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100 years of fellowship, faithfulness

By Staff | Jul 15, 2016

The church as it was 100 years ago.

Lakeview Mennonite Church in Wolford will be having its 100th Anniversary celebration this weekend, Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

The theme for the anniversary is “Celebrating 100 Years of God’s Faithfulness.”

The original church was built on July 16, 1916, after settlers came to North Dakota in the late 1800s/early 1900s and wanted a place of worship. There have been a total of nine pastors since the church’s founding, with Pastor Fred Kanagy as current pastor.

“The mission of our church is to encourage the Christians, to reach out and help the community, to minister to the community, and to share the love of Christ,” Kanagy said. “We want to be faithful to the Lord and what he has called us to.”

Currently, the church has missionaries stationed in India, Germany and at Minot State University.

The church today.

Kanagy has been pastor for the past 11 years, and has seen some change within the church over those years, especially, the changed perception that the Mennonite Church is solely for Mennonites. “It is a place for anyone and everyone to come and fellowship. We have quite a few non-ethnic Mennonite members, and I think that’s great,” he said.

“My favorite part about being Pastor is being with people, caring for people, and ministering to the needs of people,” Kanagy said.

The weekend festivities will begin Saturday evening at 5 p.m., with a Pig Roast Supper and auction, followed by 7 p.m. worship and sharing service. Sunday, fellowship begins at 9 a.m., where coffee and rolls will be provided. Morning worship will start at 10 a.m.

Kanagy is looking forward to the celebration, where children of former pastors and people who knew them while they were alive will be speaking and sharing memories of those pastors and the church. Kanagy, as well as former pastors who are still alive, will also be sharing memories.

Hubert Hotchkiss, who has been attending Lakeview Mennonite Church for the past eight years and recently became a formal member about six months ago, is excited for the anniversary.

“I’m most looking forward to hearing stories from the past and meeting some of the people who used to go here and have moved away,” he said. “My favorite part about being a member of this church is the people. The fellowship would be the thing that would draw a person the most.”

Herbert Slaubaugh has been a member his entire life and was head of the building committee when the new church building was built in 1970. At the age of 78, he now is experiencing health issues, but hopes to attend the anniversary. “The church means a lot to me, so I’m going to try to be there,” he said.

Like both Pastor Fred and Hotchkiss, Slaubaugh said his favorite part of attending Lakeview is the fellowship and the people. He recalled a time after an extensive stay in the hospital, “People started clapping and cheering when I walked back into church. It brought tears to my eyes.”

That is what this church is about, fellowship, love and service. “We’re a small community, everybody knows everybody,” Slaubaugh said. “When one member hurts, we all hurt.”

All are welcome and invited to attend the anniversary celebration.

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