Use Frames   |   Use Drop-Down Menu

Yarrow, British Columbia

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

Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church
Baptism, Membership, Transfers, and Deaths

Ephesians 2 : 8

Yarrow MB Church Charter Members

It is generally stated that the Yarrow MB Church chartered with 96 members on February 3, 1929, but the only list discovered to date lists 58 members as of 1929, and an additional 33 added in 1930, for a total of 91. Might some of the charter members have left by the end of 1929 to create the Sardis (later Greendale) MB Church? (Numbers after the names indicate the age at which people became members of the church.)

Church Members 1929
1. Katharina Boschmann - 49
2. John Dahl -57 (1874-1954)
3. Helena Wiens Dahl - 52
4. John L. Dahl -21
5. Anna Dahl -24
6. Jacob Dahl -19 (1909-1972)
7. Elizabeth Giesbrecht Dahl - 18
8. Margaretha Derksen - 23
9. John J. Derksen -47
10. Liese Derksen - 46
11. Susanna Dyck -53
12. Henry Enns -46
13. Margaretha Klippenstein Enns -41
14. Jacob G. Epp -47 (1882-1949)
15. Elizabeth Paetkau Epp -41
16. John Esau -58
17. Tina Fast -27
18. Wilhelm Friesen -56
19. Elisabeth Friesen -53
20. Peter Giesbrecht -45
21. Elisabeth Wittenberg Giesbrecht -42
22. Peter Giesbrecht -20
23. Daniel Goertz -35
24. Liese Goertz -33
25. Lena Thiessen Guze -33
26. Henry Harder -35
27. Erna Harder -34
28. Henry Harms -30
29. Elisabeth Harder Harms -42
30. Gerhard Hooge -26
31. Maria Dahl Hooge -22
32. Henry Isaak -35
33. Anna Isaak -34
34. Peter Jantzen -32
35. Elizabeth Jantzen -31
36. John Klassen -26
37. Maria Klassen -27
38. Peter Kornelsen -31
39. Helene Kornelsen -27
40. Henry P. Neufeldt -20
41. Margaret Enns Neufeldt -18
42. Lena Neufeldt -17
43. Peter J. Neufeldt -56
44. Sara Neufeldt -51
45. Jacob P. Neufeld -23
46. Helena Nickel -54
47. Henry Nickel -42
48. Maria Nickel -38
49. Nick Reimer -35
50. Sara Reimer -35
51. Gertrude Reimer -43
52. Liese Reimer -41
53. Sara Reimer -38
54. Susanna Reimer -53
55. Henry Rogalsky -41
56. Liese Rogalsky -39
57. Aganetha Sawatsky -34
58. Tina Harder -38
Church Members 1930
59. Henry Dahl -17
60. Tina Dahl Hooge -16
61. Gerhard Derksen -51
62. Annie Derksen -20
63. Henry P. Derksen -15
64. Peter Derksen -62
65. Isaak Epp -18
66. Abram Esau -16
67. Aganetha Giesbrecht -22
68. Agatha Goertz -29
69. John A. Harder -33
70. Tina Epp Harder -39
71. Henry Hepting -43
72. Anna Lechner Hepting -49
73. Maria Janzen -22
74. Agnes Langeman -20
75. Herbert Martens -16
76. Jacob P. Martens -19
77. Sara Martens -16
78. Helena Martens -37
79. Peter Martens -42
80. Annie Martens -33
81. Peter P. Neufeldt -18
82. Henry Penner -49
83. Elisabeth Penner -49
84. Martha Penner -20
85. Henry F. Penner -16
86. Justina Peters -20
87. Aron Rempel -27
88. Olga Hepting Rempel -22
89. Agnes Schellenberg -30
90. David Siemens -51
91. Gertruda Peters Toews -39

What follows is a translation from the German language of a booklet, Gemeindeliste der M.B. Gemeinde zu Yarrow, B.C. 1959, likely prepared for the annual meeting at the end of 1958. Of interest is the fact that while new 21 members transferred in during the preceding year, a total of 68 transferred out, half of them to the Vancouver churches. This continued the trend set in motion after the collapse of the raspberry market in 1948. The exodus to Abbotsford had not yet begun in 1958. (The seven who transferred to Arnold were likely unhappy with the switch to the English language, then underway.)

