Our History

The Hmong people originated in South China, but many immigrated to Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma over the centuries due to wars.  In 1975 many Hmong in Laos again became refugees in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Some of these refugees immigrated to Canada in 1979, many sponsored by Mennonite churches. In 1980 seven Hmong Christian families began Sunday service at the Grandview Public School in New Hamburg, Ontario. They were assisted by Vin Vanh Vang's sponsor, Steinmann Mennonite Church. Later, the new congregation moved to Wilmot Mennonite Church's fellowship hall in Baden. Both at Grandview School and the Wilmot Mennonite Fellowship Hall, Sunday Services were organized by Tong Hang and the group's Elders. In 1981 So Vang served as the first non-salaried pastor.

In 1981 twenty-three Hmong and their sponsors held a meeting to seek financial, leadership and facility support for the new Hmong fellowship. At this meeting Baptist, Christian Reformed, and Mennonite persons offered their church facilities to the Hmong. The Hmong group chose First Mennonite Church in Kitchener, and began Sunday services on 1 February 1981. Later Mennonite Central Committee facilitated a Hmong Church Support Committee to assist the new Hmong Church.

The congregation then changed its name from Hmong Church to Hmong Christian Church, and in 1985 changed it again to Hmong Christian Church (Mennonite). On 31 December 2000 the name changed again to First Hmong Mennonite Church.

When Lao Vang finished his refugee resettlement work at MCC in 1983, Tong Hang was hired as a full time Pastor to assist the congregation as well as refugees who still required help. Tong, who served until 1990, was licensed and his salary was subsidized by the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec. Ge Yang, a committed lay leader, provided leadership from 1990-1993 together with a strong group of Elders.

Under Wang Chou Yang's congregational leadership, the group occupied its own building on 15 November 1996 with financial support from Hmong, the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada, the Mennonite Foundation of Canada and various Mennonite congregations. From 2000 to 2009 Pastor Dan Yang provided pastoral support for the congregation and following his departure the church elders led the congregation until 2013 when Pastor Isaiah Vang came on board for three years.  The congregation continues to worship in both Hmong and English languages and since 2017 has been under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Chung Vang.