Peter J. Klassen passed away suddenly June 10, 2001 of a heart attack suffered during the 11 a.m. service at Clearbrook MB Church in Abbotsford, B.C.
He was born Aug. 29, 1941 to Jacob and Tina Klassen in New Hamburg, Ont. He loved reading books and was always serious about learning.
One night when he was 11, his mother led him to the Lord after he came under a strong conviction that if Jesus would come, he would be lost.
He attended Eden Christian College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., 1955-59. After completing grade 13 at Waterloo (Ont.) Oxford Secondary School, he studied at MB Bible School in Kitchener, Ont. for 2 years. Feeling a call to full-time ministry, he studied at MB Bible College in Winnipeg 1962-65, earning a B.Th.
The following summer, he joined the MBBC deputation quartet, travelling across Western Canada for 7 weeks as a preacher.
He married Betty Toews Aug. 12, 1966 in Yarrow (B.C.) MB Church. Their life motto was 2 Corinthians 4:5. He pastored Christian Fellowship Chapel in Orillia, Ont. 1967-81, then earned an M.Div. in homiletics from Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto.
He pastored Bridgeway Community Church, Swift Current, Sask. for 8 years. In 1991 he began pastoring Virgil (Ont.) MB Church, which later became Cornerstone Community Church. In October 1999, he and Betty began pastoring Clearbrook MB Church.
Over the years, the family had many special times together, including camping, a houseboat trip, summer trips to visit relatives, travelling across Canada and reading the Bible. In 1996 he and his father, 86, travelled to Russia and Siberia.
Peter loved the church and always took time to listen and offer encouragement to those hurting and discouraged. His life proclaimed God's message of wisdom, encouragement and grace.
He is mourned by Betty; son Jon; daughter Becky; his father; 2 sisters and 1 brother.
The funeral was June 15 in Clearbrook MB Church, with Jay Neufeld, Eldon DeFehr, Wilmer Kornelson and Ike Bergen ministering.