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Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, Ontario, began services and formally organized in 1979 under the name of Fairview-Louth Mennonite Brethren Community Church. The congregation originated as a daughter congregation of [[Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)|Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church]], [[Grantham Mennonite Brethren Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)|Grantham Mennonite Brethren Church]], and [[Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church (Vineland, Ontario, Canada)|Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church]]. The first building was the former Fairview public school in Louth Township, located west of the city of St. Catharines. The school was purchased for $81,000 and the church was formed with 49 charter members in 1979. The first public service was held on 3 February 1980 and the church officially opened on 1 June 1980.
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Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, [[Ontario (Canada)|Ontario]], [[Canada]] began in Louth Township, just west of St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1979 after the public school board decided to close the Fairview Public School in that community. Louth Township had been identified as a possible location for a church plant, so a group of Ontario Mennonite Brethren purchased the school for $81,000, with some assistance in a the down payment from local Mennonite Brethren churches.  
  
When the church was first established, renovations were carried out to create a bright sanctuary, a foyer, and a nursery. In 1983 a new sanctuary with a basement and kitchen was constructed. Further expansion was carried out in 1991.
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The original members came from the [[Grantham Mennonite Brethren Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)|Grantham Mennonite Brethren]], [[Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)|Fairview Mennonite Brethren]] and [[Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church (Vineland, Ontario, Canada)|Vineland Mennonite Brethren]] churches. The first Sunday public service was held 3 February 1980; an official opening of the sanctuary constructed from two former classrooms took place 1 June 1980. The congregation formally organized under the name of Fairview Louth Mennonite Brethren Community Church. It had 49 charter members. It operated without a local pastor until September 1980 when John Eckert, a high school vice principal, was hired on a part time basis.
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The original sanctuary proved inadequate, and in late 1982 work began on an addition, which included a sanctuary, basement and kitchen. It was dedicated on 15 May 1983. An additional expansion took place in 1991 with a new youth room, nursery and elevator.
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By 2003 the congregation had outgrown its location, and desired to have a greater impact on St. Catharines, especially among the poor and marginalized. It moved to Glenridge Avenue in St. Catharines, where it was renamed the Southridge Community Church. Within the first year it became a host location for "Out of the Cold" (emergency wintertime accommodation), and in 2005, in partnership with Ontario Works, Niagara Health System, and Housing Help, it opened the Southridge Shelter as a year-round homeless shelter with 27 beds for men and eight for women. It also developed services to marginalized seniors, and ministries to single-parent families.
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Southridge also developed a vision to become a multi-site church. In 2009 [[Gateway Christian Fellowship (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)|Gateway Christian Fellowship]], a 10-year-old church plant in St. Catharines voted to merge with Southridge and became the North End campus of Southridge in 2010. This campus ended prior to 2016. A Welland campus was launched on 8 November 2009 with a focused ministry towards single-parent families. In 2012 Southridge "adopted" Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church as the fourth of their sites. The focus of this campus became ministry to Caribbean migrant workers who worked on local farms.
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In 2017 the campuses in St. Catharines, Welland and Vineland continued,
  
Continued growth resulted in a relocation to the current location in 2003 and the church changed its name to Southridge Community Church. The church developed a vision for compassion ministries and established a 35-bed, co-ed homeless shelter, services to marginalized seniors, and ministries to single-parent families. The church also developed a vision to become a multi-site church. In 2009 Gateway Christian Fellowship in St. Catharines voted to merge with Southridge and became the North End campus of Southridge in 2010. A Welland campus was launched on 8 November 2009 and in 2012 Southridge adopted Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church as one of their sites.
 
 
= Bibliography =
 
= Bibliography =
 +
Braun, Karla. "Church partnership 'remarkable to see'." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 49, no. 5 (May 2010): 19.
 +
 +
Braun, Karla. "Expressing common humanity." ''Mennonite Brethren Heald'' 51, no. 8 (August 2012): 13
 +
 +
Esau, Maggie. "New facilities in an old style." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 30, no. 22 (22 November 1991): 16.
 +
 +
"Fairview-Louth Mennonite Brethren Community Church." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 27, no. 11 (27 May 1988): 52.
 +
 +
Friesen, Rudy. "Building on long-time ties with community." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 19, no. 3 (1 February 1980): 17.
 +
 +
Friesen, Rudy. "Old school keeps its place in community." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 19, no. 14 (18 July 1980): 28-29.
 +
 +
"It's been a good year." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 20, no. 9 (24 April 1981): 17-18.
 +
 
''Mennonite Reporter'' (3 March 1980): 14.
 
