Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)
|Arnold Community Church
Source: D. Giesbrecht
The Arnold Community Church traces its roots to a small gathering in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hamm in 1942. The Hamms were among several new settlers in the community that was then called Perrigo, after John Joseph Perrigo, who owned the land in this area. In these early years about 20 people, including many children, gathered in the Hamm household to worship and pray. The group was named the Perrigo Mennonite Brethren Church (using this name because Mr. Perrigo donated the land for the church), and was affiliated with the Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church. This group formally organized on 7 November 1943 with 72 charter members and Johann P. Braun serving as the leading minister. The congregation joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in 1944.
Early in 1943, construction of a 30 ft. by 40 ft. basement began and by July 1944 an additional structure at the east end of the church had to be erected to accommodate the congregation’s rapid growth. The upper sanctuary was completed in 1946. In 1945, the church was renamed Arnold Mennonite Brethren Church after a creek that runs through part of the property. The church grew in numbers reaching a high of 225 by 1948. Changes to the church sanctuary include the addition of a front foyer and two washrooms in 1965, a remodeling of the interior in 1977, another addition in 1987, and a significant renovation in 2009.
By 1985 the membership was down to 74 partially due to the lack of employment for young people in the area. In 1988 the name of the church was changed to Arnold Community Church, underscoring a desire on the part of the church to reach out into the community, and consequently membership began to rebound in the 1990s. In 2010 the congregation had 102 members and an average weekly attendance of 183.
The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in 1967.
Canadian Mennonite (24 November 1961): 23.
Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. "Arnold Community Church." Web. 13 May 2008. http://www.cdnmbconf.ca/mbstudies/holdings/bc/arnold.en.html.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 26; (18 February 1994): 20.
Address: 310 Arnold Road, Abbotsford, BC, V3G 1S4
Website: Arnold Community Church
General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1944-2002)
Arnold Community Church Pastors
|Johann P. Braun||1943-1948|
|J. J. Klassen||1949-1952|
|Isaak P. Goertzen||1953-1957|
|Gustav P. Ratzlaff||1958-1965|
|John J. Rempel||1967|
|Peter C. Penner||1968-1973|
|Harry R. Loewen||1974-1979|
Arnold Community Church Membership
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 165. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Braun, Johann P. and Hugo Friesen. "Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2009. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A775.html.
APA style: Braun, Johann P. and Hugo Friesen. (November 2009). Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A775.html.