River of Life Fellowship (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

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in 1994 three groups related to the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (Hope Fellowship from the Tavistock, Ontario area, Living Water Community Christian Fellowship from the New Hamburg area and Kitchener-Waterloo House Church) believed there was a need for a new new cell church fellowship in the Kitchener/Waterloo area. The Kitchener-Waterloo House Church withdrew from the exploration, but persons from the other two groups joined their efforts to form the River of Life Fellowship on 17 December 1995.

The 60 initial participants met in cell groups and held weekly celebration worship services. The celebration services included everyone for an hour of celebration, followed by an hour of teaching for adults and separate ministry for the children.

The leadership of River of Life has been provided through a volunteer team of elders. Wayne and Mary Wagler were early leaders; Peter and Denise Gruber also provided much leadership through the years.

Initially the group met in a variety of locations before settling for nine years at the Pioneer Park Community Centre. Later the group rented chapel space from Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener

Over time the congregation has shifted from a narrower identity as a "cell church" to being a church with cells in which all members were encouraged to participate. In 2017 the group continued to have a variety of cells for all ages and interests.

In 2017 spiritual direction continued to be provided by a lay leadership team.

At the end of May 2019 River of Life withdrew from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and continued as an independent congregation. The congregation was led by four elders with Laura Gerber as team leader and Visioning and Teaching Pastor, Dwayne Ruby oversaw Pastoral Care and Local Missions, Denise Gruber oversaw Leadership Development, and Brad Brodhagen oversaw Life Groups and Extended Missions.


"About Us." River of Life Fellowship. 2009. Web. 6 January 2017. http://www.riveroflifefellowship.ca/site/?page_id=16.

Mennonite Reporter (19 February 1996): 14.

Additional Information

Address: 110 Fergus Ave., Kitchener, ON N2A 2H2

Phone: 519-894-1504

Website: https://www.riveroflifefellowship.ca/

Denominational Affiliations: Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Conference (1994-May 2019)

Mennonite Church Canada (1999-May 2019)

Ordained Leaders at River of Life Fellowship

Name Years
of Service
Leadership/Elder Team 1995-present

Membership at River of Life Fellowship

Year Membership
1999 36
2008 58
2015 69


Map:River of Life Fellowship (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published July 2000

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "River of Life Fellowship (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2000. Web. 11 Jul 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=River_of_Life_Fellowship_(Kitchener,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=164540.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (July 2000). River of Life Fellowship (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 11 July 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=River_of_Life_Fellowship_(Kitchener,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=164540.

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