Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church has its beginning in the village of Hoffnungsfeld, just west of Winkler. Men and women met for Bible study and prayer, appreciated freedom in worship, and placed a high value on missions and Christian Education. The church built a sanctuary in Winkler in 1895, marking the birth of the church as a separate entity. The Bergthaler church was the first church building in Winkler, and the first Mennonite church in a town in all of western Canada. Jacob M. Wiens is considered the founding leader of the group.
The church has a rich heritage in gospel music, and in time choirs were organized, a piano and organ were purchased, and an associate pastor in charge of the music program was added to the pastoral staff.
Initially all services were conducted in the German language. Beginning in the early 1970s, services were also offered in the English language. At this time, Christian Education programs were expanded, youth programs were added, a large number of women and men were commissioned to serve in mission assignments – at home and abroad, and a system of bishops and lay ministers was replaced with a team of salaried pastors and lay leaders.
A new sanctuary, complete with a full basement, was dedicated in 1947. In 1970, this building was converted to a three-story education wing and a new place of worship, with a seating capacity of 1,000, was constructed. Since that time the church has added an office wing, a new Dining Hall, and an Education Complex.
In December 2015 it was announced that the congregation was leaving both Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church Manitoba over the issue of same-sex marriage.
Brown, Frank. A History of the Town of Winkler, Manitoba. 1973: 165-175.
Canadian Mennonite (3 July 1970): 3.
Elias, Ron. "History of the Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1979, 13 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.
Friesen, David. Journey of Faith: Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church, 1895-1995. Winkler, MB, 1995.
Gerbrandt, H. J. Adventure in Faith. Altona, MB: Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Manitoba, 1970, 379 pp.
Klassen, John P. "Growth Study of the Winkler Bergthaler Church." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1980, 79 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.
Mennonite Reporter (4 September 1972): 10, (8 July 1996): 10.
Penner, Dean. "Winkler Church Severing Ties with Mennonite Conference Manitoba." PembinaValley Online. 7 December 2015. Web. 10 July 2016. http://www.pembinavalleyonline.com/local/47562-winkler-church-severing-ties-with-mennonite-conference-manitoba.
Church records at Mennonite Heritage Centre.
 Additional Information
Address: Box 1207, Winkler, MB R6W 4B2
Location: 252 6th Street, Winkler, MB
Church website: Winkler Bergthaler
Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba (1947-2015)
Conference of Mennonites in Canada (1903-2015)
General Conference Mennonite Church (1974-1999)
 Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||February 1989|
 Cite This Article
Epp, Marlene. "Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church (Winkler, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 1989. Web. 4 Dec 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Winkler_Bergthaler_Mennonite_Church_(Winkler,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=139717.
Epp, Marlene. (February 1989). Winkler Bergthaler Mennonite Church (Winkler, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 December 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Winkler_Bergthaler_Mennonite_Church_(Winkler,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=139717.
©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.