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The Orchard Park Bible Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON began services and formally organized in 1971. The first building was occupied in 1975, with a subsequent building program in 1995/96. George Wichert and Vic Loewen are considered the founding leaders of the group. The congregation originated through division from [[Cornerstone Community Church (Virgil, Ontario, Canada)|Virgil Mennonite Brethren]] over a desire to use the English language in worship.
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The Orchard Park Bible Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, [[Ontario (Canada)|Ontario]], [[Canada]] began as a church plant on 1 January 1971 by the [[Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church (Virgil, Ontario, Canada)|Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church]]. It first met at [[Eden High School (Virgil, Ontario, Canada)|Eden Christian College]], and was led by a team that included George Wichert, Eden's principal, and Victor Loewen, a teacher at the school. The new group particularly desired English-language worship and fellowship. It was also sometimes known as the Orchard Park Church of the Mennonite Brethren.
  
In 1975 there were 136 members; in 1985, 185; in 1995, 267; in 2001, 228. The congregation has been affiliated with the [[Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches|Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]] (1971-), the [[Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches|Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]] (1971-) and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1971-2002). The language of worship is English.
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The formal charter service for the congregation took place on 2 May 1972. The congregation welcomed its first pastor, Herman Kroeker, on 12 August 1973.
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In 1974 Orchard Park purchased land across the road from Eden Christian College, and dedicated a new facility on 9 May 1975.
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After some years of discussion, a major expansion project was undertaken in 1995 and completed in early 1996. It included a new sanctuary/reception hall, offices, library, kitchen, fireside lounge and additional classrooms.
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In the mid-1990s Orchard Park was part of a financial crisis that affected six Mennonite congregations in the Niagara Peninsula. The Pleasant Manor seniors facility and nursing home sponsored by four [[Mennonite Church Eastern Canada]] congregations and two [[Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches|Mennonite Brethren]] congregations faced a $2.5 million debt when some luxury condominium units remained unsold. Tabor Manor, a Mennonite Brethren facility in St. Catharines, took over Pleasant Manor, and after significant fundraising in the churches the crisis was resolved.
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In 2017 Orchard Park Bible Church said its goal was "to see Christ exalted, the Kingdom of God built, and the growth of the Body of Christ here at Orchard Park and throughout the world to the glory of God the Father!"
  
The church is located at 434 Hunter Rd., R.R. 3, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0. (905) 468-7416. It is 2 km southwest of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Pastor Ray Russell served in 2002 as a fulltime congregational leader.
 
 
= Bibliography =
 
= Bibliography =
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Mennonite Brethren Herald</em> (27 May 1988): 51; (1 September 1995): 17.
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"Early Thanksgiving at Orchard Park." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 14, no. 15 (25 July 1975): 16.
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">When Your Children Shall Ask: a History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982.</em> 1982: 71-73.
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Friesen, C. Alfred. ''Memoirs of the Virgil-Niagara Mennonites.'' Virgil, Ont., 1984: 52.
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Heinrichs, Kevin. "Nursing home faces debt crisis." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 35, no. 14 (19 July 1996): 13-14.
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Heinrichs, Kevin. "Pleasant Manor debt crisis resolved." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 36, no. 2 (24 January 1997): 16.
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"Orchard Park ready to expand." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 34, no. 6 (1 September 1995): 17.
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"The Orchard Park story." Orchard Park Bible Church. 2016. Web. 16 February 2017. http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/about/history/.
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''When Your Children Shall Ask: a History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982.'' Ontario: Ontario Mennonite Brethren Conference, 1982: 71-73.
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Wichert, Bertha. "Milestone." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 12, no. 19 (21 September 1973): 28.
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Wichert, Edith. "Ground-breaking for Ontario church." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 13, no. 13 (28 June 1974): 11.
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Wichert, Edith. "Orchard Park has year firsts." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 11, no. 3 (11 February 1972): 10-11.
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== Archives ==
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Archives are at the [http://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/inst_records/orchard-park-bible-church-niagra-on-the-lake-on/ Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies]
  
Friesen, C. Alfred. <em class="gameo_bibliography">Memoirs of the Virgil-Niagara Mennonites.</em> 1984: 52.
 
 
= Additional Information =
 
= Additional Information =
[http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/ Orchard Park Bible Church]
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'''Address''': 434 Hunter Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0
{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=January 1989|a1_last=Epp|a1_first=Marlene|a2_last= |a2_first= }}
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'''Phone''': 905-468-5731
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'''Website''': http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/
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'''Denominational Affiliations:'''
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[http://www.onmb.org/ Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]
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[http://www.mennonitebrethren.ca/ Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]
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== Ordained Leaders at Orchard Park Bible Church ==
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Name !! Years<br/>of Service
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|-
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| Leadership Team || 1971-1973
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|-
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| Herman Kroeker || 1973-1979
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|-
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| Ernest Dyck<br/>(Interim) || 1980-1982
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|-
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| Dewayn Isaac || 1982-1988
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|-
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| Rob Thiessen || 1988-1995
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|-
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| Herman Neufeld<br/>(Associate) || 1988-1995
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|-
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| Herman Neufeld || 1995-1997
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|-
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| David Boyes<br>(Youth) || 1992-1993
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|-
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| Alfred Reschke<br/>(Associate) || 1994-1997
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|-
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| John Hiebert<br/>(Interim) || 1997
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|-
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| Ray Russell || 1998-2003
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|-
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| Derek Johnson<br/>(Youth) || 1999-2001
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|-
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| Henry Wiebe<br/>(Interim) || 2003-2004
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|-
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| Jim Evans || 2005-2014
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|-
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| Kevin Weeks<br/>(Associate) || 200?-2014
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|-
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| Reid Cooke<br/>(Interim) || 2015-2016
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|-
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| Lennie Fahnestock<br/>(Interim) || 2016-present
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|}
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== Membership at Orchard Park Bible Church ==
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: right;"
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|-
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! Year !! Membership
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|-
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| 1972 || 99
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|-
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| 1975 || 136
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|-
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| 1985 || 185
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|-
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| 1995 || 267
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|-
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| 2005 || 213
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|-
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| 2015 || 201
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|}
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= Map =
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[[Map:Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)]]
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{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=February 2017|a1_last=Steiner|a1_first=Sam|a2_last= |a2_first= }}
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[[Category:Churches]]
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[[Category:Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Congregations]]
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[[Category:Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Congregations]]
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[[Category:General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Congregations]]
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[[Category:Ontario Congregations]]
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[[Category:Canadian Congregations]]

