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Bethel Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, MB, 1991-present..
Interior of the Bethel Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, MB, 1991-present.
Source: Harold Funk Architect Inc
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The St. Demetrios, Romanian Orthodox Church, Winnipeg, MB.
Bethel Mennonite Church (1945-1955).
Source: Picture This: My World in Pictures
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Bethel Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, MB.
Sanctuary built in 1955, Education Wing in 1962

Bethel began in January 1938 when Benjamin Ewert, a minister ordained by the Bergthaler Mennonite Church, was commissioned by the Canadian Conference of Mennonites to visit Mennonite families and settlements in Western Canada. In Winnipeg, he gathered a group of 21 interested individuals and held services in the Emmanual Baptist Church at Sargent Avenue and Furby Street. Later that year, they rented a church at the corner of Sherbrook Street and Sargent Avenue and held services there for the next six years. In 1945, new facilities were needed and the congregation purchased a church at 103 Furby Street (Furby and Westminster). In 1953, its membership included many Mennonite students and young people who came to the city for employment. Most of the services in 1953 were in English, with a German and an English sermon every Sunday morning. From 1947 to 1949 the Canadian Mennonite Bible College was located in the basement of this church.

In 1955, property was acquired and a new church built at the corner of Stafford Street and Carter Avenue. An education wing was added to this facility in 1962. Due to continued growth, a new church was built on this same location in 1991. The old sanctuary was converted into a dining hall with a large new kitchen, while the education wing was demolished to make way for the new church sanctuary.

Due to increased membership, three daughter churches were started over the years. Elmwood Mennonite Church was the first daughter church, established in 1961 in the Elmwood area of Winnipeg. It later relocated to Burrows and became known as Burrows Bethel Mennonite Church. It dissolved in 1997. The second daughter church was established in 1963, when members from the Charleswood area of Winnipeg began meeting in Chapman School. They became known as Charleswood Mennonite Church, building their own church in 1965. Hope Mennonite Church was started in 1987 by seven Bethel members commissioned to start a new congregation. They met in several temporary locations until settling in at 222 Furby Street, sharing space with Young United Church.

The congregation changed its name several times. It was originally known as Winnipeg Mission (1938), Bethel Mission Church (1939/40), Bethel Mission Mennonite Church (1946) and finally Bethel Mennonite Church (1957).

In November 2012, Bethel Mennonite Church celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a celebration weekend. It included a history bus tour, the planting of a peace pole, a special quilted wall mural depicting Mennonite and specifically Bethel’s history, a 45-minute documentary DVD of Bethel’s 75 years of history, an evening of panelists discussing the historical conscientious objector status and peace stance, a plaque naming all Bethel’s conscientious objectors, and a musical afternoon reviewing songs of Bethel over the years.

[edit] Bibliography

Canadian Mennonite (4 December 1953): 43; (30 December 1955): 3; (20 May 1960): 11.

Dyck, Betty, ed. Bethel: Pioneering in Faith, 1937-1987. 1988. 147 pp.

Dyck, Harry B. "The History and Development of the Bethel Mennonite Church," Research paper, CMBC, 1965, 26 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Enns, Edward. "Bethel Mission Mennonite Church," Research paper, CMBC, 1950, 22 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Mennonite Reporter (15 April 1991): 11.

Petkau, Evelyn Rempel. "Bethel Mennonite Church Celebrates 75 Years." Canadian Mennonite (7 January 2013). Web. http://www.canadianmennonite.org/articles/bethel-mennonite-church-celebrates-75-years.

Unpublished congregational history, 1965, 16 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

[edit] Archival records

Church records at Mennonite Heritage Centre.

[edit] Additional Information

Address: 465 Stafford Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3M 2E2

Phone: 204-453-2199

Website: Bethel Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Manitoba

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1950-present)

General Conference Mennonite Church (1947-2002)

[edit] Bethel Mennonite Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years of Service
Benjamin Ewert 1938-1943
Isaac I. Friesen 1943-1951
David Schroeder 1951-1954
George Groening 1954-1966
Bill Block 1967-1976
Jake Pauls 1977-1994
David Epp-Stobbe 1996-2003
Rudy Baergen 2004-2013
Lisa Enns (interim) 2013-2014
Darrel Toews 2014-present

[edit] Bethel Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1950 202
1965 450
1975 385
1985 516
1995 591
2000 587
2005 598
2013 465

[edit] Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

In January 1938 Benjamin Ewert, itinerant preacher of the Canadian Conference, and later minister-at-large, started to hold services in an English Baptist church on Sargent Avenue. For over six years services were held at the corner of Sherbrook Street and Sargent Avenue, but in 1945 the congregation purchased the church. In 1953 its membership included many Mennonite students and young people who came to the city for employment attending. Most of the services in 1953 were in English, with a German and an English sermon every Sunday morning. From 1947 to 1949 the Canadian Mennonite Bible College was located in this church. Benjamin Ewert served the congregation 1938-1943, Isaac I. Friesen 1943-1951, and David Schroeder beginning in 1951. -- Benjamin Ewert

Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 314. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


Author(s) Pam Friesen
Date Published February 2014


[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Friesen, Pam. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2014. Web. 20 Dec 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=126570.

APA style

Friesen, Pam. (February 2014). Bethel Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 December 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=126570.




©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.