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Spring 1992 · Vol. 21 No. 1 · pp. 95–99 

Current Research

Elmer A. Martens

Doctoral Dissertations

Schmidt, John Peter. “Pilgrims in Paradise: Sixty Years of Growth in the Mennonite Brethren Church in British Columbia.” Fuller Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, Church Growth, 1991) Adviser: Dr. Roy S. Anderson.

This study examines the growth of the Mennonite Brethren churches in British Columbia from 1930 to 1990. During that time, the denomination grew from one church in 1929 to 67 churches in 1990, while an additional twelve churches closed or left the conference.

This study examines how a minority group broke through its ethnic, language and cultural barriers to evangelize and assimilate people of various backgrounds into its churches. The narrative shows how churches began and gives a brief overview of the growth-nongrowth history of each congregation. It also analyzes why growth occurred in some churches and not in others. The figures used are primarily membership, since attendance records of churches are not readily available.

The paper provides a theological basis for church growth, rooted in early Anabaptist history, particularly the biblical moorings of the founder, Menno Simons. The early years show how the first churches began by the Mennonite Brethren who moved to British Columbia, whose primary concern was survival and preservation of language, faith and culture. The years of change detail the shift to English as the primary language and the growing vision to reach out. During the years of growth it was largely the Board of Church Extension’s vision that brought 30 new churches into being in the 1980s. The addition of eight ethnic churches shows the growing concern for the multi-cultural mosaic in Vancouver.

Growth has been slow to steady, with potential for significant growth in the future, especially with discussions on all levels of the denomination about vision, planning and strategizing. This is detailed in the final chapter. The key for continued growth is strong pastoral leadership with servant motivation. Also, lay people in the churches must take ownership of the vision and goals to ensure their implementation. Leadership must be aware of the inner dangers of complacency and mediocrity and the external dangers of affluence {96} and materialism which erode vision and the opportunity to reach people and society with the gospel.

Faculty Publications 1991


Varvis, Steve. The “Consolation” of Boethius. Mellen Research University, 1991. [FPC]

Hiebert, D. Edmond. The Epistles of John: An Expositional Commentary. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1991. [MBBS]

———. Working with God Through Intercessory Prayer. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1991. A revised edition of Working with God: Scriptural Studies in Intercession. Canton Press, 1987. [MBBS]

Kasdorf, Hans. Flammen Unausloschlich: Mission der Mennoniten unter Zaren und Sowjets 1789-1 989. Bielefeld: LOGOS Verlag GmbH, 1991. [MBBS]

Ollenburger, B. C., *Elmer A. Martens, and G. Hasel. The Flowering of Old Testament Theology: A Reader in Twentieth Century Theology, 1930-1990. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1991. xii-547. [MBBS]

Yamasaki, April. Remember Lot’s Wife and Other Unnamed Women of the Bible. Elgin, IL: FaithQuest, Brethren Press. 1991. [CBC]

Chapters in Books

Freeman, David and Kenneth Goodman. A chapter in What’s Simple in Simplified Language? For the Regional Language Center in Singapore. [FPC]

Loewen, Howard. “Theology in Transition: Toward a Confessional Paradigm for Theology,” in So Wide a Sea: Essays in Biblical and Systematic Theology (Text-Reader Series 4). Ben C. Ollenburger, Ed. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1991. [MBBS] {97}

Martens, Elmer A. “Biblical Theology and Normativity.” In So Wide a Sea: Essays on Biblical and Systematic Theology. B. C. Ollenburger, Ed. Text Series 4. Elkhart, Ind.: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 1991, 19-35. [MBBS]

McGillicuddy. N. B., D. G. Pruitt, G. L. Welton, J. M. Zubek, and R. W. Peirce, “Factors affecting the outcome of mediation: Third-party and disputant behavior,” in Community mediation: A handbook for practitioners and researchers. K. G. Duffy, J. W. Grosch, and P. V. Olczak, Eds. New York: Guilford, 1991, 137-149. [TC]

