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Vancouver Mennonite Brethren Church – Vancouver, BC

Proper Title

Vancouver Mennnite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1935–2007

Physical Description

20 cm of textual records and 1 microfilm reel

Administrative History

The Vancouver Mennonite Brethren (MB) congregation began services around 1935, and formally organized on 25 April 1937 with a few dozen members. The congregation was the first Mennonite Brethren congregation in Vancouver. The group initially met in a rented hall. The church basement was built in 1941, the sanctuary was completed in 1944 and was occupied in 1945. John Peters is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through the urbanization of Mennonites from the Fraser Valley. David B. Wiens was pastor of the congregation from 1957 until 1968 when he became pastor of a daughter congregation, Culloden Mennonite Brethren Church. Roughly 75% of the the church's membership followed Wiens to the new daughter congregation.

The years 1974/75 saw tremendous growth due to immigration from South America, but by 1980, many had moved to the Fraser Valley or back to Paraguay.

In the spring and summer of 2007, Vancouver MB began discussions with the English language congregation of Pacific Grace MB Church to talk about ways in which the two congregations could plant a new congregation. A joint task force was formed in July and a proposal to merge was presented to both congregations on 16 September 2007. Formal approval was given by the leadership of both congregations on 30 September, and a new name, South Hill, was selected on 5 November 2007.

Over the years the church has been served by the following pastors: Frank Janzen (1936-1937), John J. Neufeld (1937), Johann F. Peters (1937-1938), Peter Reimer (1938-1939), David G. Quapp (1939-1943), Heinrich Regehr (1943-1944), Henry J. Klassen (1946-1955), Gerhard P. Warkentin (1955-1957), David B. Wiens (1957-1968), Peter Rahn (1968-1969), Gerhard G. Thielmann (1969-1976), Hans J. Wiens (1977-1980), Ernst Janzen (1981-1986), Abe L. Klassen (1987-1991), Manfred Schmidt (1994-1997), Johannes Stolz (1999-2007).

Source: GAMEO http://www.gameo.org/

Scope and Content

This fonds covers the growth and changes within the Vancouver MB Church.  It consists of a church history, several articles, a carol service programme, church directories and bulletins. Also present are Membership and Family Records; Annual Reports, Congregational Meeting and Church Council Meeting Minutes, Women’s Missionary Society and School Board Committee.

Notes

  • Location: Volume 386.
  • Finding aid consists of file list.
  • Materials are located under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory classification number Vol. 386, 387 (BB535), and on microfilm reel 68.
  • Description by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander November 12, 2011.
  • No restrictions on access.

File List

Volume 386
1. History of the church, 1935-1985;  a variety of other historical papers, articles and a carol service programme. -- 1985.
2. Address Books for Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1965-1968, 1973, 1981; Vancouver MB Church Directory. -- 1993.
3. Bulletins. – 1961.
4. Bulletins. – 1962.
5. Bulletins. – 1963.
6. Bulletins. – 1964.
7. Bulletins. – 1965.
8. Bulletins. – 1966.
9. Bulletins. – 1967.
10. Bulletins. – 1968.
11. Bulletins. – 1985.
12. Bulletins. – 1986.
13. Bulletins. – 1987.
14.Bulletins. – 1988.
15.Bulletins. – 1989.

Volume 387
1. Bulletins. – 1990.
2. Bulletins. – 1991.
3. Bulletins. – 1992.
4. Bulletins. – 1993.
5. Bulletins. – 1994.

Microfilm file list

Reel 68

  • Membership and Family Records.
  • Membership Register. Current only. -- p. 451-485.
  • Family Register. Current only. -- p. 486-679 (100).
  • Annual Reports.
  • Records on Property and Reports on
  • Church Committee programs. June 1967-April 1978. -- p. 297-326.
  • Congregational Meetings.
  • Minutes. October 1968-August 1978. -- p. 1-138.
  • Church Council Meeting.
  • Minutes. October 1968-November 1978. -- p. 139-296.
  • Women’s Missionary Society.
  • Minutes of Helferverein (Women’s Society). 1972-1978. -- p. 380-450.
  • School Board Committee.
  • Minutes of German School Committee. September 1965 – October 1972. -- p. 327-377.
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