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Yarrow, British Columbia

Edited by
Esther Epp Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Mennonite Brethren Church Services

1940's MB Radio Ministry by Jack Block   |   1950's MB Radio Program by Edwin Lenzmann  

Other Singing Groups   |     Early Mennonite Ministers   |   MB Ladies Group        

1947 Radio Ministry Broadcasting on the Chilliwack Radio Station CHWK

My friend Peter Jantzen invited me to join a male quartet with Aaron Martens (first tenor), myself (second Tenor), John Derksen (baritone), Peter Jantzen (bass) and Erna Block at the piano. We were encouraged to form a gospel team and organize a radio program to be aired over a Chilliwack Radio station for half an hour.

A ladies trio, Kay Wittenberg (soprano), Martha Klassen (contralto) and Mary Klassen (alto) and Martha Derksen on the piano, together with the quartet, formed a broadcasting team which aired every Sunday. Speakers who served on the program were Abe Sawatsky, Henry Brucks and Peter Friesen. " The Voice of the Redeemed" program would start with fifteen minutes of singing by the quartet and trio, followed by a short gospel message and an invitation while the quartet sand softly in the background. Rudy Boschman stepped in to replace John Derksen who moved to Vancouver. The program aired for about three years. When I graduated from Sharon, Johnny Martens stepped in as second tenor.

-- Block, Jacob (Jack). Reflectionsof My Life. Surrey, BC: Coastline Mountain Press, 2002.

The Voice of the Redeemed Quartet: Peter Jantzen, Rudy Boschman, Jack Block, Aaron Martens.
Trio: Mary Klassen, Kay Wittenberg, Martha Klassen. Pianist: Erna Block. M.C. Peter Friesen

The Yarrow M.B. Church German Language Radio Program

For at least a decade from its launch in the early 1950's, this program was broadcast on radio station CHWK every Sunday morning at 8:00. The listening audience consisted mainly of Mennonites in the eastern half of the Fraser Valley who knew and in some cases preferred the German language. During its first years it was broadcast live; as late as 1958 Abe Konrad was in charge of transportation to the radio station in Chilliwack. Until the early 1960's H.P. Neufeldt was in charge of the program. He put together the singing group and likely rehearsed with it during the week. He also arranged for a speaker each Sunday and hosted the program. The format, in keeping with Christian radio programming of that era, consisted of songs, comments, announcements, and a brief sermon. All this had to fit almost exactly into a half hour time slot.

In 1958 Corny Regehr was listed as the assistant to Neufeldt. About that time the program began to be pre-recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder at the end of each week in the former (old) Bible School building behind the church, with David Derksen serving as technician. In the early 1960's Corny Regehr assumed responsibility for the program.

H.P. Neufeldt, Elfrieda Neufeldt, Walter Sawatsky, Holda Reimer, Hank Kliewer, Irma Sawatsky, Bill Reimer, Lora Suderman, Rudy Klassen,
Pianist: Viola Derksen, and H. Lenzmann

Loewen, Royden, and Steven M. Holt. Seeking Places of Peace: A Global Mennonite History.   Kitchener, Ont: Pandora, 2012. 280.

Other Singing Groups

Rudy Boschman, Aaron Martens, Peter Janzen, Abe Sawatsky (back)Aron Martens, Rudy Boschman (back)
Victor Martens, Betty Krause [pianist], Henry Block.
H.P. Neufeldt [front row, centre], conductorRudy Boschman and the Messengers

Early Mennonite Ministers

Early Yarrow Mennonite Ministers and Wives
Rev. Jacob & Elizabeth Epp at back left

Early Mennonite Ministers and their Spouses at Yarrow BC
Rev. Jacob Epp and Elizabeth Epp, Middle Couple

Mennonite Ladies Group

MB Ladies Group
Mrs. Peter Riesen, Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Helena Wiebe
Mrs. Helena Martens, _______, _______, Mrs. Isbrand Riesen
Mrs. Herman (Tina) Lenzmann, Mrs. Wall, Mrs. John A. (Tina) Harder, Mrs. Abram

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