''Mennonite Reporter'' (3 March 1980): 14.
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Mennonite Brethren Herald </em>(1 February 1980): 17; (28 January 1983): 13; (27 May 1988): 52; (22 November 1991): 16; (May 2010): 19; (February 2012): 21.
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Penner, Marge. "Fairview-Louth dedicates new sanctuary." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 22, no. 13 (8 July 1983): 22.
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">When Your Children Shall Ask: A History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982.</em> 1982: 79-81.
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Weeks, Stacey. "Congregation closes, joins multisite church." ''Mennonite Brethren Herald'' 51, no. 2 (February 2012): 21.
<h3>Archival Records</h3>
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Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg, MB: [http://www.mbconf.ca/home/products_and_services/resources/published_genealogies/mb_provincial_conferences_and_church_congregation_records/ontario_archives/_fairviewlouth_mennonite_brethren_community_church_archives/ Volume 570].
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''When Your Children Shall Ask: A History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982.'' 1982: 79-81.
  
 
= Additional Information =
 
= Additional Information =
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'''Phone''': 905-682-9901
 
'''Phone''': 905-682-9901
  
'''Website''': [http://southridge.cc Southridge Community Church]
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'''Website''': https://southridgechurch.ca/
  
'''Denominational Affiliations''':
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'''Denominational Affiliations:'''
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[http://www.onmb.org/ Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]
  
Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1980-present)
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[http://www.mennonitebrethren.ca/ Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches]
 
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== Ordained Leaders at Southridge Community Church ==
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1980-present)
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{| class="wikitable"
 
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|-
General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1980-2003)
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! Name !! Years<br/>of Service
 
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|-
=== Southridge Community Church Membership ===
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| John Eckert || 1980-1997
{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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| Chris Fowler (Associate)<br/> || 1994-1997<br/>2003-present
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|-
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| Jeff Lockyer || 1998-present
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|-
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| Mike Krause || 1998-present
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|-
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| Peter Warkentin || 2005-?
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|-
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| Rick Zwiers || 2005-present
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|-
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| Ed Willms || 2010-2012
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|-
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| Mark Johnson || 2012-2013?
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|-
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| Tim Arnold || 2008-present
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|-
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| Mike Meinema || 2016-present
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|}
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== Membership at Southridge Community Church ==
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: right;"
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|-
 +
! Year !! Membership
 
|-
 
|-
! Year !! Members
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| 1980 || 49
 
|-
 
|-
| 1975 || align="right" | 66
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| 1988 || 87
 
|-
 
|-
| 1985 || align="right" | 73
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| 1995 || 116
 
|-
 
|-
| 1995 || align="right" | 116
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| 2005 || 250
 
|-
 
|-
| 2000 || align="right" | 168
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| 2015 || 350
 
|}
 
|}
{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=January 1989|a1_last=Epp|a1_first=Marlene|a2_last=Thiessen|a2_first=Richard D.}}
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{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=February 2017|a1_last=Steiner|a1_first=Samuel J.|a2_last=Thiessen|a2_first=Richard D.}}
 
[[Category:Churches]]
 
[[Category:Churches]]
 
[[Category:Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Congregations]]
 
[[Category:Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Congregations]]

Latest revision as of 21:16, 29 October 2019

Southridge Community Church in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada began in Louth Township, just west of St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1979 after the public school board decided to close the Fairview Public School in that community. Louth Township had been identified as a possible location for a church plant, so a group of Ontario Mennonite Brethren purchased the school for $81,000, with some assistance in a the down payment from local Mennonite Brethren churches.

