Historical Sketch: Kelowna Gospel Fellowship*

Kelowna Mennonite Mission Church began services on October 30, 1960 and was formally organized in 1961. The congregation originated through division from Kelowna First Mennonite over language and personality issues. Some members left Kelowna First Mennonite in order to increase outreach by using English exclusively in worship. Jacob H. Enns and John P. Vogt are considered the founding leaders of the group.

The group met in various locations including the Kelowna Women’s Institute Hall and a Baptist Church. In 1966 they purchased their own meeting house at the corner of Ethel and Stockwell and changed their name to Kelowna Gospel Fellowship Church. For six months in 1966 they shared the building with the Mennonite Brethren congregation. A subsequent building program was undertaken in 1978, with a new sanctuary completed in 1980.

The congregation operated a local Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Thrift and Self-help store with other Mennonite congregations in Kelowna. It also offered a number of seminars dealing with issues like evangelism, discipleship, and youth conflict.

Kelowna Gospel Fellowship’s relationship with Mennonite Church Canada had become strained over a number of years due to theological differences. The congregation withdrew from Mennonite Church Canada in 2000 and from Mennonite Church British Columbia in 2004. That same year they joined the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches which is part of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.