The History of RCMBC
In fall 1989, a group of Chinese Christians began attending Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church (Bethel Church) in Richmond, BC. The church welcomed them, and they quickly became part of the congregation. As this group grew, in April of 1990, the elders of Bethel Church offered them a meeting hall, office space and financial assistance to begin an outreach program to reach out to the local Chinese-speaking residents.
A planning committee was formed and invited the late Rev. Stephen Chan, then serving in Toronto, to come and lead the work. The planning committee decided to form a separate Chinese Mennonite Brethren congregation, and Bethel Church generously provided the group with financial support for the first six months of its operation. This was the beginning of Richmond Chinese Mennonite Brethren Church (RCMBC).
Rev. Stephen Chan arrived in June 1990, and the first Sunday worship service took place on 15 July. Three months later, the congregation held its charter service and in 1991 became a member of the British Columbia Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Attendance grew quickly, and the congregation became financially self-supporting. In 1993, Pastor Phebe Chan joined the church as Christian Education Director. In January 1995, Rev. Chan suffered a serious heart attack. The doctors determined that there was no hope of a recovery, but through the power of prayers and the Lord’s grace, Rev. Chan recovered and returned home. In November, he resigned from all formal pastoral duties and in December of the same year, Pastor Peter Mau became the senior pastor of the church. Pastor Mau shepherded RCMBC faithfully for sixteen years, and retired in February of 2012.
RCMBC reached several milestones during Pastor Mau’s tenure as our senior pastor. In 1996, an agreement was made to expand the existing building to better serve Richmond Bethel Church, RCMBC and Richmond Christian School. A new sanctuary was built between the school building and the existing Richmond Bethel building, which was completed in March 1997. RCMBC has been holding its worship services in this sanctuary since.
In 1999, RCMBC had its first English-only worship services. Originally created for the English-speaking youths, who were children of the Chinese-speaking congregants, this worship service grew over the years to become an independent worship service that welcomes English-speaking people of all ages. Since September, 2001, the English service is held weekly in the comforts of the church sanctuary.
RCMBC has always tried to minister to the Mandarin-speaking residents of the area. Its Cantonese-speaking Chinese services have always offered Mandarin translations. In November of 2007, RCMBC hired its first Mandarin pastor in its continual effort to minister to the local Mandarin-speaking residents.
Today, RCMBC has three full-time ministries (Cantonese, English, and Mandarin) and is shepherded by five faithful pastoral staff, led by our senior pastor, Pastor Albert Wang. Our worship services are attended by around 200 congregants.
在一九八九年的秋天﹐一群華人基督徒來到了Richmond Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church (後簡稱Bethel Church) 敬拜。Bethel Church的弟兄姐妹十分歡迎他們﹐並幫助他們很快的成為他們教會家庭的一份子。隨著這個群體的增長﹐Bethel Church 的長老特別為這群基督徒提供了一個聚會的禮堂﹐辦公室﹐一些經濟資助﹐以幫助這群基督徒開展在社區內的差傳事工。