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  Bonneyville Bio

Ruby Bontrager




















What has changed the most about Bonneyville through the years?

"I think we are a pretty diverse congregation, now, in the sense of the places (churches) we have come from. Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Amish…

Also the question of divorce really affected all of us. We had to go through a grieving process so we no longer felt like we were a failed congregation. We had to work through forgiveness and receive grace so we can lift up our heads again and move ahead. To go through that and then to have a divorced person serve on the board of elders, this has been a big change for us." 

How did you find Bonneyville Mennonite Church? 

"We lived close by and Ellis (her husband) said that we aren’t going to drive by a church to go to another church."

What attracted you to BMC?

"Nothing. Haha! I did not want to be here at first. Boyd Nelson was pastor here, and he really changed the face of Bonneyville for me. He was an Anabaptist leader in that he believed in lay leadership. I got involved in Stephen ministry, which was powerful. His leadership is what helped me embrace Bonneyville." 

Why have you stayed?

"We live so close! ☺ It’s comfortable here, and we have found meaning here." 

What is your vision for this community?

"It would be nice for Bonneyville to have a shower, so that we could be more useful to the community. I think if we could be on the cutting edge of offering our building to others, I would really go for that. My vision would be to be a more friendly face to the community. 

I also keep praying that people will come that are into music. Music people have left and it is such a loss." 

What are some of your favorite songs we sing?

"Number 14 in the Sing the Journey, “Lord Jesus You Shall Be My Song.” It talks about life as a journey with Jesus and I kind of like that, it is affirming that Jesus is the one who gives us a song. 

Also number 89, “I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry.” It is just includes everyone." 

What is one of your best memories from being a part of this church community?

"When I was in the hospital for three weeks or so, then I had time to recuperate, the meals that were brought in when I was in the hospital meant so much to our children. I think we underestimate the power of doing these things. That meant so much to me when I was out of commission." 

What wisdom can you share from your experience and time here at Bonneyville? 

"Oh my lands, the wisdom I would say has something to do with inviting people to use the gifts they have, everyone has some kind of gift. To utilize this as a congregation, lets keep tapping people on the shoulder and value who they are; give them a place on the table. I would encourage us to be mindful of that."

Tell us a bit about yourself (hobbies, favorite things, etc): 


"Reading is by far my favorite thing, I like to read all kinds of things. You know we don’t just eat one kind of food. We need to read a balance of things just like we need to eat a balanced diet. When you read the stories about what people are going through, you lead many lives. Also, I love to cook, I get tired of it, but I love trying new foods, different cuisines, my favorite restaurant is the Bangkok Place Thai restaurant in Elkhart." 


Any other favorites? "Oh yes. Travel. I traveled to the Middle East and Europe, and that forever changed my perspective on how I read the Bible; I could visualize the places because I was there." 


How long have you attended BMC?

"Since about 1974." 

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