Historical Sketch: Western Hmong Mennonite Church

Western Hmong Mennonite Church in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was established in 2007. It was formed from a previous Lao Evangelical Church (founded in 2003) and a half-dozen families that had settled in Canada as refugees following the Vietnam War.

These families had originally settled in Kitchener, Ontario, where they were members of the First Hmong Mennonite Church. Eventually they moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Some founders were Pastor Yangkou Thor, Sai Her, Songcai Mua, Vue Her, Kia Xiong, Yia Xiong, Zong Her, Dr. Norchou Mua and Lee Hai. Ethnic traditions and the language barrier made it difficult to worship God with other churches. Language use in the church is 90% Hmong and 10% English.

Worship services are held in the Hammond United Church every Sunday afternoon. The first 30 minutes of the service are allocated for Bible study. The service that follows begins with an opening prayer and is followed by announcements, praise songs, scripture reading, an offering, listening to God’s message from the pastor, and the closing hymn and closing prayer. At first the focus was primarily on worshipping and serving God independently; there were no major programs and structures. As of late, the congregation is now reaching out to others outside the church.

The church joined Mennonite Church British Columbia on April 10, 2010.

The following have served as pastors of the congregation: Yangkou Thor, Ge Yang, and Kou Thor Yang, who became pastor of the congregation in April 2010.