In fall 1989, a group of Chinese Christians began attending Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church in Richmond, BC. The church welcomed them, and they quickly became part of the congregation. However, the group also met every Sunday evening in homes for fellowship, Bible study and prayer. The meetings were led by pastors from various churches. The elders of Richmond Bethel Church asked the group if they had a vision for beginning evangelism work among the local Chinese. After they prayed about it for half a year, on 29 April 1990, the elders offered the group a meeting hall, office space and financial assistance to begin the outreach. The members of the Chinese group were excited, thankful and overwhelmed.
A planning committee was formed and invited Stephen Chan, then serving in Toronto, to come and lead the work. The Richmond Bethel leaders offered the planning committee two options – to be the Chinese outreach department of Richmond Bethel or to form a separate Chinese Mennonite Brethren congregation with Richmond Bethel providing financial support for the first half-year. The committee chose the second option.
Stephen Chan arrived in June 1990, and the first Sunday worship service took place on 15 July. Three months later, the congregation held its charter service and in 1991 became a member congregation of the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Attendance quickly grew to 90, and the congregation became financially self-supporting on schedule. In 1993, Phebe Chan joined the church as Christian education director. In January 1995, Stephen Chan suffered a serious heart attack. The doctors had given up hopes of his recovery, but every night a team of brothers and sisters took turns praying earnestly for him, and he recovered and returned home. In November, he resigned from all formal pastoral duties, retaining only an advisory role, and in December Peter Mau became senior pastor of the church.
In 1996, an agreement was made to expand the existing building to better serve Richmond Bethel Church, Richmond Chinese MB Church and Richmond Christian School. A new $400,000 sanctuary was built between the school building and the existing Richmond Bethel building, which was completed in March 1997.
In 2001 about 130 people attended the Cantonese service (which was also translated into Mandarin), and 45 attended the English service. In addition to various fellowship meetings and Sunday school classes, the church had begun Mandarin Bible study classes for new immigrants from Mainland China.
In 2010 the congregation had a membership of 205 and an average weekly attendance of 200.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (14 September 1990): 18; (25 April 1996): 13.
"We Are in the Same Family." Mennonite Brethren Herald 40, no. 21 (November 9, 2001). http://old.mbherald.com/40-21/family.html (accessed 19 May 2008).
Address: 10200 No. 5 Rd., Richmond, BC V7A 4E5
Richmond Chinese Mennonite Brethren Church Ministers
Richmond Chinese Mennonite Brethren Church Membership
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||November 2010|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam and Richard D. Thiessen. "Richmond Chinese Mennonite Brethren Church (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2010. Web. 3 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Richmond_Chinese_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Richmond,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=104281.
Steiner, Sam and Richard D. Thiessen. (November 2010). Richmond Chinese Mennonite Brethren Church (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Richmond_Chinese_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Richmond,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=104281.
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