Christian Fellowship Chapel (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)

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The Christian Fellowship Chapel in Orillia, Ontario has it roots in a group that left the local United Church to fellowship together in 1944. They were dissatisfied with denomination's lack of emphasis on individual spiritual redemption. The group was known as the Evangelical Fellowship until 1951, and met in rented facilities and homes in the Hampshire Mills area. In 1948 John Gowanlock donated the corner of a farm property, with the farmhouse, to the group. The house was converted into a meetinghouse. When the Mennonite Brethren began work in the area, the fellowship invited a call to Henry Dick, thus linking the congregation to the Mennonite Brethren Home Missions Board.

In 1951 the group became known as the Christian Fellowship Chapel. They were from United Church, Anglican, Alliance, Baptist, Brethren, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and other church backgrounds and all of British heritage. The Home Missions Board encouraged young teachers of Mennonite Brethren background to begin their careers in the area. These people helped in church programs and became the nucleus of a radio ministry that continued into the 1960s. In 1961 the congregation officially was organized as an Mennonite Brethren congregation with 20 charter members. In 1963 a parsonage was built nearby the meeting house. There were 26 members in 1967. In 1972 a larger meeting house was completed and the original meeting house became an education wing and was only torn down in 1993. In 1980 the membership stood at 62 and 68 in 1990. In 1994 they celebrated their 50th anniversary with many former leaders of the congregation present.


"History of the Christian Fellowship Chapel." Web. 5 April 2010.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 54; (19 March 1993): 21; (5 August 1994): 20.

When Your Children Shall Ask: A History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982 (1982): 57-59.

Archives at Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.

Additional Information

Address: 1296 Cambrian Rd., R.R. 4, Orillia, Ontario

Phone: 705-326-8030

Website: Christian Fellowship Chapel

Denominational Affiliations:

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches 

Christian Fellowship Chapel Membership

Year Members
1961  20
1965 27
1975 40
1985 83
1995 85
2000 87
2010 98

Canadian Fellowship Chapel Pastors

Name Years of Service
Henry Dick 1951-1954
John Epp 1954-1957
Herman Kroeker 1957-1967
Peter Klassen 1967-1981
Phil Hamm 1981-1984
Robert Roswell 1984-1988
George Peck 1988-1989
John Block 1990-1998
Robert Duncan 1999
Roger Thiessen 2000-2002
Andrew Barton 2005-2008
Peter Dennison 2008-present


Map:Christian Fellowship Chapel (Orillia, Ontario)

Author(s) Marlene Epp
Sam Steiner
Date Published April 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. "Christian Fellowship Chapel (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2010. Web. 20 Apr 2019.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147231.

APA style

Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. (April 2010). Christian Fellowship Chapel (Orillia, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 April 2019, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147231.

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