Through an outreach of the British Columbia (BC) Conference of Mennonite Brethren (MB) Churches, Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church had its inception on 25 September 1960 when it held its first official meeting at the South Fort George Baptist Church in the Peden Hill area of Prince George, BC. John Esau was the first leader of the church, and led the first meeting. The first formal service was held on 6 November 1960 at the Prince George Civic Centre.
The church was formally accepted as a member of the provincial Mennonite Brethren conference on 10-11 June 1961 with 24 members. This was also the year the congregation met in its own building for the first time, with the chapel/residence dedicated on 1 October 1961. It was built at a total cost of $12,574. In 1962 the congregation decided to purchase a lot at a cost of $3,000 for the construction of a church, and construction began on an educational wing in September 1963. Initially known as the Extension Work of the MB Church of BC, the congregation voted to change the name to Peden Hill Mennonite Brethren Church on 11 March 1964. The new church was dedicated on 19 April 1964 at a total cost of $19,984, and the first baptism in the new church was held on 24 May 1964. By 1965 the congregation ceased receiving financial support from the BC MB Conference.
A ground-breaking service was held on 29 July 1973 for a new building located at the corner of Dufferin Avenue and Ospika Blvd. The old sanctuary was sold to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and services were held at Peden Hill Elementary School gymnasium during the winter of 1973-74. On 21 April 1974 the congregation changed its name to Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church, and on 19 May 1974, the new church was dedicated. The total cost of construction was $189,000.
The congregation experienced significant growth throughout the 1980s and in 1987 the congregation began holding two services. In the same year, parking space was expanded through the purchase of area on the north and east sides of the church. In 1989, additional space for parking was purchased on Ospika Blvd. Mel Fehr became the congregation's first associate pastor in 1985, responsible for youth. He became senior pastor in 1986 and served in that position until 2010.
On 26 February 1990 the church was sold to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church and construction began in late summer of that year on a new sanctuary. Services were held in the new sanctuary in April 1991. Growth continued and a second Sunday service was added on 1 November 1993. Renovations were carried out on the church building in 2003 and in 2007.
In 2010 the congregation's membership was 299 and the average weekly attendance was 635.
Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. "Westwood MB Church." Web. 9 November 2009. http://www.mbconf.ca/home/products_and_services/resources/published_genealogies/mb_provincial_conferences_and_church_congregation_records/british_columbia_archives/westwood_mennonite_brethren_church_archives/.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 28; (23 August 1991): 13; (17 December 1993): 16; (April 2011): 32.
"Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church: 50 Years of Sharing Jesus, 1960-2010." Web. 3 July 2011. http://www.westwoodchurch.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Westwood-50-Years.pdf.
Archival Records:Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Winnipeg, MB): Volumes 372–374.
Address: 2658 Ospika Blvd., Prince George BC V2N 2L8
Web site: Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1961-present)
General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1961-2002)
Westwood MB Church Leading Ministers
|Henry Poetker (interim)||1974-1975|
Westwood MB Church Membership
|Author(s)||Richard D Thiessen|
|Date Published||July 2011|
Cite This Article
Thiessen, Richard D. "Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2011. Web. 3 May 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Westwood_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Prince_George,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=104272.
Thiessen, Richard D. (July 2011). Westwood Mennonite Brethren Church (Prince George, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 May 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Westwood_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Prince_George,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=104272.
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