Bethel Chinese Christian Mennonite Brethren Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
Bethel Chinese Church began when David Poon was asked by the Board of Church Extension of the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren (MB) Churches to plant a church in 1978. The first service was held in November 1978 at Fraserview Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church in Vancouver. In January 1979 they moved with Fraserview MB Church to Richmond, BC. In February of that year they relocated to Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church. On 29 July 1979 the church held their charter service with 31 charter members. The congregation became the first Chinese Mennonite Brethren church to be formally registered in North America when it joined the MB conference in 1980.
In August 1980 the congregation moved back to Vancouver and rented the Wilson Heights United Church. Bethel Chinese Church purchased a building of their own at 235 E. 15th Avenue in Vancouver in 1981 and expanded it in 1984. However, it eventually grew to be too large for the building. The board decided to purchase the Collingwood United Church building in March 1995. Amazingly, when Pastor Poon asked a Christian in Hong Kong, where he was in seminary, to pray for his church she responded with $200,000 towards the purchase. A dedication service was held on 24 September 1995.
In 1997, a daughter church, North Shore Bethel Christian MB Church, was established.
Bethel Chinese has services and ministries in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and a school with Cantonese and Mandarin classes for children on Fridays and Saturdays. David Poon has led the congregation throughout much of its history. In 2007 Wing Wong was the leading minister.
In 2010 the congregation had 253 members and an average weekly attendance of 290.
Kwan, Joseph. "The Growth of Chinese Mennonite Brethren Churches in Canada." Mennonite Historian (March 2006). http://www.cdnmbconf.ca/historian/06-03/feature-1.en.html (accessed 18 May 2008).
Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 19; (9 February 1996): 12.
"We Are in the Same Family." Mennonite Brethren Herald 40, No. 21 (November 9, 2001). http://old.mbherald.com/40-21/family.html (accessed 18 May 2008).
Address: 3215 School Ave., Vancouver, BC V5R 5N2
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1980-present)
General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1980-2002)
Bethel Chinese Church Membership
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MLA style: Klix, Waylon and Richard D. Thiessen. "Bethel Chinese Christian Mennonite Brethren Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2010. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4859.html.
APA style: Klix, Waylon and Richard D. Thiessen. (November 2010). Bethel Chinese Christian Mennonite Brethren Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4859.html.