The original members came from the Grantham Mennonite Brethren, Fairview Mennonite Brethren and Vineland Mennonite Brethren churches. The first Sunday public service was held 3 February 1980; an official opening of the sanctuary constructed from two former classrooms took place 1 June 1980. The congregation formally organized under the name of Fairview Louth Mennonite Brethren Community Church. It had 49 charter members. It operated without a local pastor until September 1980 when John Eckert, a high school vice principal, was hired on a part time basis.

The original sanctuary proved inadequate, and in late 1982 work began on an addition, which included a sanctuary, basement and kitchen. It was dedicated on 15 May 1983. An additional expansion took place in 1991 with a new youth room, nursery and elevator.

By 2003 the congregation had outgrown its location, and desired to have a greater impact on St. Catharines, especially among the poor and marginalized. It moved to Glenridge Avenue in St. Catharines, where it was renamed the Southridge Community Church. Within the first year it became a host location for "Out of the Cold" (emergency wintertime accommodation), and in 2005, in partnership with Ontario Works, Niagara Health System, and Housing Help, it opened the Southridge Shelter as a year-round homeless shelter with 27 beds for men and eight for women. It also developed services to marginalized seniors, and ministries to single-parent families.

Southridge also developed a vision to become a multi-site church. In 2009 Gateway Christian Fellowship, a 10-year-old church plant in St. Catharines voted to merge with Southridge and became the North End campus of Southridge in 2010. This campus ended prior to 2016. A Welland campus was launched on 8 November 2009 with a focused ministry towards single-parent families. In 2012 Southridge "adopted" Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church as the fourth of their sites. The focus of this campus became ministry to Caribbean migrant workers who worked on local farms.

In 2017 the campuses in St. Catharines, Welland and Vineland continued,

Bibliography

Braun, Karla. "Church partnership 'remarkable to see'." Mennonite Brethren Herald 49, no. 5 (May 2010): 19.

Braun, Karla. "Expressing common humanity." Mennonite Brethren Heald 51, no. 8 (August 2012): 13

Esau, Maggie. "New facilities in an old style." Mennonite Brethren Herald 30, no. 22 (22 November 1991): 16.

"Fairview-Louth Mennonite Brethren Community Church." Mennonite Brethren Herald 27, no. 11 (27 May 1988): 52.

Friesen, Rudy. "Building on long-time ties with community." Mennonite Brethren Herald 19, no. 3 (1 February 1980): 17.

Friesen, Rudy. "Old school keeps its place in community." Mennonite Brethren Herald 19, no. 14 (18 July 1980): 28-29.

"It's been a good year." Mennonite Brethren Herald 20, no. 9 (24 April 1981): 17-18.

Mennonite Reporter (3 March 1980): 14.

Penner, Marge. "Fairview-Louth dedicates new sanctuary." Mennonite Brethren Herald 22, no. 13 (8 July 1983): 22.

Weeks, Stacey. "Congregation closes, joins multisite church." Mennonite Brethren Herald 51, no. 2 (February 2012): 21.

When Your Children Shall Ask: A History of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982. 1982: 79-81.

Additional Information

Address: 201 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines, ON L2T 3J6

St. Catharines Location: 201 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines

Welland Location: Welland Community Wellness Centre, 145 Lincoln Street, Welland

Vineland Location: 3970 Glendale Avenue, Vineland

Phone: 905-682-9901

Website: https://southridgechurch.ca/

Denominational Affiliations: Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Ordained Leaders at Southridge Community Church

Name Years
of Service
John Eckert 1980-1997
Chris Fowler (Associate)
1994-1997
2003-present
Jeff Lockyer 1998-present
Mike Krause 1998-present
Peter Warkentin 2005-?
Rick Zwiers 2005-present
Ed Willms 2010-2012
Mark Johnson 2012-2013?
Tim Arnold 2008-present
Mike Meinema 2016-present

Membership at Southridge Community Church

Year Membership
1980 49
1988 87
1995 116
2005 250
2015 350


Author(s) Samuel J. Steiner
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published February 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Southridge Community Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2017. Web. 30 Jul 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southridge_Community_Church_(St._Catharines,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=165554.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. and Richard D. Thiessen. (February 2017). Southridge Community Church (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 July 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southridge_Community_Church_(St._Catharines,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=165554.




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