Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

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In 1984 Kitchener Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church and Waterloo MB Church decided to plant a new church in Kitchener, Ontario. Land was purchased in 1985 and construction started in 1987, and Kitchener MB offered to assume half of the mortgage on the new building.

The new building was designed as a gym that served as a place of worship on Sundays and a meeting place for the youth and the children during the week. Offices, a library, and kitchen were located on the main floor, and Sunday school and childcare rooms in the basement.

Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church began services on 1 January 1988 and the church was formally organized that year with 79 charter members. Leadership was the responsibility of the Church Board. Care groups included all who attended the church. The Junior Youth and Senior Youth ministries had their sponsors in place and had a good beginning.

In 1989, a food pantry program was organized at the church. Canned and dry food or prepared meals were collected to assist those within the church family who were sick, unemployed, or single mothers with low income, as well as for the needy in the community.

In 1991, the role of church elders was added to the leadership structure. The formation of smaller Bible study groups was encouraged. One well-attended group was the Ladies’ Bible Study Group held at church that attracted women from the neighborhood.

Glencairn developed and maintained a positive relationship with Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church across the street, and interacted on a number of levels.

As attendance increased to over 300, it became clear that more room was needed for Sunday morning services. On 15 January 1994, it was decided to begin a Saturday evening worship service. After several years it was apparent that this service did not attract a large enough group to make it viable. The Saturday services ended on 19 December 1998, with a communion service and potluck celebrating its five years of existence.

There was a desire to reach out to people in the neighborhood in a more organized way, to help those struggling with daily needs such as food and clothing. These people were mostly recent immigrants to Canada, or those who had lost their income due to sickness or loss of employment. A church committee was created in 1998, and volunteers came forward. A local food bank affirmed the church as a location for a satellite Kitchener depot. Bridges, as the program was called, was open two Saturday mornings a month.

By fall 1998, attendance had grown to about 450 on Sunday mornings and a second Sunday morning service was added, keeping the same format for both services.

Over the years, Glencairn developed into a "sending church" for those willing to do short-term missions work. Small groups of people from Glencairn joined mission teams who traveled to China, Ecuador, Congo, and Mexico. Some served with Mennonite Central Committee, others with Youth with a Mission. A group of young people served with Mission Montreal under Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International (MBMSI). Others went to Ukraine with Disciple Making International under MBMSI.

With attendance declining, it was decided that the church would return to one service each Sunday. The second Sunday service was discontinued in June 2005.

The church celebrated its 25th anniversary on 27 January 2013.


"Church Anniversaries." Mennonite Brethren Herald. 1 March 2013.

Enns, Selma. "Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church, 1988-present." Mennonite Heritage Portrait. Web. 4 January 2014.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (1 May 1987): 18; (27 May 1988): 49; (7 January 1994): 16; 28 September 2001).

Mennonite Reporter (24 November 1986): 15.

Additional Information

Address: 725 Erinbrook Drive, Kitchener, ON N2E 3E3

Phone: 519-579-8741

Website: Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Glencairn MB Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years of Service
Paul Unger 1988-1990
Henry Paetkau (interim) 1990-1991
Mark Johnson 1991-2001
Ross Penner 2002-2007
Bill Stubbs 2008-2013
Richard Martens 2013-present

Glencairn MB Church Membership

Year Members
1995 196
2000 218
2010 237
2015 299

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published January 2014

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2014. Web. 16 Sep 2019.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147103.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (January 2014). Glencairn Mennonite Brethren Church (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 September 2019, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=147103.

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