*Note: A fuller statement of what we believe is available upon request.
Our church is affiliated with the Associated Gospel Churches.
The Associated Gospel Churches was born in Canada in 1922, with eight churches united to reach out to a growing population in the Hamilton/Toronto Communities.
Built on a strong conviction that the Bible is the truth of God for every generation and is relevant in addressing all of life, this group of churches soon spread to other provinces.
Driven by leadership that was passionate in their love for God and people, eight churches have become 135 churches and 25 additional congregations.
Designed to be a people movement of interdependent churches, each church took on an individual name and unique identity dependent on local cultures, ethnic origins and traditions. Although a family of churches with self-determined identities, we hold a common faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God for all time, and that the Church of Jesus Christ is to be an authentic expression of God's love on earth today.
The Associated Gospel Churches exist:
To glorify God
By partnering together in obedience;
to the Great Commandment Matthew 22: 37-40
And the Great Commission Matthew 28:19,20
Our Vision is to become a movement of healthy, reproducing churches.
Matthew 16:18, Acts 2, 1 Thessalonians 1:3
The earliest beginnings of the Gladstone Christian Fellowship can be traced back to 1937 when a number of Mennonite families moved into the Gladstone and Mayfeld area. As the number of families increased a need was seen for spiritual input. In 1939 the first services were held in the home of Abram Schellenberg Sr. At first this group was served by ministers from, a number of different denominations, from southern Manitoba. In 1940, Rev. Jacob Loewen moved to Plumas and in the coming years, served this fledging group faithfully and would do so until 1956 when he moved to Carman.
-Mr. & Mrs. Lowen
As this group grew, the need for more room was realized. On December 18, 1946 a meeting was held at the home of Peter Klassen to discuss the building of a church. A unanimous decision was made to establish the church on the Bergthaler form. It was decided to build a church on the S.W. corner 27-13-12 on land donated by Abe Schellenberg. This church was built through much volunteer labor. (Jake Doell Jr. hauled a lot of the supplies and gravel with his father’s new truck. This church was completed in 1947 for the cost of 4100.00. The dedication has held that fall with Bishop Friesen from Saskatoon officiating.
-Our first Church building
Some of the families attending in the 1940’s were Abe Schellenberg Sr., Jake Doell Sr., David Teichrib, Peter Dyck, Peter Brown, Jacob Schellenberg, J. H. Thiessen, John Martens, Abram Funk, Abe Buhler, Abe Schellenberg Jr., David Schellenberg, J.D. Zacharias, Rev. Jacob Loewen, Jacob Penner, John D. Dyck, Wm. Harder, John Schellenberg, A.A. Dyck.
During the early years of the 1940’s and 50’s the church was also served by other ministers such as Abram C. Funk.
In 1955 Rev. Jacob and Anne Friesen purchased the farm of Abe Schellenberg, and shortly after that assumed the leadership of the church. The church he began to serve in was very much struggling. In 1957 Pastor Friesen was involved with the E.M.C. and E.M.M.C conferences in the planning of some evangelistic services with J.D. Friesen from Saskatoon. It was a stretching time for the church.
-Mr. and Mrs. Friesen
By 1958, due to families moving and other struggles, the church had dwindled to 6 families. Road conditions and weather could also add to the difficulty of having services. The winter of 1959 was especially difficult when on October 7th two feet of snow fell. Since the roads were not froze, they quickly became impassable for anything other than tractors and horses. Services would sometimes be stopped for the winter.
During the 1960’s the church began to grow and to become more organized. In 1963 the switch was made to English for the whole service. By 1964 a mood of optimism was obvious in the church. There was now a lot of zeal and vigor. A number of new families had moved into the community, and were active in the church. Other families, who in prior years had left, were also coming back and wanting to be involved. It was in 1964 that Cornie Martens (wife Helen), who in the years to come would have an important role in the Gladstone Church, was elected as the Sunday School superintendent. In 1965 D.D. (wife Helen) Doell became a part of the Gladstone church and began to serve as a deacon.
In 1967 the church had a membership of about 40 members. The main concern for the church in this year was the question of relocating. During the late 1960’s the church continued to grow steadily and the question of relocation continued to come up. 1971 was a turning point for the church when the decision was made to relocate to Gladstone. A lot of work went into finding a good location and making it happen. The first Sunday service was held in the new church facility on October 7, 1973. The dedication service was the following Sunday October 21st .
-Our second Church building
The church continued to grow through the 1970’s and on April 20, 1976 the Gladstone congregation took an important step in electing Cornie (Helen) Martens to serve as pastor. Every area of the churches ministry saw growth and progress.
The 1980’s saw many special highlights. The attendance continued to grow and room had again become an issue with discussion on expansion. There were many additions and changes in leadership. In 1980 Henry and Eleanor Epp were elected as a deacon couple by the church. Henry Epp and Randy (Debbie) Fehr would be elected in 1982 to serve as pastors and were ordained in 1983. In 1982 Cornie (Anne) Wolfe and David (Erma) Buhler were elected and ordained as deacons. In 1982 Pastor Cornie Martens became the leading pastor after Pastor Friesen resigned. With all the growth the church had experienced another question of discussion the church faced was that of having a full time salaried pastor. This started in 1990 when Pastor Randy Fehr became the first pastor to be fully salaried by the church.
The 1990’s were years of change for the Gladstone church. A new facility was built to address the issue of more space and we moved in October 1992. The “old” church was sold to a Baptist group in Souris and the building was moved there. The congregation also made the decision to change the name from “Gladstone Mennonite Church” to “Gladstone Christian Fellowship”. A decision was also made to leave the Mennonite conferences and to affiliate with the Associated Gospel Churches. Growth had continued with 75 families then making up the congregation. The 1990’s also saw the election of another Pastor from within the congregation: Darrel (Pat) Teichrib. Another area where the church experienced change was having many key families moving out of the community for economic reasons or for retirement reasons. God has blessed us with many new workers and the work has continued.
-Our current Church building
Since 2000 the church has continued to move ahead and grow. New ministries have been added, another full time pastor was elected and hired, Pastor Michael (Janice) Fehr. Michael and Janice have since answered God's calling to leave us and serve at a Church in Bagot. Eric Buhr has been elected as Pastor-in-Training and Darrell Teichrib has taken on more Pastoral duties.
The church is now made up of about 100 families. Over the years we have had the privilege to send many out as missionaries and workers. We have been especially blessed to see many of our young people serve at Valley View Bible camp and other ministries. We continue to look forward to what God is going to do in our community and in our lives!