The Braeside Evangelical Mennonite congregation held its first Sunday service in March, 1968. The church was established as an outgrowth of the Aberdeen Evangelical Mennonite church (established 1956), located in the Winnipeg North End. Braeside’s location in the north-east sector of Winnipeg (known as East Kildonan) was seen as an opportunity for providing a spiritual influence in a rapidly growing suburb and also to provide a home base for the many rural people who were moving to Manitoba’s capital city in search of jobs or attending university or college. Of interest is the fact that the lot on which the church was established was the only one that was zoned for a church, providing assurance that God’s hand was guiding the group to a church plant in the area. In 2008, Braeside EMC celebrated the 40th anniversary of its location in East Kildonan. The theme was “Great is Thy Faithfulness”.
The following have served in the pastoral role: Cornelius and Bernardine Plett (1968-1975; 1977-1982), Arnold and Anne Fast (1975-1977), John and Ellen Stoesz (1982-1993), Ron and Ruth Penner (1993-2002), Carl and Kathy Heppner (1902-’07) and Kimberly and Gerald Stoesz (2007- ). The following have been youth/associate pastors: Erwin and Carroll Kroeker, Gari and Cyndy Brandt, Mark and Sherry Herron, Carl and Kathy Heppner and Tim and Danae Gibbons. In 1997, Hernan and Landis Benitez were called to begin a Spanish ministry at Braeside in response to an ever-growing movement of Hispanic people from Central and South America to Winnipeg. In 2005, when the Benitez family returned to Paraguay, Angel and Blanca Infantes assumed leadership of this important ministry.
The mission statement of the congregation was: "A Family of Believers Modeling the Love of Jesus.” Braeside set out to model this love and make a difference in the community. From its beginning the church offered, among other things, Sunday School (at one time ‘collecting’ community children by bus), Wednesday night programs for both girls and boys, Bible studies, youth activities, Vacation Bible School and community barbeques. Braeside also participated in the ‘Love Winnipeg’ campaign (cleaning graffiti, offering to assist in yard-cleanup) and helped with a breakfast program at a local elementary school. For a number of years Braeside provided facilities for a Healthy Baby Program, designed to assist young or first-time mothers raise healthy children. A group called the “Piecemakers” met regularly to sew quilts for MCC. A Keenagers Choir, made up of close to sixty seniors, sang at personal care homes, song festivals and other churches. An important program was the sponsorship and/or assistance of refugees and landed immigrants that arrived in Winnipeg, from South-East Asia, Latin American and West African countries. Many of these arrivals made Braeside their home church, enriching the services with new languages and cultural uniqueness.
The worship services were conducted primarily in English but there were also opportunities for the use of Spanish during the Sunday worship. Worship teams led the congregation in singing both hymns and praise and worship songs. The lead pastor did most of the preaching, but opportunities were also given for others (assistant pastor, Spanish pastor, laymen) to share sermons. The Spanish members and adherents met weekly for Bible studies and monthly for a Spanish service.
In 1968 there were 157 members; in 1975, 215; in 1985, 227; in 1995, 250; and, 2008, 224. In 2008, the majority of the membership belonged to the English language group, approximately 15% considered Spanish as their mother tongue.
Canadian Mennonite (2 July 1968): 7.
Celebrating God's Faithfulness: EMC Churches in Winnipeg. 1986: 15-23.
Celebrating God’s Faithfulness: 1950’s to 1980’s. EMC Churches in Winnipeg. EMC Region 7. October 1986.
Celebrate God’s Continued Faithfulness. Winnipeg EMC Churches. April, 2002.
Veilleux, Barb(Ed.). Braeside Evangelical Mennonite Church: 1968-2008 (40th Anniversary Celebration). Winnipeg: Braeside EMC, 2008.
Address: 1011 Munroe Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical Mennonite Conference
|Date Published||September 2009|
Cite This Article
Epp, Marlene and Al Dueck. "Braeside Evangelical Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2009. Web. 25 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Braeside_Evangelical_Mennonite_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=91206.
Epp, Marlene and Al Dueck. (September 2009). Braeside Evangelical Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Braeside_Evangelical_Mennonite_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=91206.
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