From December 1, 1957 to December 1958.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Another church year has forever passed into the sea of time. The psalmist compares our years to 'a watch in the night', 'a storm rolling along', 'a sleep', 'grass that soon withers'. Psalm 90:4, 5.

As a church we experienced much blessing in the Sunday services, the Wednesday Bible studies, and the Saturday prayer meetings. The table was always richly set for both young and old. Much seed of the living Word of God was scattered into the hearts of people to bear fruit for both time and eternity.

On the other hand we also find that, unfortunately, surges of the disrupting spirit of the age, superficial Christianity, and accommodation to the world broke against and threatened our small church craft. We observe that this is a concern in many of our churches, and the anxious question arises of where we as a Mennonite Brethren Church, in spite of our many evangelistic and deeper life services, in spite of our many efforts to accommodate the wishes of our youth, and in spite of the creation of new committees, will one day end up. In consideration of these somber realities we do not want to cease raising praying hands and pray with the songwriter:

'Jesus, help us to victory and let us not sink,
When the forces of untruth swell
And take on the appearance of truth,
Then, much more clearly, allow us to see your strength!
Stand to our right, oh king and master!
Teach us to do battle and discern the spirits!'

On this day, we as a congregation cannot but call out thankfully with the prophet Jeremiah, 'Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.' Lamentations 3: 22, 23. To him be honour and glory.

And now once again to the statistics:

Membership on December 1, 1957               708
Received during the year through baptism 10 
Received during the year through transfer of membership 21 
Reception of previously excommunicated 1              32
Total               740
Released during the year through transfer of membership 68 
Released upon personal request 6 
Excommunicated 2 
Deaths 8              84
Membership on December 1, 1958               656

In the preceding year 4 members (3 brothers and 1 sister) went to the home above, while in this year the number was doubled, with 1 brother and seven sisters. 'They have overcome through the blood of the lamb.' Those who have gone home include the following:

Sister Justina Wiens on February 4
Sister Helena Rempel on March 16
Sister Marie Klassen on June 9
Sister Margareta Wall on June 21
Brother Wilhelm Matthies on September 6
Sister Margareta Falk on September 18
Sister Marie Loewen on October 11
Sister Marie Isaak on October 20

The average age of the dearly departed was 73.5. Among them, 2 surpassed the biblical age, attaining to an age of 84 and 92.

The following is often stated: 'The old must die, and the young can die'.

This we too have experienced during the year just past. In accordance with his incomprehensibly wise decree, the Lord of life and death saw fit to take unto himself, at the tender age of 8 months and 20 days, the young daughter of Brother and Sister Tilitzky, Judith Irene, on January 21. A poet expresses the following:

'When the small heirs of heaven
In their innocence pass away
They need not do penance;
Rather, up above they are
Lifted by the Father,
In order that they not be lost.'

In this year also we want remember those who have gone home and express to the bereaved our sympathy by rising and reading Revelation 14:13: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from this time forward. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labour, for their deeds follow after them.' Amen!

The 68 memberships were transferred to the following churches:

Vancouver (43rd) 22 Winnipeg    2
Fraserview 12 Coaldale    2
Chilliwack 13 San Jose, USA    1
Arnold 7 South Abbotsford    1
Clearbrook 5 Gem    1
Brazil 2    

  • One brother was ordained to the office of minister.
  • Weddings came to 8 in Yarrow and 6 at other locations
  • There were two golden weddings and one silver wedding.
  • We have 34 widows and 6 sisters whose husbands who have either passed away
    or are still living in Russia. May the Lord enable all of
    these sisters to bear their lot with patience.
    We have 6 widowers. May the Lord be gracious to them as well.
  • We have approximately 224 families in which both father and mother are still living.
  • During this year 10 children were born.

