Fonds volume 389, microfilm reels 65-66 - Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

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Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

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CA CMBS volume 389, microfilm reels 65-66

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  • 1929-1993 (Creation)

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6 cm of textual records
2 reels of microfilm
1 photograph

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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, resulted 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, 606; in 1969, 480; in 1975, 328; in 1983, 292; in 1990, 246; in 2001, 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).

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 lead by J.B. Toews.

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.

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Description by Conrad Stoesz February 6, 2007

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English and German

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  • English

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