Mennonites living at Rosemary, Countess, and Gem began services in 1928, and formally organized on 6 February 1930 as the Westheimer Gemeinde. The congregation was located near Rosemary, Alberta, and was established by four families in an abandoned, weedy irrigation area. The land in the area was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, which had spent millions of dollars to develop the Eastern Irrigation District. When the Mennonites, like earlier settlers in the district, were unable to make a living on this land, the railroad in 1935 gave the land to a corporation of farmers, to which the farmers made yearly payments. Under this arrangement the farmers of the area prospered. The first building was occupied in 1937. The building was enlarged in 1947 and in 1949 when the Mennonites in the Clemenceau school district united with the Westheimer congregation. Subsequent building programs took place in 1961 and 1990. H. H. Janzen is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through emigration from the Soviet Union.
In June 1957, 51 members at Gem, Alberta, organized the independent Gem Mennonite Church. In February 1959 the constitution was rewritten and the church's name was changed to the Rosemary Mennonite Church. The use of tobacco and alcohol were issues that plagued the congregation. There was much factionalism and many power struggles between strong individuals.
Rev. P. P. Dyck, one of the ministers at Rosemary, began a Bible school in his home in 1931. The school grew and moved into its own quarters in 1934. It was discontinued in 1941; students began attending the Menno Bible Institute at Didsbury.
The church at Rosemary prospered more than others in Alberta because of strong leadership right from the beginning. Due to the use of irrigation, it also had a stable agricultural economy. The language of worship is English and German; the transition from German occurred in the 1950s.
Adrian, David, ed. Marvelous are the Ways: a Brief History of the Rosemary Mennonite Church. Rosemary, AB: Rosemary Mennonite Church, 1961, 16 pp.
Canadian Mennonite (26 March 1954): 1; (11 February 1955): 7; (6 October 1961): 7; (25 May 2009): 14; (12 July 2010): 23.
Dick, C. L. The Mennonite Conference of Alberta: a History of its Churches and Institutions. Edmonton: The Mennonite Conference of Alberta, 1981, 147 pp.
Mennonite Church, Rosemary: formerly Westheimer Mennoniten Gemeinde. Rosemary, AB: Rosemary Mennonite Church, 1980, 113 pp.
Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives. "Rosemary Mennonite Church Fonds." January 2009. http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives/holdings/AB/AB_rosemary.htm (accessed 20 September 2009).
Mennonite Reporter (26 November 1990): B2.
Archival Records:Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Rosemary Mennonite Church fonds.
Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Archives, Calgary, Alberta. Westheimer Mennonite Church (Rosemary) fonds.
Address: Box 97, Rosemary, AB T0J 2W0
Website: Rosemary Mennonite Church
Mennonite Church Alberta (1930-present)
Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1930-present)
General Conference Mennonite Church (1938-1999)
Rosemary Mennonite Church Leading Ministers
|Cornelius D. Harder||1930-1945|
|Peter P. Dyck||1930-1956|
|Peter W. Dyck||1936-1958|
|David P. Neufeld||1944-1961|
Rosemary Mennonite Church Membership
|Author(s)||Peter P., J. D. Nickel Dyck|
|Date Published||July 2010|
Cite This Article
Dyck, Peter P., J. D. Nickel and Marlene Epp. "Rosemary Mennonite Church (Rosemary, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 27 Feb 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rosemary_Mennonite_Church_(Rosemary,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=77281.
Dyck, Peter P., J. D. Nickel and Marlene Epp. (July 2010). Rosemary Mennonite Church (Rosemary, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rosemary_Mennonite_Church_(Rosemary,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=77281.
Herald Press website.
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