Lendrum Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
In the 1950s, Mennonite youth were moving to Edmonton, Alberta to study or work. Services began in 1956 at the home of Peter and Anne Bargen, and in 1957, Alberta Mennonite Brethren (MB) Missions sent Bernard W. Sawatzky and his family to Edmonton to minister to the group. They met in homes and then rented facilities. On 29 November 1959 the group officially founded the Edmonton Gospel Light Mission Church with 22 members.
In 1961 they began plans to build their own meeting house. On 4 November 1962 the congregation officially joined the Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches of Alberta as the Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church with 49 charter members. Peter Bargen is considered the founding leader of the group.
The first building, a worship/education hall, was completed in December 1963, and a sanctuary was completed in 1972, with a dedication service held on 25 June of that year.
In 1972, 35 members withdrew from the congregation to form Edmonton Christian Fellowship. This congregation was accepted into the Alberta MB Conference in 1973 and disbanded in 1978. In 1978, Lendrum voted to establish a second Mennonite Brethren congregation in Edmonton, and in the following year, Marvin Schmidt, resigned as pastor in order to pastor the new congregation, Mill Woods Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1987, Waldo Pauls resigned as pastor to become pastor of another new MB congregation, West Edmonton MB Church (later known as River West Christian Fellowship). Other congregations have also been supported throughout Lendrum's history.
Lendrum MB Church experienced steady growth from the 1960s until the mid-1990s. In 1994 the congregation had 237 members and a total of 514 attendees.
The congregation has been involved in various community-based activities such as nurseries, kindergartens, arts festivals, and refugee work, among others.
On 29 June - 1 July, 2012, the congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 2018 after a short discernment process, the congregation voted to change its name to Lendrum Mennonite Church. Some members felt the term "brethren" unnecessarily implied that women were excluded or inferior to men in the ministry. Others felt that the word was simply old-fashioned and didn't speak meaningfully.
Jubilee: Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church Celebrates 50 Years, 1962-2012. Edmonton, AB: Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church, 2012.
Mennonite Observer (11 December 1959): 1.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (18 September 1987): 13; (27 May 1988): 9.
Penner, Peter. No Longer at Arm's Length: Mennonite Brethren Church Planting in Canada. Winnipeg, MB: Kindred Press, 1987, 178 p. Available in full electronic text at: https://archive.org/stream/NoLongerAtArmsLengthMBChurchPlantingInCanadaOCRopt?ref=ol#mode/2up.
Toews, John A. A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975: 167. Available in full electronic text at: https://archive.org/details/AHistoryOfTheMennoniteBrethrenChurch.
25th anniversary publication in 1987.
Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg, MB: Volumes 326-327, Reel 53.
Address: 11210 59 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6H 1G3
Website: Lendrum MB Church
Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1963-present)
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1963-present)
Lendrum MB Church Ministers
|Bernard W. Sawatzky||1957-1959|
|Henry G. Thielman (interim)||1960|
|Abe Konrad (interim)||1972-1973|
|Abe Konrad (interim)||1979|
|William I. Neufeld (interim)||1980|
|Peter Rempel (interim)||1987-1988|
|Lorraine Dick (interim)||2007-2008|
Lendrum MB Church Membership
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||Jan 2020|
Cite This Article
Epp, Marlene, Richard D. Thiessen and Alf Redekopp. "Lendrum Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Jan 2020. Web. 29 Nov 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lendrum_Mennonite_Church_(Edmonton,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=166446.
Epp, Marlene, Richard D. Thiessen and Alf Redekopp. (Jan 2020). Lendrum Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 November 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lendrum_Mennonite_Church_(Edmonton,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=166446.
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