Emmaus Mennonite Church (Wymark, Saskatchewan, Canada)
In 1928 the Emmaus Mennonite Church in Wymark, Saskatchewan, Canada was founded by 75 charter members. Originally Emmaus was a collection of small worshipping community known as a Gemeinde, with meeting places in Neville, Swift Current, Blumenhof, Schoenfeld, Rhineland and Wymark.
Valentine Nickel, a school teacher in the Wymark area beginning in 1929, became actively engaged in the group meeting at Wymark. Many Sunday services were held in the Wymark school where Nickel taught. Valentine and Rose Marie Nickel spearheaded the search for a permanent place of worship at Wymark. The group found a suitable building in a nearby village and moved it to Wymark. It was renovated and dedicated on 11 November 1938 and was used for the life of the congregation.
The Wymark congregation elected Valentine Nickel as its minister on 10 June 1938; he was ordained in August 1938. In 1945 he was elected elder, though he was not ordained until 1948.
In 1959, there were 270 members in the whole Emmaus Gemeinde, and congregants decided to form two distinct churches. The Swift Current congregation initially became known as First Mennonite Church, but changed its name in 1961 to Zion Mennonite. The Wymark congregation kept the Emmaus name.
For many years, Emmaus Mennonite was actively involved in mission and outreach in the local area. Through the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization, Emmaus members helped found the Herbert Nursing Home and the Mennonite Youth Farm at Rosthern. Under Valentine Nickel’s leadership, they purchased property on Lac Pelletier, south of Swift Current, which became Camp Elim, one of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s three camps. Emmaus Mennonite also helped establish and support Swift Current Bible Institute.
By 2018 the reality of an aging congregation in a rural area took its toll. Emmaus had around 40 members, but only about 25 people attended regularly. In winter, with snowbirds gone to warmer climates, the number dwindled to 12. The congregation voted to close on 20 May 2018, and the final service took place on 28 October 2018.
"Emmaus Mennonite Church fonds." Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives. 21 June 2012. Web. 30 November 2018. http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives/holdings/SK/SK_Emmaus.htm.
Sawatsky, Ernie. "The History of the Emmaus Mennonite Church of Swift Current and South." Unpublished student paper, 1961. Web. 30 November 2018. http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives/holdings/SK/scans/EmmausMChistory.pdf.
Schulz, Donna. "Emmaus Mennonite closes after 90 years: Aging Congregation and Dwindling Numbers cited as Reasons." Canadian Mennonite 19 November 2018. Web. 30 November 2018. https://canadianmennonite.org/stories/emmaus-mennonite-closes-after-90-years.
Address: Wymark, SK S0N 2Y0
Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada
General Conference Mennonite Church (1928-1999)
Ordained Ministers at Emmaus Mennonite Church
|Ray and Sylvia Friesen||2004-2018|
Emmaus Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||November 2018|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam. "Emmaus Mennonite Church (Wymark, Saskatchewan, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2018. Web. 25 May 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Emmaus_Mennonite_Church_(Wymark,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=162522.
Steiner, Sam. (November 2018). Emmaus Mennonite Church (Wymark, Saskatchewan, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Emmaus_Mennonite_Church_(Wymark,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=162522.
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