Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)

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Orchard Park Bible Church, 2018
Photo: Google street view.

The Orchard Park Bible Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada began as a church plant on 1 January 1971 by the Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church. It first met at Eden Christian College, and was led by a team that included George Wichert, Eden's principal, and Victor Loewen, a teacher at the school. The new group particularly desired English-language worship and fellowship. It was also sometimes known as the Orchard Park Church of the Mennonite Brethren.

The formal charter service for the congregation took place on 2 May 1972. The congregation welcomed its first pastor, Herman Kroeker, on 12 August 1973.

In 1974 Orchard Park purchased land across the road from Eden Christian College, and dedicated a new facility on 9 May 1975.

After some years of discussion, a major expansion project was undertaken in 1995 and completed in early 1996. It included a new sanctuary/reception hall, offices, library, kitchen, fireside lounge and additional classrooms.

In the mid-1990s Orchard Park was part of a financial crisis that affected six Mennonite congregations in the Niagara Peninsula. The Pleasant Manor seniors facility and nursing home sponsored by four Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregations and two Mennonite Brethren congregations faced a $2.5 million debt when some luxury condominium units remained unsold. Tabor Manor, a Mennonite Brethren facility in St. Catharines, took over Pleasant Manor, and after significant fundraising in the churches the crisis was resolved.

In 2017 Orchard Park Bible Church said its goal was "to see Christ exalted, the Kingdom of God built, and the growth of the Body of Christ here at Orchard Park and throughout the world to the glory of God the Father!"

In the Spring of 2018 Orchard Park Church approached Cornerstone Community Church in Virgil about a possible merger. After a brief period of discernment, Orchard Park was adopted by Cornerstone. Trevor Peck, their lead pastor became part of the Cornerstone ministry by mid July 2018. Cornerstone assumed outstanding financial obligations and invited Orchard Park members to worship with them, and contribute their donations to Cornerstone. Since early September 2018, Cornerstone has gathered for weekly Sunday worship at the Orchard Park location on Hunter Road, and maintains offices and weekday programs at the Virgil location.


"Early Thanksgiving at Orchard Park." Mennonite Brethren Herald 14, no. 15 (25 July 1975): 16.

Friesen, C. Alfred. Memoirs of the Virgil-Niagara Mennonites. Virgil, Ont., 1984: 52.

Heinrichs, Kevin. "Nursing home faces debt crisis." Mennonite Brethren Herald 35, no. 14 (19 July 1996): 13-14.

Heinrichs, Kevin. "Pleasant Manor debt crisis resolved." Mennonite Brethren Herald 36, no. 2 (24 January 1997): 16.

"Orchard Park ready to expand." Mennonite Brethren Herald 34, no. 6 (1 September 1995): 17.

"The Orchard Park story." Orchard Park Bible Church. 2016. Web. 16 February 2017. http://www.orchardparkbiblechurch.org/about/history/.

When Your Children Shall Ask: a History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982. Ontario: Ontario Mennonite Brethren Conference, 1982: 71-73.

Wichert, Bertha. "Milestone." Mennonite Brethren Herald 12, no. 19 (21 September 1973): 28.

Wichert, Edith. "Ground-breaking for Ontario church." Mennonite Brethren Herald 13, no. 13 (28 June 1974): 11.

Wichert, Edith. "Orchard Park has year firsts." Mennonite Brethren Herald 11, no. 3 (11 February 1972): 10-11.


Archives are at the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies

Additional Information

Address: 434 Hunter Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, L0S 1J0



Denominational Affiliations: Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1972-2018

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1972-2018

Ordained Leaders at Orchard Park Bible Church

Name Years
of Service
Leadership Team 1971-1973
Herman Kroeker 1973-1979
Ernest Dyck
Dewayn Isaac 1982-1988
Rob Thiessen 1988-1995
Herman Neufeld
Herman Neufeld 1995-1997
David Boyes
Alfred Reschke
John Hiebert
Ray Russell 1998-2003
Derek Johnson
Henry Wiebe
Jim Evans 2005-2014
Kevin Weeks
Reid Cooke
Lennie Fahnestock
Trevor Peck 2017-2018

Membership at Orchard Park Bible Church

Year Membership
1972 99
1975 136
1985 185
1995 267
2005 213
2015 201


Map:Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)

Author(s) Samuel J. Steiner
Alf Redekopp
Date Published March 2019

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. and Alf Redekopp. "Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2019. Web. 18 Jun 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Orchard_Park_Bible_Church_(Niagara-on-the-Lake,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=166708.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. and Alf Redekopp. (March 2019). Orchard Park Bible Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Orchard_Park_Bible_Church_(Niagara-on-the-Lake,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=166708.

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