7 cm of textual records, 1 photo.
The Grand Forks Gospel Chapel Fellowship had its origins in the summer of 1945 when Peter Schroeder went into the Grand Forks area to distribute and sell Scriptures and Christian Literature. Schroeder’s fluency in Russian opened many avenues for witnessing.
Over the three years following his arrival, the opportunities for personal witnessing, counseling, and winning friends through instructing Russian classes became so numerous that it was evident, if a church or Sunday school was ever to be established, more help would be needed. 1947 saw a number of itinerant speakers, such as K. P. Janzen, Abram Huebert, and Jacob Reimer doing home visits. But the need to establish a regular teaching service could not be met by itinerant workers. So in October 1948 on Schroeder’s invitation, George Martens and family arrived with the purpose of aiding the infant gospel witness. Upon their arrival, the scope of the work broadened
By 1954 the Martens’ old home could no longer adequately accommodate the Sunday school. Thus, on September 25, 1954 the cornerstone was laid for a new church building to serve not only the 70 attendees, but to also allow room for growth. They dedicated their new building on November 27, 1955. The sanctuary was designed to seat about 120 people.
In 1965, the Gospel Chapel saw the beginning of growth outreach through Pines Bible Camp. The Chapel had, up to this point, operated on a “community church” basis with no formal membership roster. In 1976, however, they applied and were accepted into the Mennonite Brethren Conference, with 34 official members.
By 1977 it was recognized that if they expected further growth, it would be necessary to add to their present building or build a new one. After much prayer it was decided to enlarge the existing building by attaching a new sanctuary, complete with basement. The dedication of this new sanctuary, with seating for 300 persons, took place on June 4, 1978.
Four years later Pastor George Martens, after thirty-four years of service in Grand Forks, retired from the pastorate of the Gospel Chapel. Rey and Anne Nickel, formerly of the Central Heights Mennonite Brethren Church, accepted the new responsibility of shepherding the Grand Forks flock.
In 1985, membership stood at 51 members. As of 2004 the membership has risen to 139 with an approximate attendance of 224.
Those to have led the congregation include the following: Peter Schroeder (1945–1948), George Martens (1948–1982), Rey Nickel (1982–1995), Russ Reid (1995), (Henry P. Klassen (1997– ).
The language of worship is English.
Scope and content
This fonds consists of a brief history and bulletins.
Textual file list
- Location: Volume 368.
- Description by Shauna Hudson, May 28, 2004; updated by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander November 7, 2010. Updated by Kate Woltmann July 16, 2013.
- Finding aid consists of a file list.
- The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory number BB517.
- No restrictions on access.
Historical Sketch. -- 1945–1985.
1. Bulletins. -- 1997.
2. Bulletins. -- 1998.
3. Bulletins. -- 1999.
4. Bulletins. -- 2000.
5. Bulletins. -- 2001.
6. Bulletins. -- 2002.
7. Bulletins. -- 2003.
8. Bulletins. -- 2005.
9. Bulletins. -- 2006.
10. Bulletins. -- 2007.
11. Bulletins. -- 2008.
1. Bulletins. -- 2009.
2. Bulletins. -- 2010.
3. Bulletins. -- 2011.
4. Bulletins. -- 2012.