Historical Sketch: Harbour Light Community Church*

In 1995 the Evangelism and Church Development Committee (ECDC) of the Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia appointed Glenn & Carol Kelso to plant a church in Nanaimo. They began their work in September of that year without any core members. This was the first time that the conference had tried this church planting approach. The congregation joined the Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia in 1996 and had 6 members in 1997. The church met in homes.

Financial assistance came from ECDC, and Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford agreed to “parent” this new church, providing spiritual, mental, and financial support. Frank & Catherine Pankratz from Kelowna agreed to relocate to Nanaimo to work full time as part of the church planting team.

The vision and mission of the church was based on the Natural Church Development principles outlined by Christian A. Schwarz. They met as a cell group with 10-12 people.

Within a short period of time, differences developed between Glenn & Carol Kelso and others in the group. The Kelsos were relieved of their positions as church planters by ECDC in spring 1997 following an annual evaluation. Attempts were made in 1998 by ECDC to appoint a church planting couple, but in the end these attempts were not successful.

By the summer of 1998 it was clear that a number of the core group had moved or were planning to move away from Nanaimo, and it was determined that the church plant was no longer viable. As a result, the church held their last service on November 1, 1998.