Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba (MBCM) voted unanimously to become a supporting conference of Steinbach Bible College at their annual Assembly, Mar. 5, 2016.
“MBCM is pleased to join Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC), Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference (EMMC) and Christian Mennonite Conference (CMC) as an official affiliated conference of SBC,” says MBCM executive director Elton DaSilva.
The affiliation gives SBC an opportunity to actively recruit students in our churches, explains DaSilva. The commitment does not come with financial obligations, but there are opportunities for MB churches to support the school.
The relationship between SBC and the Mennonite Brethren conference extends back to SBC’s beginning as a Bible school. In 1931, three teachers and 13 students of the Mennonite Brethren and Evangelical Mennonite Brethren churches met for classes at Steinbach MB Church.
In the fall of 1935, the MB church board, feeling it had a special obligation towards its youth, decided to “do everything within its power to offer the youth the opportunity of delving into the Word of God.”
The first president of Steinbach Bible College was John Baerg of Arnaud MB Church, who served from 1936–44. Current president, Rob Reimer, a lifelong member of the Mennonite Brethren conference, pastored MB churches in the U.S. and Canada prior to his appointment as president of SBC in 2007.
Over the years, many MBCM pastors and missionaries have received their biblical training at SBC. SBC is eager to continue this tradition in the context of an official partnership and to explore how the school can best serve the churches of their affiliate conferences.
SBC expressed gratitude to Elton DaSilva and the MBCM board for their hard work in bringing about this new partnership, and to Tim Dyck (EMC general secretary), Lyn Dyck (EMMC executive director) and Dave Reimer (CMC bishop) for their encouragement and support of this affiliation.
“We look forward to many years of collaboration and partnership,” says DaSilva, “as together we develop future leaders of the church.”
—adapted from SBC release