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Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church – Yarrow, BC

Proper Title

Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

6 cm of textual records, 2 microfilm reels, and 1 photo

Administrative History

The Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church in Yarrow, British Columbia, was founded by Mennonites who began arriving in the area in 1928. They met together in the homes of Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church families. The Mennonite Brethren organized as a separate congregation with 96 charter members on February 3, 1929, with Peter Dyck as the leading minister. Soon they began to build their own church, which was finished in the fall of 1930.

The church joined the Mennonite Brethren Conference in 1931 and became an influential congregation in the conference. In the same year, outreach to the community of Greendale began, resulting in the creation of the Sardis Mennonite Brethren Church, later renamed the Greendale Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1938, a new larger, building was built. Outreach to other communities such as Haney, Pitt Meadows, and Hope was carried out as well as through the West Coast Children’s Mission and Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS). Foreign missions were supported through various fundraising drives as well as several workers came from the Yarrow church.

Yarrow MB Church has had a long history in education. It was instrumental in the creation of the Elim Bible School (1930–1955), and the high schools Sharon Mennonite Institute (1945–1949), and the Sharon Mennonite Collegiate (1951–1970). Music was nurtured in the congregation through various choirs and musical groups. Early music directors included H.P. Neufeldt and George Reimer. In 1948, the church had grown to 970 members and the largest MB church in Canada. In the next two decades, there was a rapid decline in membership due to poor crops and urbanization.

The switch from German to English services began in 1957 with a bilingual service to separate German and English services in 1968. A new building project was completed in 1991 with a new gymnasium. Membership in 1956 stood at 761; in 1961, it was 606; in 1969, it was 480; in 1975, it was 328; in 1983, it was 292; in 1990, it was 246; and in 2001, it was 161.

Leaders of the congregation include: Peter Dyck (1929–1930), John Harder (1930–1948), Herman Lenzmann (1950–1959), Peter Neufeldt (1960–1961), Henry Brucks (1961–1965), Henry Thielmann (1965–1968), David Friesen (1968–1971), John Klaseen (1971–1974), Abe L. Klassen (1974–1987), Ron and Marion Braun (1988–1997), Jim Nightingale (1997–2004), Eldon Fehr (2005– ). Interim Pastors to have served include K. A. Klassen (1930–1931), Henry Bartsch (1949–1950), Ike Bergen (2004–2005), Eldon Fehr (2005–2013),

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of history, portraits of Yarrow MB Church, history of Mennonites in BC, directories, bulletins, newspaper articles, a tribute to Yarrow Church, early Frazer Valley church histories, annual church reports, congregational, church council and school board committee meeting minutes, family and membership registers.

Custodial History

It is unclear when some of the textual materials came to the archives. The historical sketch came in 1985 and the bulletins came periodically to the conference offices. The microfilmed material came to the archives after a Conference wide microfilming program in ca. 1978 led by J.B. Toews.


  • Location: Volume 389, microfilm reels 65–66.
  • Description by Conrad Stoesz, February 6, 2007.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Some restrictions on access may apply.
  • Language: German and English.

File List

Volume 389
1. History. -- 1929–1985.
2. Yarrow – A Portrait in Mosaic. -- [197-?].
3. Brief History of the Mennonite in British Columbia. -- 1867–1967.
4. Directory. -- 1962.
5. Newspaper Article. -- n.d.
6. Yarrow Youth Fellowship Phone and Address Directory. -- n.d.
7. Tribute to Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church. -- 1999.
8. Early Frazer Valley Churches. -- 1929–1993.
9. Bulletins. -- 1974.
10. Bulletins. -- 1985.
11. Bulletins. -- 1991.
12. Bulletins. -- 1992.
13. Bulletin. -- 1993.
14. Annual Church Report. -- 1993.
15. 50th Anniversary Articles. -- [1979?].
16. Directory. -- [199-?].

Microfilm file list

Reel 65

  • Annual Reports. 1970–1976. pp 1955–2194.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Feb 1929–Oct 1935. pp 1–194.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Jan 1936–Dec 1942. pp 195–393.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Mar 1943–Jul 1948. pp 394–693.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Aug 1948–Sep 1959. pp 694–1099.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Oct 1959–Sep 1966. pp 110–1275.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Dec 1966–Oct 1970. pp 1276–1432.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Nov 1970–Jun 1976. pp 1432–1544.
  • Congregational & Church Council Meeting Minutes. Jul 1978–Oct 1978. pp 1545–1591.
  • Church Board Meeting Minutes. Oct 1965–Nov 1970. pp 1592–1742.
  • Church Board Meeting Minutes. Feb 1971–Jun 1976. pp 1743–1875.
  • Church Board Meeting Minutes. Jul 1976–Sep 1978. pp 1877–1954.
  • Sharon Mennonite Collegiate Insituite School Board Committee Minutes. Feb 1946–Oct 1951. pp 2195–2391.

Reel 66

  • Membership Register. pp 1–166.
  • Family Register. pp 1–285.

* Note: The numbering of the Family Register begins with No. 1 following page No. 166.

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