Cedar Valley Mennonite Church (Mission, British Columbia, Canada)
The first Mennonite settlers in Mission, British Columbia, came in 1934-1937. Nine Mennonite families and some Mennonite Brethren began gathering together for worship services and formally organized in 1940 under the leadership of Abram J. Pankratz, their first pastor. They met in a small building on the latter’s property on Ferndale Road and the church was named the United Mennonite Church of Mission. The congregation joined the Conference of United Mennonite Churches of British Columbia at that time. In 1940 a meeting house seating 180 and measuring 30 by 24 feet was built on land donated by Abram J. Pankratz. A dedication service was held in August 1940. Peter Froese arrived in the late 1940s and had the longest tenure of all Cedar Valley pastors, serving as the leading minister from 1947 to 1964.
The members in the 1950s were largely engaged in dairying, poultry-raising, and berry culture. Construction on the second sanctuary began in 1951 when the congregation outgrew the original building. The land was donated by John Friesen. It was slowly built so that no debt would be incurred. Services were held in the basement until the work was completed in 1953. Eventually the name was changed to Cedar Valley Mennonite Church. In 1965 Ed Goerzen was retained as the first salaried pastor. He oversaw the change from the German to the English language. This change and a vision for outreach opened the doors to the community. As a result the church soon took on a community feel. Not long after they saw the need to build a new church and a 700-seat sanctuary on the same property was constructed. It was dedicated in May 1979.
Returned missionaries George and Martha Janzen, Jake and Elfrieda Thielmann, and Gary and Ellie Loewen have served the congregation. Youth workers, associate ministers, music ministers, Christian Education directors and others have served. Cedar Valley began an Indo-Canadian ministry in 1977 and helped found the Valley Christian School in the late 1980s. The congregation has always been concerned about people in the community, including prison inmates and especially children.
Canadian Mennonite (24 November 1961): 24.
Cedar Valley Mennonite Church 50th Jubilee 1990. Mission, BC: Cedar Valley Mennonite Church, 1990.
Churches in Profile. Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia, 1978: 27-31.
Information bezueglich der Vereinigten Mennoniten Gemeinden in British Columbien: Gelegentlich der Konferenz der Mennoniten in Kanada, 1959. Abbotsford, BC: The Conference, 1959: 15.
Rempel, Dick. "United Mennonite Church, Mission City, British Columbia." Research paper, CMBC, 1956, 13 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.
Records kept at Mennonite Heritage Centre.
Address: 32840 Janzen Ave., Mission, BC V2V 2T5; located 1 1/2 miles north of downtown Mission, off Cedar St.
Mennonite Church British Columbia (1940-present)
Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1940-2006)
General Conference Mennonite Church (1959-1999)
Cedar Valley Mennonite Church Leading Ministers
Cedar Valley Mennonite Church Membership
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MLA style: Janzen, George. "Cedar Valley Mennonite Church (Mission, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C45885.html.
APA style: Janzen, George. (March 2012). Cedar Valley Mennonite Church (Mission, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C45885.html.