Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church (Winkler, Manitoba, Canada)
Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church at Winkler, Manitoba, the oldest Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada, began as the result of home mission effort of the Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1883 the Conference sent Heinrich Voth and David Dyck as evangelists to Manitoba. On 30 May 1886, the first baptismal service was held, when six members were received into church membership. The church formally organized in 1888.
Gerhard Wiebe, an immigrant from Russia, organized the group into a congregation of 16 members. In 1889 the first church building was erected 6 miles northwest of Winkler, in the village of Burwalde. In 1895 David Dyck, a minister from Colorado, became leader of this church, which at that time numbered 84 members. Affiliated stations were opened at Kronsgart and Grossweide, which developed into new churches. Since 1898 there have been quarterly meetings in which all three congregations participated. In 1898 the church building was moved from Burwalde to just outside Winkler. Shortly after, a new one was erected on the same site; it was enlarged twice. In 1947 the building and lot were sold, and a new building was erected in Winkler, 60 x 102 ft., seating capacity 1,000. A new sanctuary was completed in 1988.
In 1895 Johann Warkentin was ordained as minister and in 1906 he became the presiding minister of the church, a position he held 25 years. In 1898 the Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church was held at Winkler. This was the first time that it convened in Canada.
In 1906 P. H. Neufeld was ordained to the ministry. In 1931 H. S. Voth became leader and pastor of the church, followed by G. D. Pries. In 1959 the leader was J. H. Quiring, with a membership of 374.
The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1913- ) and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1888-2002). The language of worship is English and German; the transition from German occurred in the 1960s.
Brown, Frank. A History of the Town of Winkler, Manitoba.
Brown, Frank. Mennonite Brethren Church, Winkler, Manitoba. Winkler, MB: Mennonite Brethren Church, 1963, 44 pp.
Canadian Mennonite (6 July 1956): 5; (12 November 1963): 1.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (1 April 1988): 14; (27 May 1988): 39.
Mennonite Historian (June 1988).
Mennonite Mirror (October 1988).
Neufeld, Arnie. "The First Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada." Mennonite Brethren Historical Society of Canada Newsletter (June 1981).
Neufeld, Arnie. "The Origin and Early Growth of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Southern Manitoba." MA Thesis, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, 1977.
Toews, John A. A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975: 153-156.
Church records at Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.
Address: 120 Pineview Drive, Winkler, MB, R6W 1T3.
Winkler MB Church Ministers
Winkler MB Church Membership
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 960. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Redekop, H. H. and Marlene Epp. "Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church (Winkler, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W5653ME.html.
APA style: Redekop, H. H. and Marlene Epp. (March 2012). Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church (Winkler, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W5653ME.html.