Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
The first Mennonite Brethren churches in Alberta were established in 1926, when immigrant Mennonites from Russia settled there. A few years later these churches united into a provincial organization known as the Alberta Provincial Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church. The purpose was to strengthen the churches and to promote various home mission projects. This conference elected a home mission committee composed of chairman, assistant chairman, and secretary-treasurer, which directed the various phases of home mission work in the province. The following Mennonite Brethren churches in Alberta constituted this conference in 1949: Coaldale, Grassy Lake, Pincher Creek, Vauxhall, Namaka, Gem, Linden, Rosemary, Lindbrook, and La Glace. The total church membership of the conference was 955.
In all churches annual Bible conferences were conducted under the auspices of the mission committee, in cooperation with other Mennonite churches and in the spirit of mutual love and respect. Two Bible schools, one at Coaldale and one at Gem, served the constituency in 1950. A Mennonite high school at Coaldale was supported by the conference and served to provide Christian education to the young people. Sunday-school teachers' courses, young people's rallies, ministers' courses, and courses for church choir leaders were held annually if possible.
The following ministers served in itinerating work and in conducting meetings for a number of years up to 1950: B. B. Janz, J. J. Siemens, Abram A. Toews, D. Pankratz, P. P. Doerksen, A. G. Martens, J. A. Toews, Sr., J. A. Toews, Jr., H. Kornelson, B. W. Sawatzky, A. P. Willms, and A. A. Toews, Peter Goerz, Franz Friesen, Jac. P. Dyck; Peter Warkentin, H. R. Siemens, H. D. Siemens, Nic. A. Rempel, H. G. Klassen, Dav. Kroeker, Jac. Klassen, Martin Hamm, H. H. Rempel, and David Dyck. -- A. A. Toews
The first Mennonite Brethren church in Alberta was established by immigrants from Russia in 1926 in Coaldale, a southern farming community. Three years later several churches united to form a provincial conference to assist local churches in proclaiming the kingdom of God, unifying faith, stimulating vision, and enabling common ministries in areas of education and mission.
To provide young people access to educational opportunities, both local Bible schools and an Alberta Mennonite High School were established. As communities expanded and urbanization increased, the high school was closed in 1964, and in 1968 the Bible school thrust was merged with that of the Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren churches, as both conferences assumed sponsorship of Bethany Bible Institute.
In 1996 the conference consisted of 22 churches with a total membership of more than 2,720 scattered across the province. With more than 50 per cent of the members located in urban centers, the churches also minister to the communities in which they are found through Camp Evergreen and a Mailbox Bible Club. Ministries to Native peoples have been pursued at Hobbema. In Calgary and Edmonton the churches have also ministered to East Asian people. Together the churches experience rich blessings in worship and service. -- Abram G. Konrad
In 2011 the following 21 congregations were members of the Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches:
2011/2012 Planner Directory. Winnipeg, MB and Goessel, KS: Kindred Productions, 2011.
Address: 160 - 340 Midpark Way SE, Calgary, AB T2X 1P1
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 33-34; vol. 5, pp. 12, 14. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Toews, Aron A. and Abram G. Konrad. "Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A437.html.
APA style: Toews, Aron A. and Abram G. Konrad. (March 2012). Alberta Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A437.html.