First Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
3650-91 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, T6E 6P1. (780) 436-3431. Ministers Tim and Donita Wiebe-Neufeld served in 2005 as congregational leaders. In 1965 there were 84 members; in 1985, 139; in 1995, 175; in 2000 179. The congregation has been affiliated with Mennonite Church Alberta (1960-), Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1959-) and General Conference Mennonite Church (1959-1999). The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in the 1950s.
The congregation began services in 1950, and formally organized in 1959. The first building was occupied in 1954, with subsequent building programs in 1966 and 1996/97. John Unrau is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through urbanization from rural Alberta.
Initially the group consisted primarily of students coming to the city to attend university. In the early years, the church was often "suspect" because of its reputation for fostering an atmosphere of questioning and innovation, for its considerable use of English, and for the simple fact of being located in a city and connected with a university. It experienced a high degree of transience in the early years.
The congregation had the first salaried Mennonite pastor in Alberta (Arthur Dick). Faith Mennonite Church was a daughter congregation.
The church established and operates Southview Child Care (formerly McKernan Park Day Care).
Canadian Mennonite (15 May 1959): 3; (7 June 1966): 9.
Mennonite Reporter (6 April 1992): 13; (28 November 1994): 13; (27 May 1996): 13; (7 July 1997): 10.
Wieler, Barbara. "The History of the First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, from 1949-1978." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1978, 13 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.
Celebrating 25 Years: A History of First Mennonite Church, Edmonton, Alberta. Edmonton: First Mennonite Church, 1984, 104 pp.
Dick, C. L. The Mennonite Conference of Alberta: a History of its Churches and Institutions. Edmonton: The Mennonite Conference of Alberta, 1981, 147 pp.
Church records at Mennonite Heritage Centre.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Epp, Marlene. "First Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 1989. Web. 26 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F564.html.
APA style: Epp, Marlene. (February 1989). First Mennonite Church (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F564.html.