Gospel Chapel Fellowship (Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada)
In 1945, through the outreach of Canada Inland Mission, Peter Schroeder accepted the responsibility of ministering to the Russian people of Grand Forks, British Columbia through personal contact and the distribution of Christian literature. Many of these people had a Doukhobor heritage. Three years later, Peter became aware that if a permanent ministry were to be established, he would require assistance. The year 1947 witnessed many itinerant speakers working in the region, including K. P. Janzen, Abram Huebert, and Jacob Reimer. Notwithstanding this help, Peter quickly became aware that such an arrangement could not facilitate regular, continuous services. Consequently, Peter invited George Martens and his family to aid in establishing a more consistent ministry in Grand Forks, an invitation which they accepted.
By 1954, the Martens' home was not suitable for conducting Sunday School classes, and on 25 September 1954 construction began on a new church building that could accommodate the seventy people that were already a part of the congregation plus room for growth. The building was completed and dedicated on 27 November 1955, and its sanctuary could seat 120 people. Pines Bible Camp was established in 1965 as an agency for outreach in the region.
Always perceived as a "community church" with no official denominational affiliation, Gospel Chapel Fellowship joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in 1976. Either expansion or a new building seemed necessary by 1977 when attendance growth called for more room. After much prayer, it was agreed that expansion was the best route, and a new sanctuary with a basement was added onto the existing structure. The new sanctuary, dedicated on 4 June 1978, was able to seat three hundred people. After thirty-four years of service to the congregation, Pastor George Martens retired in 1982. 1993 witnessed another building project, as the existing structure experienced further expansion.
In 2015 the congregation had 135 members and an average weekly attendance of 226. In 2010 the congregation had 126 members and an average weekly attendance of 242.
Centre for Mennonite Studies. "Gospel Chapel Fellowship." http://www.mbconf.ca/home/products_and_services/resources/published_genealogies/mb_provincial_conferences_and_church_congregation_records/british_columbia_archives/gospel_chapel_fellowship_archives/ (accessed 30 November 2009).
Mennonite Brethren Herald (3 December 1982): 16; (27 May 1988): 31; (16 July 1993): 19.
Schmidt, Ben. Unpublished history, 5 pp. Mennonite Historical Society of Canada collection, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Winnipeg, MB): Volume 368.
Mailing address: Box 2528, Grand Forks, BC, V0H 1H0.
Location: 7048 Donaldson Drive, Grand Forks, BC.
Website: Gospel Chapel
British Columbia Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church (1976-present)
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1976-present)
Gospel Chapel Fellowship Leading Ministers
|Henry P. Klassen||1997-2016|
|Aldon Loeppky (interim)||2017-present|
Gospel Chapel Fellowship Membership
|Date Published||November 2017|
Cite This Article
Klager, Andrew. "Gospel Chapel Fellowship (Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2017. Web. 22 Jan 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gospel_Chapel_Fellowship_(Grand_Forks,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=155570.
Klager, Andrew. (November 2017). Gospel Chapel Fellowship (Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 January 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gospel_Chapel_Fellowship_(Grand_Forks,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=155570.
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