast (1977–1986), Marvin Schmidt (1987–1996), Wes Dahl (1996– ).

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of a historical sketch, bulletins, congregational and council meeting minutes.

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: Volume 370, microfilm 137.
  • Description by Shauna Hudson, June 7, 2004; edited by Conrad Stoesz, January 23, 2007; updated by Jon Isaak, May 2019.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • No restriction on access.

File List

Volume 370
1. Historical Sketch including 2 photos. -- 1985.
2. Bulletins. -- 1991, 1993.
3. Directory. -- 2001–2002.
4. South Langley Church 2018–2019 annual report. -- 2019.

Microfilm file list

Reel 137

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. 1963–1981. pp. 1–619.
  • Council Meeting Minutes. 1965–1982. pp 620–765.
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