———. “Peace in the Mennonite Tradition: Toward a Theological Understanding of a Regulative Concept,” in Baptism, Peace, and the State in Reformed and Mennonite Traditions. Ross T. Bender and Alan P. Sell, Eds. Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1991. [MBBS]

Toews, Paul. “Differing Historical Imaginations and the Changing Identity of the Mennonite Brethren,” Anabaptism Revisited. Walter Klaassen, Ed. 1991. [FPC]

Welton, G. L. “Parties in conflict: Their characteristics and perceptions,” in Community mediation: A handbook for practitioners and researchers. K. G. Duffy, J. W. Grosch, and P. V. Olczak, Eds. New York: Guilford, 1991, 105-118. [TC]

Yoder, John. Several chapters in Patterns of Reform in Primary Education: Regarding the Case of Botswana. McMillan, 1991. [FPC]

“Primary Education in Botswana” in International Handbook of Early Childhood Education. Garland, 1991. [FPC]


*Bailey, E. V. and M. O. Harris. “Visual Behavior of the Migratory Grasshopper Melanoplus sanguinipes F,” Journal of Insect Behavior (November 1991). [TC]

Friesen, Delores. “MisConduct: Missed-Compassion,” Conciliation Quarterly Newsletter 10/2 (Spring 1991): 8-9. [MBBS] {98}

Hammons, Stacy. “Faith and Practice: A Critical Integration,” Social Work and Christianity: An International Journal (1991). [FPC]

Hiebert, D. Edmond. “Romans 8:28-29 and the Assurance of the Believer,” Bibliotheca Sacra (April 1991): 170-183. [MBBS]

*Kopriva, Peter, Thomas Turner, and Rebecca Kopriva. “Siblings: The Forgotten Factor in Program Provision for Families with a Developmentally Disabled Child,” DPH Journal (Fall 1991). [FPC]

Kyle, Richard. “The Christian Commonwealth: John Knox’s Vision for Scotland,” The Journal of Religious History 16/3 (1991): 247-259. [TC]

———. “The Mennonite Brethren and American Evangelicalism: An Ambivalent Relationship,” Direction 20/1 (1991): 26-37. [TC]

———. “Spirituality and Environment in Hosea,” ACTS Theological Journal 4 (1991): 317-339. [MBBS]

Schmidt, Henry J. “Church Growth Consultation: Expectations and Post-session Perceptions,” Direction 20/2 (Fall 1991): 3-5. [MBBS]

———. “Diverse Models of Church Growth/Planting Among Mennonite Brethren,” Direction 20/2 (Fall 1991): 21-44. [MBBS]

Shillington, George. “The Success of Paul’s Mission: Dynamic Center in Cultural Diversity,” Direction 20/2 (Fall 1991). [MBBC]

Suderman, Mark J. “Comparisons Between the Requiem Settings of Florian Leopold Gassmann and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,” Choral Journal (April 1991). [TC]

Toews, J. B. “Church Theory and Mennonite Brethren Church Polity,” Direction 20/2 (Fall 1991): 102-113. [MBBS]

Toews, John E. “Church Growth Leadership Theory and Mennonite Brethren Theology,” Direction 20 (1991): 89-98. [MBBS] {99}

———. “Evangelical Pluralism,” Direction 20/1 (Spring 1991). [FPC]

Unger, Walter. “Focusing the Evangelical Vision,” Direction 20/1 (Spring 1991). [CBC]

Vooys, John. “No Clergy or Laity: All Christians Are Ministers in the Body of Christ,” Direction 20/1 (Spring 1991), 87-95. [CBC]

The above listing presents publications of faculty and students of schools which sponsor Direction, identified as follows:
Tabor College (TC), Fresno Pacific College (FPC), Columbia Bible College (CBC), Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC), Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS). In cases of multiple authorship, the author of interest is marked with *.

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