Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship (Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada)

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Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship.
Source: [Church website.]
Peter Doerksen served as VCF’s senior pastor since 2014. He has also served as the chair of the EMC’s Board of Leadership and Outreach. Here he reports to the EMC ministerial in June 2017.
Photo by Andrew Walker.

There were migrations of Mennonites from Manitoba and Minnesota to the Vanderhoof area of British Columbia as early as 1917. Additional Mennonites came from Saskatchewan in 1942, others from the Canadian prairies during the 1950s. The main industry in the area was logging.

In about 1958 a revival occurred at Burns Lake, British Columbia, about 125 kilometres west of Vanderhoof, among Sommerfelder Mennonites. About that same time there was interest by the Evangelical Mennonite Conference to start a work in the area.

Meetings and Bible studies were held at the Martens Hall. Speakers came from Burns Lake, including John Knelsen and Arden Thiessen. The attendance at meetings peaked at about 50, but organization did not occur and people eventually scattered.

Around 1968 some people approached the EMC Board of Missions for help. John Harms, a minister at Kola EMC Church and his wife Goldie looked over the situation, and agreed to lead the work. Services began in their home in 1969. The group soon moved into Martens Hall.

The church was formally organized on 22 February 1970 with 13 members and John Harms was installed as its pastor. Meetings in the Martens Hall continued until 1975.

Construction of a church building began in 1974 and was completed in Spring 1975. The first service in the building was in March. In 1981 a wing was added to house a Christian school, which began that year with Leroy Penner who had moved from Steinbach, Manitoba to be the school’s head supervisor.

Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship had 88 active members in 2017 and an average attendance of 120.

The mission of Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship was stated “to love God, love our neighbour and make disciples.” The vision of Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship was to serve our neighbour through loving, encouraging, and caring.


Canadian Mennonite (6 March 1959): 3; (31 December 1969): 6.

Hancock, Lyn, ed. Vanderhoof: the Town That Wouldn't Wait. Vanderhoof: Nechako Valley Historical Society, 1979, 211 pp.

Schellenberg, Dave. “The Church in a Valley: Church Profile: Vanderhoof, B.C.,” The Messenger (Oct. 23, 1981): 2-4.

Schellenberg, Dave. “The Church on an Island: Church Profile: Burns Lake, B.C.,” The Messenger (Oct. 9, 1981): 2-4.

Additional Information

Address: Box 377, Vanderhoof, BC V0J 3A0

Location: 263 Vanderview Drive, Vanderhoof, BC

Phone: 250-567-9198

Website: Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference (1970-present)

Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship Pastors

Pastor Yeats
John Harms 1970-1978
John Harm (minister) 1978-1980
John and Clara Koop 1978-1984
LeRoy and Marcella Barkman 1985-1994
Peter Wiebe 1989
Peter Schlamp 1989
Ed Peters 1990
David and Lenore Plett 1994
Dave and Audrey Wiebe 195-1998
James Penner (Youth Associate) 1997-1998
Ben and Sue Wiebe (Associate) 1998
James and Trisha Penner 1999-2003
Richie and Penny Jones (youth) 2000
Brad and Cathy Schneck 2004-2012
Cornie and Donna Peters 2013
Peter and Martha Doerksen 2014-
Brad Harms 2017-

Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship Membership

Year Members
1970 20
1975 71
1980 98
1985 102
1990 113
1995 95
2000 74
2005 78
2010 76


Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship, Vanderhoof, BC

Author(s) Sierra Giesbrecht
Terry Smith
Date Published August 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Giesbrecht, Sierra and Terry Smith. "Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship (Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2017. Web. 13 Aug 2020.,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=156153.

APA style

Giesbrecht, Sierra and Terry Smith. (August 2017). Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship (Vanderhoof, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 August 2020, from,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=156153.

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