Southin and Khamphong Luangrath and their family were the first refugees sponsored by the St. Catharines United Mennonite Church; other refugees were sponsored by Niagara-area Mennonite Brethren congregations and other Protestant churches. The Luangrath family was not Christian when they arrived, but they participated in Wednesday evening English-language Bible studies led by Henry P. Epp. Another Laotian family, already Christian, came six months later, and soon a small group met for occasional Bible study at the St. Catharines United Mennonite Church. Up to 20 persons were participating by April 1980.
In August 1980 the St. Catharines United Mennonite and Vineland United Mennonite churches assisted a Lao Christian pastor, Tong Chitchalerntham, to move to the community and start a congregation. On 19 August 1980 the Lao Christian Fellowship formally organized. They soon published a songbook in Lao and developed a vigorous church program.
Chitchalerntham also occasionally ministered to small Christian Laotian groups in Hamilton, Cambridge, and Kitchener. He left the congregation in the late 1980s to plant more Lao Christian churches throughout North America. Boris Sithideth became pastor in 1991 and served until he and his wife, Bonnie, were commissioned in 1994 to begin a work that became the Toronto United Lao Mennonite Church.
The St. Catharines congregation purchased its own building in 1996.
Epp, Andrea. "Grateful for God's Mercy." Canadian Mennonite (19 April 2010): 16-17.
Mennonite Reporter (8 July 1991): 16; (28 November 1994): 3; (14 October 1996): B2.
Phommaseng, Khamphong. "Blessed in the Journey." Canadian Mennonite 20, no. 4 (15 February 2016): 7.
Steiner, Samuel J. In Search of Promised Lands: a Religious History of Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, Ont. : Herald Press, 2015: 461-462.
 Additional Information
Address: 79 Page St., St. Catharines, ON L2R 4A8
Denominational Affiliations: Mennonite Church Eastern Canada
 Ordained Leaders at Lao Christian Fellowship
 Membership at Lao Christian Fellowship
|Date Published||March 2015|
 Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam. "Lao Christian Fellowship (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2015. Web. 20 Feb 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lao_Christian_Fellowship_(St._Catharines,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=141872.
Steiner, Sam. (March 2015). Lao Christian Fellowship (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 February 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lao_Christian_Fellowship_(St._Catharines,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=141872.
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