  • We have 17 members serving in missions:
    • Paraguay: Georg Sukkaus.
    • Africa: Abram Esaus, Heinr. Brucks, Suse Brucks, Alma Sawatzky;
      the Walter Sawatskys as houseparents and teachers of missionary children.
    • Colombia and Ecuador: Ab. Dycks and David Nachtigals.
    • Europe: Ab. Neufelds.
    • Japan: Anna Friesen
  • In various schools, 26 teachers are active.

A Brotherly Reminder:

In order to raise the funds for our church treasury (maintenance, Sunday School, Saturday school and high school, kindergarten, music and youth endeavours, etc.), for various mission efforts in the area (West Coast Children's Mission, provincial conference treasury) and the Canadian Conference, our congregation has decided that

a) every member will pay $3/month. b) In keeping with II Corinthians 8:12, 'For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have', the church anticipates additional contributions from those to whom the Lord has entrusted more earthly goods.

The church requests that the levy and additional voluntary contributions be left with Br. Peter Berg, our treasurer, Box 163, Central Rd., Yarrow, BC. His phone number is UN 8-5323.

'God loves a cheerful giver.' II Corinthians 9:17

                Prepared by Mr. David Klassen    

Yarrow MB Church Membership 1959: addresses and telephone numbers.

Note that in those days the given names of married women (as opposed to single women and widows) were not given.

Yarrow MB Church Governance

Church Leader: Herman Lenzmann UN 8-3151 Assistant Leader: David Quapp UN 8-3576
Church Council Members
Herman Lenzmann - Minister UN 8-3151
Peter D. Loewen - Minister UN 8-3862
Petrus J. Martens - Minister UN 8-5165
Peter I. Riesen - Minister UN 8-5158
Johann A. Peters - Minister UN 8-5152
Aron D. Rempel - Minister UN 8-3318
Peter P. Neufeldt - Minister UN 8-4417
Heinrich G. Bartsch - Minister UN 8-3921
Johann W. Giesbrecht - Minister UN 8-5876
Rudy Janzen - Minister UN 8-5321
David Wirsche - Minister UN 8-4202
David J. Klassen - Minister UN 8-3196
Heinrich C. Penner - Deacon UN 8-5711
John Koehn - Deacon UN 8-3143
David J. Quapp - Deacon UN 8-3576
Nick. Boschmann - Deacon - Deacon Treasurer UN 8-4446
Jacob A. Martens - Deacon UL 2-4827
Johann Unger - Deacon UN 8-3736
Johann Kroeker - elected Deacon UN 8-3912
Johann Derksen - elected Deacon UN 8-4414
Gerhard Reimer - Church Choir Conductor UN 8-4546
Johann Isaak - Youth Leader UN 8-5262
Heinrich Harder - Missions Treasurer UN 8-4332
Peter Fast - Maintenance Treasurer UN 8-3126
Heinrich Ratzlaff - Maintenance Chairman UN 8-3737
C. G. Regehr - Church Secretary UN 8-5296
Heinrich L Dahl - Member at Large - 1 year UL 3-6656
C. P. Wolfe - Member at Large - 1 year UN 8-3147
C. A. Giesbrecht - Member at Large - 1 year UN 8-5836

Maintenance Committee:
Henry Ratzlaff - Chairman for 3 years UN 8-3737
P. Fast - Treasurer UN 8-31 26
P. Berg - Membership Levy Treasurer UN 8-5323
P. Unger, Sr. Baptism Place for 1 year UN 8-3772

