Over the week of Oct. 14–15, 2017, WMB (Waterloo [Ont.] MB Church) enjoyed a meaningful celebration of 50 years as a church, following God’s calling and hope. Sent from Kitchener MB Church in 1967, 47 charter members of WMB began meeting at Brighton Public School, with Al Enns serving as the first lead pastor.
The 50th anniversary weekend was incredible – moments of laughter, music from across the decades, displays telling the story of WMB’s various ministries throughout the years, drama, delicious food, many volunteers and a palpable feeling of celebration. As former lead pastors – most of whom were in attendance – shared stories, tears and memories a renewed sense of family was gifted to those who are newer to WMB. Presenting alongside each lead pastor was someone who was transformed for Christ during that era, remembering gratefully how the Spirit works creatively and actively.
Church stories almost always include pain – the 50th anniversary provided a profound space for reconciliation. We ate together, sang together, cried together, prayed together and now we walk forward together into this next era.
On Sunday morning, the kids had a birthday party while the adult congregation heard stories of the past and were called to take steps forward as church community, firmly rooted in WMB’s anchor causes: neighbours, marginalized and generations. As the stories revealed how these ministry focuses have been woven into the DNA over the years, we had the chance to remember how God has provided in the past and be challenged to walk in obedience with him into the future.
[Sarah Whyte, pastor of home groups, WMB Church
I wonder what the average church age of MB churches in Canada is.
Crestwood MB Church
You could hunt through the records on http://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/ to find all the dates, but here’s a little sampling of founding dates:
1904 Main Centre
1906 Blaine Lake
1910 Hepburn and Woodro
1927 Hillside/Beechy, Manitou, Port Rowan, Steinbach
1937 Cornerstone/Virgil, Culloden, Northwest/Meadow Lake,
1947 Broadway/Chilliwack, Ross Road, Willow Park/Kelowna
1967 St Ann’s, Waterloo, Ste Therese
1977 St Eustache, McIvor/Winnipeg
1987 North Langley, Point Grey Inter-Mennonite, Vancouver Christian Logos
1997 Discovery/Pitt Meadows, North Shore Bethel/Vancouver, River of Life/sorrento, SunRidge/Kelowna
On a quick, rough count, 113 currently operating MB churches were planted before 1987.
Thanks Karla! This is incredible. Glad to know that info. is online. Greatly appreciated!