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East Aldergrove Mennonite Brethren Church, 1949-1950
Creator: Henry J. Wiens
Digitized by Hiebert Library. Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies
.
Ross Road Community Church, 2007
Source: David Giesbrecht

On 2 January 1947, a number of brethren representing 32 families from the North Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church (now Clearbrook MB) began holding meetings concerning the possibility of forming a new church. Their desire was to fellowship in their own community. Most of these families lived west of Abbotsford in the Aldergrove and Mount Lehman areas. By February 1947, a decision was made to purchase 5 acres on the corner of Ross and Sinclair in order to build a sanctuary, to be known as East Aldergrove Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church (now Ross Road Community Church).

Almost all of the charter members lived on farms where they raised dairy cattle, chickens and also cultivated raspberries and strawberries. The majority had little money, since 65 cents an hour was considered a fair wage. In faith, they bought the land for $1,500 (5 acres) and with John Buehler as supervisor, and then spent a further $3,000 to build the basement that was then covered with roofing material. A wood furnace provided heat and simple benches the seating.

The congregation organized itself as an independent congregation on 13 June 1947 with 93 charter members, and worship services started on 15 June of that year. The church joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in 1947. Two years later, on 18 April 1949, the building was dedicated at a cost of $13,000.

As the congregation grew the building was expanded. In 1970 an education wing was built for $25,000. The church continued to grow and in 1977 a multipurpose building for $149,115.91 was constructed. By 1981 it was necessary to demolish & rebuild the main sanctuary. Finally in 1991 a new kitchen & education wing were built at a cost of $169,000.

Not only did the church building change but what went on the inside as well. East Aldergrove services were originally held only in German. In 1959 the transition to dual English and German services began. By the late 1960s the services were entirely in English. In the mid-1980s a gradual change began from a more traditional style service to contemporary style music. In 2000 East Aldergrove changed its name to Ross Road Community Church.

Ross Road has also been involved in church planting over the years. In 1951 East Aldergrove assumed responsibility for a Sunday school ministry in the County Line area which eventually grew into an independent church, County Line Gospel Chapel, in 1958.

In 2010 the congregation had a membership of 379 with an average attendance of 439.

[edit] Bibliography

"1947-1997 Fifty Years of God’s Faithfulness." East Aldergrove MB Church.

Canadian Mennonite (24 November 1961): 25.

Klassen, A. J., ed.  The Church in the Heart of the Valley: 1892-1992. Abbotsford, BC: Abbotsford-Matsqui Ministerial Association, 1992: 99-100.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (28 August 1987): 24; (27 May 1988): 24.

Voth, J. C. "A Brief History of the East Aldergrove MB Church from its Beginnings to its 25th Anniversary Celebrations, June 11, 1972." 1972, 3 pp. Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.

[edit] Additional Information

Address: 3160 Ross Rd., Abbotsford, BC  V4X 1G4

Phone: 604-856-2024

Website: Ross Road Community Church website

Denominational Affiliations:

British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1947-present)

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1947-present)

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America (1947-2002)

Ross Road Community Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years
Gerhard P. Warkentin 1947-1955
Herman Voth 1955-1963
Rudy Janzen (interim) 1963-1964
Cornelius D. Toews 1964-1970
Rudie Willms 1970-1984
Wilf Richert (interim) 1984-1985
John Froese 1985-1988
Jacob "Jay" Neufeld 1988-1992
John Froese (interim) 1993
John Nikkel 1993-1999
Herb Neufeld 2000-2003
Al Stobbe (interim) 2003
James Penner 2004-2009
Robert J. Friesen (interim) 2010
Art Birch 2010-present

Ross Road Community Church Membership

Year Members
1947 110
1948 155
1950 187
1955 214
1960 214
1965 159
1971 183
1975 222
1980 266
1985 386
1990 389
1995 371
2000 335
2005 407
2010 379

[edit] Maps

Map:Ross Road Community Church (Abbotsford, BC)


Author(s) Andrew Klager
Date Published March 2011


[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Klager, Andrew. "Ross Road Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2011. Web. 21 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ross_Road_Community_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=115474.

APA style

Klager, Andrew. (March 2011). Ross Road Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ross_Road_Community_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=115474.




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