Level Ground Mennonite Church was formed in 2008 when members of two churches, West Abbotsford Mennonite, established in 1936, and Wellspring Christian Fellowship, started in 1992, came together to form a new congregation. The congregation's charter service took place on 25 January 2009 with 172 charter members, and the congregation was accepted as a member of Mennonite Church British Columbia on 21 February 2009. The congregations, led by co-chairpersons Christine Dahl (Wellspring) and Ben Falk (West Abbotsford), began holding discussions at the beginning of 2008 to explore the idea of a merger. The congregations worshiped together for four Sundays in the spring of 2008 and then each voted to unite. The churches agreed to worship on Sunday mornings in the West Abbotsford sanctuary with West Abbotsford’s Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen serving as the lead pastor.
Two churches, stretched in resources, volunteers and paid personnel, formed one dynamic church. Both had a similar vision: to be the church reaching out. They merged their visions and programs and amalgamated assets and finances, and above all they united a church with many elderly people with a church brimming with younger people and children. The new name was taken from the book of Ephesians where all are equal, where the ground is level at the foot of the cross for Jews and Gentiles, for slaves and free.
Level Ground Mennonite has a variety of ministries but tries to be volunteer-driven and has a well-developed network of cell groups (Journey Groups). Staff includes lead pastor Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen, worship and young adults pastor Dan Loewen, youth pastor Robin Mauthe, administrative secretary Rita Ewert, and Tippytoes Preschool teacher Wanda Hildebrandt.
Level Ground’s worship services include a sermon, a contemporary style of worship, a time of sharing and prayer, and a variety of multimedia features. For some time it had a second service of a more meditative nature which included some hymns, but this service was discontinued at the end of 2011 due to declining attendance. Children’s work is done by volunteers but the church continues to offer Tippytoes Preschool in its building.
Many of those who are welcomed by the church are the marginalized and the church has a semi-autonomous ministry to drug and alcohol addicts in Lifebridge Ministries, pastored by Keith St. Jean. The church is located next door to Kinghaven Treatment Centre, a drug and alcohol treatment center for men, and many of the men attend the service and participate in Bible studies while receiving treatment. The congregation also offers Sunday morning transportation for women at Peardonville House, another drug and alcohol treatment center in the area.
Address: 31216 King Rd., Abbotsford BC V2T 6C2; the church is located at King and Townline Roads
Website: Level Ground Mennonite Church
Mennonite Church British Columbia (2009-present)
Level Ground Mennonite Church Leading Ministers
|Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen||2009-present|
Level Ground Mennonite Church Membership
|Author(s)||Alvin G Ens|
|Date Published||March 2012|
Cite This Article
Ens, Alvin G. "Level Ground Mennonite Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 30 May 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Level_Ground_Mennonite_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=112486.
Ens, Alvin G. (March 2012). Level Ground Mennonite Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 May 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Level_Ground_Mennonite_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=112486.
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