Fellowship began in November 1974 because of Gordie Hilderman and his dad and
two Baptist missionary friends, Rev. David and Ruby Hayward, who were waiting
for God to show them the next step. They had been missionaries in India for 13
years and found themselves unable to return because the Indian government
refused to issue the visas they needed. After waiting on God for several years,
they were approached by Fred Hilderman, who asked them to consider working with
people like his mentally handicapped son, Gordie. Gordie had grown up attending
church but didn’t want to go to church any more because of the way people looked
at him and treated him. Dave and Ruby began gathering about 10 mentally
handicapped adults for a Sunday school with the help of some young people in the
church. We have been gathering ever since.
these original Sunday school members are still at the core of Joy Fellowship.
For 15 years, the group met in a basement room at Trinity Baptist Church, but
then became too large for that space and moved to a 7th Day Adventist church
building at 43rd and Oak in Vancouver. Over the years there have been many
leaders, volunteers and pastors, and members that have come and gone, and many
thousands of lives have been changed and blessed by this ministry
years later, the Sunday morning church service draws between 100 and 130 people.
We also have a number of well-attended weekly Bible studies in various locations
and a well-developed pastoral ministry to people who are mentally and or