West Portal Mennonite Brethren Church (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

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The West Portal Mennonite Brethren congregation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan began in 1950, and formally organized in 1957. This church began as a city mission Sunday school work. In 1950 Helen Giesbrecht held six classes for children in homes in various parts of the city. By 1952 the number of classes per month ranged from 9 to 16 with total average attendance from 133 to 215. The first building was occupied in 1962, with a subsequent building program in 1984. Abe J. Sawatsky is considered the founding leader of the group.

In 1952 the Saskatchewan Mennonite Brethren conference purchased two lots to build a mission hall at the corner of 20th Street and Avenue W. Building progressed slowly in 1953 and 1954. Meanwhile, services were conducted in the Pleasant Hill school with Wes Willems as Sunday school superintendent and Allan Baerg as treasurer. From 1954 to 1956 meetings were held in the basement of the new hall since the building had not been completed. During this phase the group was called the City Mission. In 1957 the City Mission organized as an Mennonite Brethren church with 22 charter members and in June of that year the building was completed and dedicated. In 1962 the name was changed to the West Portal Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1983 a new church was built on 33rd Street.

West Portal planted Living Hope Church in Saskatoon in 2001 and Faith River Christian Fellowship, also in Saskatoon, in 2005.


Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 66.

Penner, Peter. No Longer at Arms Length: Mennonite Brethren Church Planting in Canada. Winnipeg: Kindred Press, 1987.

Toews, John A. A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975: 164. Available in full electronic text at: https://archive.org/details/AHistoryOfTheMennoniteBrethrenChurch.

Additional Information

Address: 3134 33rd St. West, Saskatoon, SK S7L 6V5

Phone: 306-382-1622

Website: West Portal Mennonite Brethren Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1957-present)

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1957-present)

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1957-2002)

West Portal MB Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years
Abe J. Sawatsky 1950-1956
Lawrence Redekopp 1956-1963
Mark Gripp 1964
Wally Gripp 1964-1967
Nick Willems 1967-1972
Abe Klassen 1972-1989
Dwayne Barkman 1989-2008
Kelly Wiebe 2009-present

West Portal MB Church Membership

Year Members
1965 123
1985 176
1994 264
2000 321
2010 342

Author(s) Marlene Epp
Date Published August 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Epp, Marlene. "West Portal Mennonite Brethren Church (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2011. Web. 23 Oct 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=West_Portal_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Saskatoon,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=163458.

APA style

Epp, Marlene. (August 2011). West Portal Mennonite Brethren Church (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=West_Portal_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Saskatoon,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=163458.

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