In the mid 1920s Mennonite Brethren immigrants from the Soviet Union pioneered on Canadian Pacific Railway land in the area between the villages of Mullingar and Mayfair, Saskatchewan in the Rural Municipality of Meeting Lake, RM466. This is about 60 km northeast of North Battleford on bush land, somewhat elevated and of limited fertility.
Charter members held the first organizational meeting on 11 December 1927 and chose Martin K. Unruh as congregational leader. On 6 January 1928 the congregation chose its name and elected a church council with secretary and treasurer, along with a full range of congregational officers including deacon, choir leader, Sunday School teachers, librarian and Christian Endeavor leader. The congregation then searched for a location for a building and cemetery. These were found in a rural area about 5 km south and 2 km west of Mullingar (53.034°N 107.702°W; SEq-sec9-twn47-rng12-w3). The church building which was completed in the fall of 1929 was a humble building about 11 x 7.5 metres in size and constructed of logs donated by church members. The construction incurred a $100.00 debt which was paid off with an annual levy of $1.50 per member or $2.00 per family. A little later they added a horse barn. The congregation also obtained an organ and formed a small amateur orchestra.
The Mullingar Mennonite Brethren congregation was affiliated with the Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The language of worship was German.
Sunday school always preceded Sunday worship; regular bi-monthly afternoon services were also held. The choir practiced on midweek evenings, and youth had Christian Endeavor one Sunday each month. Each January the congregation held a week long Bible study led by an invited pastor. Each summer the congregation held combined services with the Mennonite Brethren congregations in Fairholme and Glenbush. Baptisms were held in summer at a nearby lake.
The area experienced limited economic conditions, so by the late 1930s the congregation declined as families moved to British Columbia and Manitoba for better opportunities. By 1947 only 16 members remained and by 1954 membership declined to eight members in two families. The last congregational meeting was on 6 January 1947 though the building continued to be used for special occasions. In 1955 Ben J. Derksen reported to the Northern District Conference that most people had moved away and the church formally closed. The church building has been removed; only the cemetery remains.
The membership and family register shows that over the course of time 66 members were registered in the Mullingar Mennonite Brethren Church.
Toews, John A. A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975: 163
Archive CollectionArchives at the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.
Pastors at Mullingar Mennonite Brethren Church
|Name||Years of Service|
|Martin K. Unruh||1927-1931|
|J. J. Klassen||1931-1932|
|F. P. Froese||1932-1937|
|Ben J. Derksen||1937-1953|
Original Article from Mennonite Encyclopediaby J. H. Epp, vol. 3, p., 773
Mullingar Mennonite Brethren Church of north Saskatchewan, located five miles south of Mullingar or 110 miles northwest of Saskatoon, was organized in 1928 under the leadership of M. K. Unrau, with a membership of 23. That same year longs were gathered for the erection of a church building. The pioneering conditions were rugged. Approximately 95 individuals have been members of the church. Most of these have moved away. In 1954, when the membership had dwindled to eight, the group became an affiliate of the Glenbush M.B. Church and the building was sold. B. J. Derksen was the last pastor of the Mullingar congregation.
|Date Published||August 2012|
Cite This Article
Wiebe, Victor. "Mullingar Mennonite Brethren Church (Mullingar, Saskatchewan, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2012. Web. 27 Feb 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mullingar_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Mullingar,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=115144.
Wiebe, Victor. (August 2012). Mullingar Mennonite Brethren Church (Mullingar, Saskatchewan, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mullingar_Mennonite_Brethren_Church_(Mullingar,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=115144.
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