Missions Committee
Herman Lenzmann
John Unger for one year

Sunday School Committee
P. D. Loewen - Superintendent
Jac. Martens - Bible Study Leader (Stuart Rd.)
Aron Rempel - Youth Class
Hugo Friesen - Intermediate Department
Heinrich Janzen - Junior Department
John A. Klassen - Primary Department
C. Regehr - Sunday School Treasurer

Herman Lenzmann

Saturday Religion School
John Kroeker - for 2 years
Peter Andres - for 1 year
Franz Funk - for 3 years

High School Committee
D. D. Klassen - Treasurer - for 2 years
Franz Dahl - Maintenance - for 2 years
Korn. Neufeld - Secretary - for 2 years
P. Neufeldt ---- Chairman
Corn. Wiebe - for 1 year
H. C. Penner - for 1 year
J. P. Martens - for 3 years
Heinr. Sukkou - Vice Chairman - for 3 years
Peter Wolfe - for 3 years

C. A. Giesbrecht - for 2 years
J. P. Martens - for 1 year
Menno Unger - for 3 years
Youth Group
John Isaak - Youth Leader - for 1 year
Hugo Friesen - for 1 year
Peter Andres - for 1 year
Rudy Janzen - for 2 years
John Derksen (Stuart Rd.) - for 2 years

Church Song Leaders
Peter Janzen - Day Leader
Rudy Boschman - Assistant Day Leader
Peter Friesen - Evening Leader
Ervin Klassen - Assistant Evening Leader

Music Committee
Peter Janzen
Peter Friesen
Geo. Reimer
Ervin Klaassen

Holda Reimer - Responsible
Dorothy Funk - Assistant
Elsie Kliewer - Evenings
Luella Lenzmann - Responsible for Evenings.
Lottie Goertz

Missions Treasurer
Heinrich Harder

Conference Endowment Fund (Fondkasse)
J. P. Martens

Church Secretaries
D. J. Klassen - Church Statistician
C. G. Regehr - Church Secretary
J. P. Martens - Assistant

Peace Committee
(to settle disagreements between members)
Heinr. Dahl - for 2 years
Gerhard Derksen - for 1 year
Heinrich, Loewen - for 3 years

Committee Responsible for the Levy

Peter Berg - 2 years remaining
P. Unger, Sr. - 2 years remaining
J. J. Neufeld - 1 year remaining
Herm. Klassen - for 3 years
P. Giesbrecht - for 3 years

Committee for Material Needs
(Fuersorgekomitee d. Hilfswerkes)

David Quapp - 2 years
Isbr. Riesen - 1 year
John P. Martens, Eckert Rd. - 3 years

Reporters for Christian Periodicals
P. J. Martens - German
Peter Wolfe - English

Public Address Operators
David Derksen - responsible
J. L. Reimer
Ger. Neufeld

D. D. Klassen
J. P. Martens

West Coast Children's Mission:
Herb Martens - Church Representative
Menno Unger - Assistant
Herb Martens - responsible
Isaak Rempel
Henry J. Froese
Hein. Matthies
Hein. Derksen
D. D. Loewen - on the balcony
C. C. Dyck - on the balcony
Hein. Pauls - on the balcony
Hein. Sukkau

Nominating Committee
David Quapp
H.P. Klassen
J.H. Martens

Yard Patrols
Geo. Wiebe - during the day
John Isaak - during the day
Hein. Janzen - Evenings
D. Giesbrecht - Evenings

Parking Attendants
C. Wolfe - East side
D. Heinrichs - East side
Sam Klaassen - West side
John Dahl- West side
John L. Reimer - at the street for Pedestrians

Radio Work
H. P. Neufeldt - Leader
C. Regehr - Assistant
D. Derksen - Church representative to the radio station
Abe Konrad - transportation
Offering Attendants
Rudy Schilling - 1 year
P. Nachtigal - 1 year
Abe Petkau - 1 year
John Unger - 2 years
Geo. F. Sawatzky - 2 years
Hein. Pauls - 2 years

