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Port Colborne Brethren in Christ Church Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The current pastoral staff at Port Colborne Brethren in Christ: Pastor Brian Lofthouse, youth pastor Matt Lockhart and children’s ministry director Kristi Anger. Courtesy of Welland Tribune (MARYANNE FIRTH/Tribune Staff)

The Brethren in Christ Church in Port Colborne, Ontario, celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this month.

According to this article from the Welland Tribune, the congregation grew out of a Sunday school class that met at a small schoolhouse near the present site of the congregation.

Here at The Search for Piety and Obedience, we’ve previously written about this schoolhouse and its role as a launching pad for the Port Colborne church.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

He was only seven years old, but Carl Fretz still vividly remembers attending the Sunbeam Sunday School for the first time.

It was April 9, 1939, when the schoolhouse on the corner of Hwy. 3 and Quarry Rd. first offered the Sunday program — an extension of services by Wainfleet Brethren in Christ Church to fill the need in the Reeb’s Bay area.

Fretz was one of about 40 boys and girls who attended on the first Sunday. Little did they know that decades later, that occasion would still be celebrated.

It was in that tiny schoolhouse that the foundation was laid for what would become Port Colborne Brethren in Christ Church, which recognized its 75th anniversary over the weekend.

The school was the community’s spiritual home for 18 years before a plot of land was purchased on Hwy. 3 and a new church constructed.

In 1957, Port Colborne Brethren in Christ opened its doors to an already thriving congregation.

“It was the lifeblood of the community,” Fretz, now 82, said of the church, which was led by a “very compassionate group of people.”

That tradition has continued through the years and the congregation has remained strong, he said, with an average weekly attendance of about 200 people.

Read the full article here.