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Church anniversary

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The “mother” of Ontario MB churches, Kitchener MB Church celebrated its 90th anniversary in May 2015. The first MB congregation in Ontario developed as recent refugees from Ukraine and Russia sought fellowship and spiritual nourishment together. Services began in 1924 and the church was formally organized as Molotschna Mennoniten-Brueder-Gemeinde in St. Jacobs under pastor Jacob P. Friesen and leaders J.W. Reimer and J.P. Wiens. The meetings soon moved to Kitchener; the name was changed to Kitchener MB in 1932.

The current building at 19 Ottawa Street North was dedicated in 1953 and an education wing added in 1956. From 1955–1964, KMB housed Ontario MB Bible School.

The major transition from German-language services to English occurred in the 1960s when the congregation was also involved in church planting: Zion MB in 1961 and Waterloo MB – an outgrowth of a multi-year Sunday school outreach – in 1967. “Daughter” church Glencairn MB began services in 1988. In 2002, the church purchased the decommissioned, next-door firehall. Youth for Christ used the facility for 6 years; now Solid Ground Bible Ministries occupies the space.

A key component of corporate worship since before migration, a choir still ministers at KMB despite a transition to a blended, contemporary worship music style in the late 1980s. Currently, Vidya Narimalla serves as lead pastor, Alex Suderman as associate pastor and Mark Beach as youth pastor of the congregation of around 300 members. May 24, 2015, the congregation marked its anniversary by remembering the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and accepting a dozen people into membership, including two literal anabaptisms of individuals in their 60s.

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