Abram D. Rempel is considered the founding leader of the group; he continued in office until 1945. Henry H. Nikkel followed Rempel as congregational leader. Other leaders prior to 1960 included Frank Janzen, Franz C. Thiessen, Jacob F. Redekop, Jacob Wedel, Jacob Bargen, Isaak Janzen, Herman Voth and John J. Stobbe.
The congregation’s members helped establish churches such as Matsqui Mennonite Brethren Church (1944), East Aldergrove Mennonite Brethren Church (1947), Otter Road Mennonite Brethren Church (1947), Central Heights Mennonite Brethren Church (1949), Bakerview Mennonite Brethren Church (1966) and King Road Mennonite Brethren Church (1966) incurring a reduction in membership in the process.
Additionally, South Abbotsford sought to accommodate academic needs in the Fraser Valley. The congregation started South Abbotsford Bible School in 1936 under the leadership of Cornelius C. Peters. Classes were suspended in 1941, but the school restarted in 1943 and was called Bethel Bible School (later known as Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute, then Columbia Bible Institute, now Columbia Bible College), which met in the church facilities. Also, in 1944, the Mennonite Educational Institute was first housed in this church.
Another significant contribution of South Abbotsford is its ministry to the Indo-Canadian people residing in the vicinity. David and Stella Manuel came to spearhead this ministry in 1980 although some church members had begun some work prior to their arrival.
In 2010 the congregation had a membership of 631 and an average attendance of 625.
Canadian Mennonite (8 October 1954): 1; (22 June 1956): 8; (24 November 1961): 15.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (6 February 1987): 14; (27 May 1988): 23; (11 August 1995): 20.
Stobbe, Abe J. South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church: a history from 1932-1982. Abbotsford, BC: South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church, 1982, 112 pp.
Willms, H. J. Die Sued-Abbotsford Ansiedlung, Abbotsford, B.C.: historischer Bericht. 1955, 55 pp.
Address: 32424 Huntingdon Rd., R.R.5, Abbotsford BC V2T 5Z1
Website: South Abbotsford Church
South Abbotsford Church Leading Ministers
|Abram D. Rempel||1932-1934|
|Abram D. Rempel||1935-1944|
|Henry H. Nikkel||1944-1949|
|John J. Stobbe||1950-1959|
|William I. Neufeld||1959-1966|
|Henry C. Born (interim)||1980-1981|
|Ed Balzer (interim)||2004-2005|
South Abbotsford Church Membership
|Author(s)||Henry H., Andrew Klager, Nikkel|
|Date Published||November 2010|
Cite This Article
Nikkel, Henry H., Andrew Klager, and Hugo Friesen. "South Abbotsford Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2010. Web. 13 Feb 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=South_Abbotsford_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=77826.
Nikkel, Henry H., Andrew Klager, and Hugo Friesen. (November 2010). South Abbotsford Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 February 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=South_Abbotsford_Church_(Abbotsford,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=77826.
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