Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)

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Arnold MB Church, ca. 1965.
Source: The Reach P19730.
Arnold Community Church, 2009
Source: D. Giesbrecht

The Arnold Community Church traces its roots to a small gathering in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Hamm in 1942. The Hamms were among several new settlers in the community that was then called Perrigo, after John Joseph Perrigo, who owned the land in this area.  In these early years about 20 people, including many children, gathered in the Hamm household to worship and pray.  The group was named the Perrigo Mennonite Brethren Church (using this name because Mr. Perrigo donated the land for the church), and was affiliated with the Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church.  This group formally organized on 7 November 1943 with 72 charter members and Johann P. Braun serving as the leading minister. The congregation joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in 1944.

Early in 1943, construction of a 30 ft. by 40 ft. basement began and by July 1944 an additional structure at the east end of the church had to be erected to accommodate the congregation’s rapid growth. The upper sanctuary was completed in 1946.  In 1945, the church was renamed Arnold Mennonite Brethren Church after a creek that runs through part of the property. The church grew in numbers reaching a high of 225 by 1948. Changes to the church sanctuary include the addition of a front foyer and two washrooms in 1965, a remodeling of the interior in 1977, another addition in 1987, and a significant renovation in 2009.

By 1985 the membership was down to 74 partially due to the lack of employment for young people in the area.  In 1988 the name of the church was changed to Arnold Community Church, underscoring a desire on the part of the church to reach out into the community, and consequently membership began to rebound in the 1990s.

In 2015 the congregation had 161 members and an average weekly attendance of 220.

The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in 1967.


Canadian Mennonite (24 November 1961): 23.

Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.  "Arnold Community Church." Web. 13 May 2008.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 26; (18 February 1994): 20.

Additional Information

Address: 310 Arnold Road, Abbotsford, BC, V3G 1S4

Phone: 604-864-2208

Website: Arnold Community Church

Denominational Affiliations:

British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1944-present)

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1944-present)

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1944-2002)

Arnold Community Church Pastors

Minister Years
Johann P. Braun 1943-1948
J. J. Klassen 1949-1952
Isaak P. Goertzen 1953-1957
Gustav P. Ratzlaff 1958-1965
John J. Rempel 1967
Peter C. Penner 1968-1973
Harry R. Loewen 1974-1979
Wilfred Richert 1980-1983
Sylvester Dirks 1984-1987
Irvin Penner 1988-1990
Mark Burch 1991-1996
Douglas Braun 1997-2000
Robert Dyck 2002-2017
Terrance Froese (transitional) 2017-2018
Cam Stuart 2018-present

Arnold Community Church Membership

Year Members
1944 67
1950 200
1955 216
1957 222
1960 200
1965 162
1970 75
1975 78
1980 82
1985 74
1990 58
1996 91
2001 96
2004 85
2010 102
2015 161
2020 182


Map:Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, BC)

Author(s) Johann P. Braun
Hugo Friesen
Date Published November 2018

Cite This Article

MLA style

Braun, Johann P. and Hugo Friesen. "Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2018. Web. 21 Apr 2024.,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=175614.

APA style

Braun, Johann P. and Hugo Friesen. (November 2018). Arnold Community Church (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=175614.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 165. All rights reserved.

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