Collectors by Streets for Special Projects
(Kollektanten auf den Straszen)

Jac. Dirks - Sumas Prairie
C. C. Dyck - Boundary Rd.
J. J. Neufeld - Central Rd. (from Boundary to Eckert)
Hein. P. Martens - Stewart Rd.
Geo. Wall - Dyke Rd.
Hein. Boldt - Eckert Rd.
Karl Krahn - 1. und 2. Streets
Fr. Funk - Wilson, Prairie and Walnut.
John Kroeker - Central Rd. (from Eckert to the railway tracks)
Hein. Kliewer .- Lumsden, Brown & Ford Rd.

Heinrich Bartsch - Responsible
Heinrich Goossen
P. H. Andres - Bible School Librarian
J. P. Martens
P. Tilitzky
Susan Braun - Librarian
Joan Suderman
Helen Konrad

Red Cross
H. P. Neufeldt
J. H. Martens

Baptism Services

Highlights of the Past Fifty Years
by George J. Epp
presented at Yarrow MB 50 Years Celebrations [1979]

I was asked by the Pastor to give some highlights of the past 50 years of Yarrow.

When I think back to 1928 in February 21 when I came here to Yarrow as an 18 year old, with my parents. We moved into a house up on Majuba Hill where 4 other families lived, the John Bargens, the Isaak Sawatskys, the George Derksens and the John Janzens. Each family lived in one room. They all cooked and baked on one wood stove. The Nicholai Reimers, Grandpa Reimer and the three Reimer sisters lived in a cabin by the Yarrow station. They had arrived one day earlier than we.

As my father Jacob Epp was a Preacher, the first two Sundays up on the [Majuba] Hill we had Sunday Service there with 40 persons. Three families moved down to the house that was built. It belonged to Isaak Sawatsky. The Sawatskys, the John Bargens and Jacob Epps, three families lived in the first house. It is the house that the George Heinrichs live in now on Yarrow Central Road.

After looking all the land over, my father bought 10 acres of land on what is now Eckert Road. There were no roads in Yarrow yet. My brother Isaak Epp and I helped build the John Bargens house. My father ordered lumber and we built our house. We gathered every Sunday for services in homes after the Johann Jantzens had built their house on the corner of Wilson and Central Road. The picture in the Yarrow book of the first settlers of 1928 taken at Easter is at the Johann Jantzen's house.

1928 Peter & Liese Berg home on Central Road
1928 Peter & Liese Berg home on Central Road, was first house built in Yarrow

When the Peter Giesbrecht family arrived, Brother Peter Giesbrecht started with the choir. Brother George Derksen started with Sunday School in the afternoon. In July-August the first public school was built and the Yarrow Central Road was built and more families moved to Yarrow.

From September 1928 we had Sunday morning services in the school and Sunday School in the afternoon.

In 1929, the M.B. Church was organized and a church was built here [on the same site as the present Yarrow MB Church]. More preachers and their families moved to Yarrow: Petrus Martens, John Neufelds, Kornelius Klassens, Peter Dicks, P.H. Neufeldts, Peter Neufelds, and John Dicks.

Baptism of George Epp
Baptism of George Epp by Rev. Peter Neufeld on August 4th, 1931.

On May 5th, 1929, we had Missionary Frank Wiens from China. We had a revival where we all knelt down and prayed and the Lord forgave me my sins. I was baptized August 4th, 1931 by Rev. Peter Neufeld and accepted into the Yarrow MB Church.

July 1930 Baptism of Tina Epp Dahl by her father Rev. Jacob G. Epp. Yarrow MB Church

Yarrow MB Baptism at the "Jordan" - Stewart Creek on Sand Road.
Trucks are for the choir to stand on while singing.

Luke 17 : 20-21


      Copyright © Elmer G. Wiens:   EgwaldTM Web Services       All Rights Reserved.    Inquiries