Island Gospel Fellowship (Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada)
Island Gospel Fellowship, 2012. Photographer: Jill Watson.
Island Gospel Fellowship traces its beginning to 1940, when 25 Old Colony and Sommerfelder Mennonite families in search of land moved into Burns Lake, British Columbia, from the Swift Current and Saskatoon areas of Saskatchewan. In 1958 Henry Toews of Steinbach, Manitoba, a missionary candidate for Paraguay, came to Burns Lake for a program of evangelism. Many people made spiritual commitments. Further meetings were held in early 1959 with the help of John Knelsen and David Froese of Swift Current. On 22 February 1959, 22 members were received into the Evangelical Mennonite Conference.
More evangelistic meetings followed in May and October 1959 with Rev. Ben D. Reimer as speaker. In March 1959 plans were made for a church building. A lot was purchased on Gerow Island on the south side of Burns Lake and a building (27.6 X 46.2 metres) with a full basement was constructed in 1959 at a cost of $3,600 (excluding labour). In 1980 it was replaced by a new sanctuary that seated 250, and dedication services were held on 19 January 1981.
Among its pastoral leaders were Abe and Elizabeth Unger (1959-1960), Cornie and Bernardine Plett (1960-1965), Arden and Helen Thiessen (1965-1970), Walter and Margaret Reimer (1970-1972), Abe and Mary Leiding (1973-1990), John and Tina Toews (1990-1993), Ed and Ruth Ann Peters (1993-2000), Henry and Doris Plett (2000-2007), Francis and Alix Rouveniz (2009-2011), and Ed and Ruth Peters (2012-present).
The language of worship was German before 1965 and English since then. In 1965, it had 39 members; in 1975, 57; in 1985, 100; in 1995. 77; in 2000, 82.
In 2012, Island Gospel Fellowship had 52 members, an average Sunday School attendance of 45, and an average worship attendance of 80.
The Canadian Mennonite (15 May 1959): 1.
EMC Yearbook for 2012: Including a Record of the Proceedings of the 62nd Annual Sessions of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference July 6-8, 2012. Steinbach, MB: Evangelical Mennonite Conference, 2012.
Schellenberg, Dave. "The Church on an Island." The Messenger 19, no. 20 (9 October 1981): 2-4.
Mailing Address: Box 145, Burns Lake, BC V0J 1E0
Location: 810 Highway 35, Burns Lake, British Columbia; located on Gerou Island, Burns Lake.
Website: Island Gospel Fellowship
Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical Mennonite Conference
Island Gospel Fellowship Ministers
Island Gospel Fellowship Membership
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Epp, Marlene and Terry Smith. "Island Gospel Fellowship (Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2013. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/I843.html.
APA style: Epp, Marlene and Terry Smith. (February 2013). Island Gospel Fellowship (Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/I843.html.