Four Mile Mennonite Church (Eaglesham, Alberta, Canada)
John and Grace Harder held a Vacation Bible School in a rural schoolhouse at Four Mile Creek near Eaglesham in 1947. Rollin and Edna Yoder took up outreach in the following year on behalf of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference and continued until the late 1950s. Loyal and Ruth Roth picked up the work until Loyal's death in 1961.
During the late 1950s some members of the Evangelical Free Church became part of the congregation as there was not local Evangelical Free Church leadership available. Later, when the local United Church building was sold, the Four Mile Mennonite church was essentially a community church. This led to tension within the congregation when some distinctive Mennonite teachings of the era were emphasized by conference leadership, for example not wearing wedding rings.
Lloyd and Cena King provided leadership to the congregation from 1962 to 1975. A new building was dedicated in 1965 at 4905 51 Street, Eaglesham. The congregation became known as Eaglesham Mennonite Church. Elton Kauffman pastored from 1975 to 1982, and during these years the tensions between those of Mennonite background and members of Evangelical Free Church background increased.
In 1982 the conference suggested the congregation become a community church with only loose ties to the Mennonite conference structures. A new pastor, Thomas Peachey, who was of Mennonite background but trained at Prairie Bible Institute, was closer theologically to the Evangelical Free Church portion of the congregation. After leaving for further studies in 1987, he returned as pastor in 1990 on the condition that the theological differences be resolved. In a contentious vote, the congregation voted to leave the Mennonite conference and to join the Evangelical Free Church. It has continued as a member of that denomination under the name Eaglesham Community Church.
In 1965 there were 20 members; in 1975, 20; in 1985, 31; in 1988, 24. It was affiliated with the Northwest Mennonite Conference and the Mennonite Church until 1990. It is not listed in the Mennonite Yearbook after 1988/89.
Canadian Mennonite (29 October 1963): 1; (28 September 1965): 1.
Regehr, T. D. Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest, 1903-2003: Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 2003: 206-211.
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MLA style: Steiner, Sam. "Four Mile Mennonite Church (Eaglesham, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2007. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E236.html.
APA style: Steiner, Sam. (August 2007). Four Mile Mennonite Church (Eaglesham, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/E236.html.