Blumenort Mennonite Church (Manitoba, Canada)
Blumenort Mennonite Church (Blumenorter Mennoniten Gemeinde) (General Conference Mennonite) was founded in Blumenort, Manitoba, in 1925. Jacob J. Klassen (1868-1947) was chiefly responsible for bringing Mennonite refugees who had come from Russia since 1923 to settle here on the land between Gretna and Winkler, a distance of 30 miles (50 km), left by the Old Colony Mennonites when they migrated to Mexico. The villages where this group settled were Blumenort, four miles (6.5 km) west of Gretna; Neuhorst, five miles (eight km) farther west; Rosenort, two miles (three km) north; Schoenwiese, three miles (five km) farther north; Gnadental, between Rosenort and Schoenwiese, but four miles (6.5 km) north; Reinland, two miles (three km) farther west; Hochfeld, five miles (eight km) farther northwest; Osterwick, three miles (five km) farther west, and Chortitz, three miles (five km) north of Osterwick.
In 1925 the young congregation bought the church in Rosenort of the Old Colony for $800.00. It was evidently built in the early 1880s. In 1926 the settlers bought a second church at Reinland, also of the Old Colony Mennonites, for $500.00.
The group in Blumenort, together with some of the Sommerfeld church, bought a residence and arranged a church in it which was used. In 1942 Gnadental built a 28 x 50 ft. church with a good basement for $2,000. The settlement now has four churches for its regular Sunday services. About once a month a general meeting is held alternately in one of the first mentioned churches. In the first years there were a few other stations to be served, but since the members at Hochfeld have nearly all moved to Elm Creek, 65 miles (105 km) to the north, and only two families were left in Schoenwiese, services are held at only four places.
At first there were only two preachers, Jacob J. Klassen, a farmer, and Peter Rempel, a teacher, who had come from Russia. In 1925 Johann P. Bueckert came from Russia, and was chosen and ordained as elder in 1928 (he served until 1954), and Cornelius Krahn, who had been chosen as preacher in Russia, was ordained in October 1925. In 1928 Heinrich Warkentin and Heinrich Albrecht were chosen as preachers. The former moved to Morris, and the latter died in 1933. Other preachers ordained here were: Heinrich Enns and Abram Bueckert, who were still serving in 1950; in 1935 Franz Sawatzky (farmer), Jacob Klassen (farmer), and Abram Teichroeb (later a Bible school teacher); and in 1942 Paul Schaefer (teacher) and Jacob K. Klassen (teacher), a son of the above Jacob Klassen, and a grandson of the founder. In addition to these, Johann D. Adrian (later a Bible school teacher in Winnipeg), who was chosen but not ordained to the ministry in Russia, conducted greatly appreciated courses for Sunday-school teachers.
In the 1950s in Blumenort and Gnadental there were catechetical classes. Several weeks before Easter the young people to be baptized were given instruction; two weeks before Pentecost the candidates related to the assembled congregation how they found Christ and accepted Him as their personal Savior. On Monday after Pentecost they were baptized. On the following Sunday a meeting preparatory to communion was held, and communion was observed a week later. At this service the tradition was followed that the elder broke the bread and distributed it to the members, who remained seated and then ate together. The cup was handed by the elder to the deacons, or preachers, who took it to the lay members, who then passed it around until it was empty. After the ceremony, Psalm 103 was read as a hymn of praise. Feetwashing was not practiced. At that time the church had three young people's organizations, which gave a religious program every month.
In 1931 the church had nine congregations (Stationen) served by Elder Johann P. Bueckert and 10 ministers. The church had 201 congregational members, a total of 447 members and adherents, and 88 families. The total membership in 1953 was 364.
Konferenz-Bericht der 26. Konferenz der Mennoniten im mittleren Canada, abgehalten in Rosthern, Sask., den 2., 3. end 4. Juli 1928.
Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, MB: Blumenort Mennonite Church (Rosetown, Manitoba) fonds.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 372-373. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Bueckert, John P. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Blumenort Mennonite Church (Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2012. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B5918.html.
APA style: Bueckert, John P. and Richard D. Thiessen. (May 2012). Blumenort Mennonite Church (Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B5918.html.