Latest revision as of 21:05, 21 February 2017

Contents

The Orchard Park Bible Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada began as a church plant on 1 January 1971 by the Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church. It first met at Eden Christian College, and was led by a team that included George Wichert, Eden's principal, and Victor Loewen, a teacher at the school. The new group particularly desired English-language worship and fellowship. It was also sometimes known as the Orchard Park Church of the Mennonite Brethren.

The formal charter service for the congregation took place on 2 May 1972. The congregation welcomed its first pastor, Herman Kroeker, on 12 August 1973.

In 1974 Orchard Park purchased land across the road from Eden Christian College, and dedicated a new facility on 9 May 1975.

After some years of discussion, a major expansion project was undertaken in 1995 and completed in early 1996. It included a new sanctuary/reception hall, offices, library, kitchen, fireside lounge and additional classrooms.

In the mid-1990s Orchard Park was part of a financial crisis that affected six Mennonite congregations in the Niagara Peninsula. The Pleasant Manor seniors facility and nursing home sponsored by four Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregations and two Mennonite Brethren congregations faced a $2.5 million debt when some luxury condominium units remained unsold. Tabor Manor, a Mennonite Brethren facility in St. Catharines, took over Pleasant Manor, and after significant fundraising in the churches the crisis was resolved.

In 2017 Orchard Park Bible Church said its goal was "to see Christ exalted, the Kingdom of God built, and the growth of the Body of Christ here at Orchard Park and throughout the world to the glory of God the Father!"

[edit] Bibliography

"Early Thanksgiving at Orchard Park." Mennonite Brethren Herald 14, no. 15 (25 July 1975): 16.

Friesen, C. Alfred. Memoirs of the Virgil-Niagara Mennonites. Virgil, Ont., 1984: 52.

Heinrichs, Kevin. "Nursing home faces debt crisis." Mennonite Brethren Herald 35, no. 14 (19 July 1996): 13-14.

Heinrichs, Kevin. "Pleasant Manor debt crisis resolved." Mennonite Brethren Herald 36, no. 2 (24 January 1997): 16.

"Orchard Park ready to expand." Mennonite Brethren Herald 34, no. 6 (1 September 1995): 17.

"The Orchard Park story." Orchard Park Bible Church. 2016. Web. 16 February 2017. http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/about/history/.

When Your Children Shall Ask: a History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982. Ontario: Ontario Mennonite Brethren Conference, 1982: 71-73.

Wichert, Bertha. "Milestone." Mennonite Brethren Herald 12, no. 19 (21 September 1973): 28.

Wichert, Edith. "Ground-breaking for Ontario church." Mennonite Brethren Herald 13, no. 13 (28 June 1974): 11.

Wichert, Edith. "Orchard Park has year firsts." Mennonite Brethren Herald 11, no. 3 (11 February 1972): 10-11.

[edit] Archives

Archives are at the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies

[edit] Additional Information

Address: 434 Hunter Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0

Phone: 905-468-5731

Website: http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/

Denominational Affiliations: Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

[edit] Ordained Leaders at Orchard Park Bible Church

Name Years
of Service
Leadership Team 1971-1973
Herman Kroeker 1973-1979
Ernest Dyck
(Interim)
1980-1982
Dewayn Isaac 1982-1988
Rob Thiessen 1988-1995
Herman Neufeld
(Associate)
1988-1995
Herman Neufeld 1995-1997
David Boyes
(Youth)
1992-1993
Alfred Reschke
(Associate)
1994-1997
John Hiebert
(Interim)
1997
Ray Russell 1998-2003
Derek Johnson
(Youth)
1999-2001
Henry Wiebe
(Interim)
2003-2004
Jim Evans 2005-2014
Kevin Weeks
(Associate)
200?-2014
Reid Cooke
(Interim)
2015-2016
Lennie Fahnestock
(Interim)
2016-present

[edit] Membership at Orchard Park Bible Church

Year Membership
1972 99
1975 136
1985 185
1995 267
2005 213
2015 201

[edit] Map

Map:Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)


Author(s) Sam Steiner
Date Published February 2017


[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Sam. "Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2017. Web. 30 May 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Orchard_Park_Bible_Church_(Niagara-on-the-Lake,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147247.

APA style

Steiner, Sam. (February 2017). Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 May 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Orchard_Park_Bible_Church_(Niagara-on-the-Lake,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147247.




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