Church of Living Water, The (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada)

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Worship service at the Tillsonburg Public Library, 11 September 2005. Source: Terry M. Smith, Editor, The Messenger

The Church of Living Water, an Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC) congregation, began holding services in 2000. Located in a part of southern Ontario diverse in cultures and churches, the congregation largely consists of Low German-speaking Mennonites, most with roots in Mexico. In 1997 or 1998 Mount Salem EMC pastor Wilbert Friesen desired that a church be planted in Tillsonburg. In January 1999 a small group of people met to discuss a church start, and the EMC Board of Missions and Region Nine churches became partners. A small group met regularly for a year.

An experienced pastoral couple, Dave and Audrey Wiebe, was called to lead the group, and services were first held in February 2000 in the Tillsonburg Library. Occasionally events were held in buildings belonging to the Salvation Army, Straffordville EMC, and Avondale Zion United Church. The congregation later moved its regular meeting place to Avondale Zion. In early September 2004 the Church of Living Water purchased three acres on the edge of town and, though delayed, a building was erected. 

David and Audrey Wiebe served till 2006. On 21 January 2007 Gary Herrfort had his first message as Living Water’s new pastor, and he was ordained on 25 March 2007. He and his wife Susan served as pastoral couple until 2011. Bill Friesen became interim pastor in 2011.

In 2005 service attendance fluctuated from 50 to 75. In 2012, The Church of Living Water had 50 members, an average of 55 at Sunday School, and 75 at a worship service.


EMC Yearbook for 2012: Including a Record of the Rroceedings of the 62nd Annual Sessions of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference July 6-8, 2012. Steinbach: Evangelical Mennonite Conference, 2012.

EMC Yearbook for 2011: Including a Record of the Proceedings of the 61nd Annual Sessions of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference July 1-3, 2011. Steinbach: Evangelical Mennonite Conference, 2011.

Reimer, Rose. "Highlights of a Church Life." The Messenger 39, no. 13 (18 July 2001): 14.

Sawatzky, Marge. "Gary Herrfort is New Pastor." The Messenger 45, no. 5 (7 March 2007): 12.

Smith, Terry M. "Building Christ’s Future in Tillsonburg." The Messenger 50, no. 4 (19 October 2005): 9-12.

Additional Information

Address: 5 Rouse St., Tillsonburg, Ontario

Phone: 519-550-0351

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference

Author(s) Terry Smith
Date Published January 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry. "Church of Living Water, The (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2013. Web. 21 Sep 2018.,_The_(Tillsonburg,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=68667.

APA style

Smith, Terry. (January 2013). Church of Living Water, The (Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2018, from,_The_(Tillsonburg,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=68667.

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