Historical Sketch: Chilliwack Mennonite Mission Church*

The Chilliwack Mennonite Mission Church began services in May 1959. It was started by mostly young couples from the First Mennonite Church in Chilliwack who desired English language services. The group purchased the old municipal hall on Alexander Avenue in 1960 and was led by Albert Nickel.

The church was formally organized on October 15, 1961 with a charter membership of 17. The organizational service was led by N. N. Friesen, representing the Conference of Mennonites in Canada Mission Board. The Conference of Mennonites in Canada supported the young group, believing that there was room in Chilliwack for another Mennonite congregation.

Attendance in 1964 ranged from 60-86, with 15 members. David J. Nickel became pastor in 1964 and led the congregation until 1969.

The Conference of the United Mennonite Churches of British Columbia only recognized the group in 1966, providing it with moral and financial support. While the property was registered in the name of the provincial conference, the congregation chose not to join the provincial conference.

By the time David Nickel resigned in 1969, the congregation realized that there was no need to continue. Other Mennonite congregations were offering English language services, and the church was no longer growing with only 33 members and an attendance of 75. The congregation dissolved and most rejoined the First Mennonite Church on March 31, 1969, which then changed its name to become Chilliwack Mennonite Church. Others decided to join Eden Mennonite Church.

Picture Below:   old municipal hall on Alexander Avenue in 1960