Gem Mennonite Brethren Church (Gem, Alberta, Canada)
The Gem Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church, located at Gem in central Alberta, had its beginning in November 1928, when 25 Mennonite families, immigrants from the Ukraine and Siberia, settled here, some of whom were the Mennonite Brethren, some Evangelical Mennonite Brethren, and some General Conference Mennonites. On 2 June 1929, the Mennonite Brethren congregation organized with 35 members and with H. K. Siemens as leader. They met in the school every Sunday for worship together with the members of the other two branches.
In 1932 a church was built, which was enlarged a few years later. In 1952-53, because of its unsatisfactory location and poor condition, it was sold and a new one was erected. An important milestone was the opening of the Bethesda Bible School on 12 November 1933, which with a few interruptions served until 1957. On 16 December 1934, P. P. Doerksen was chosen as leader of the congregation.
The membership in 1953 was 130. The congregation has continued to grow, in spite of the fact that the subsidiary congregation in Countess became an independent congregation in 1939, and many members went to British Columbia. In 1942 all the members of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren congregation formally united with the MB congregation. The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in the 1950s.
The congregation celebrated its 75th anniversary on 23 May 2004.
Doerksen, J. P. Gem Mennonite Brethren Church Golden Jubilee Book. Gem, AB: Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, 1979, 110 pp.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 7; (2 July 2004).
Toews, John A. A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975): 165-166.
Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Volumes 330–332.
Mailing Address: Box 51, Gem AB T0J 1M0
Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1929-present)
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1929-present)
General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1929-2002)
Gem MB Church Leading Ministers
|Henry K. Siemens||1929–1934|
|P. P. Doerksen||1934–1959|
|H. H. Siemens||1959–1963|
|J. P. Doerksen||1963–1989|
Gem MB Church Membership
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 452. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Siemens, H. H. and Marlene Epp. "Gem Mennonite Brethren Church (Gem, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G451.html.
APA style: Siemens, H. H. and Marlene Epp. (March 2012). Gem Mennonite Brethren Church (Gem, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G451.html.