One of Abbotsford’s oldest churches celebrates its 75th anniversary this weekend.
Clearbrook Mennonite Brethren Church, located at the corner of Clearbrook Road and Old Yale Road, hosts seven celebration events from Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 9.
As many as 375 people are expected to attend the celebration banquet, which takes place Friday at Columbia Place, 2940 Clearbrook Rd., starting at 6 p.m.
Events on Saturday are a men’s prayer breakfast at 8 a.m. and a celebration service at 7 p.m.
Activities on Sunday include a German worship service and adult Sunday school, both at 9:45 a.m.; a family worship service at 11 a.m.; and a celebration service at 7 p.m.
Each evening service includes a pictorial presentation, testimonies from church pioneers, greetings from “daughter” churches and historical reviews.
Clearbrook MB Church was formed in 1936, when it was known as North Abbotsford MB Church after a congregation holding Mennonite worship services at North Poplar Hall decided to divide in two.
Early worship meetings were held in a local home, and the church lot was purchased for $1 from the municipality of Matsqui.
Construction costs of the first building were estimated at $700. Each church member was asked to pay a $5 levy to help finance the expense.
The new sanctuary was dedicated in October 1940.
By the mid-’50s, the building was too small and a new church was constructed at an estimated cost of just over $71,000. The new building was dedicated in April 1957, and some additions followed in later years.
The congregation has helped to “birth” some daughter churches over the years, including Aldergrove MB Church (now Ross Road Community Church), Lake Errock MB Church, and Bakerview MB Church.
Members have taken part in the formation of Mennonite Educational Institute, Columbia Bible College, and Tabor Home seniors’ living facility.
Today, Clearbrook MB Church has four pastors – Walter Wiens, Ron Berg, Jay Neufeld and Larry Locken – and focuses on ministries to seniors, although it has members of all ages.
A television ministry broadcasts services to shut-in people, including transmission to Tabor Village, and the ladies fellowship sews more than 2,000 blankets each year for Mennonite Central Committee.
Tickets for the anniversary banquet are $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 10 to 19, and free for kids nine and under. For more information, call 604-850-6607, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website clearbrookmbchurch.org.