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The Swalwel, later called Linden, Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church (later Mennonite Brethren), was organized in 1930 out of members of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren (EMB), Mennonite Brethren, Allianz-Mennonite, General Conference Mennonite, and Church of God in Christ, Mennonite groups which had settled in this district as follows: three Church of God in Christ, Mennonite families from Oregon in 1902-1903, a number of families from Manitoba in 1903 ff., and 15-18 families from Russia 1923-1925, many of these from what was in Russia known as the "Allianz" group. Since there was no congregation of any of these groups in this region, the Mennonites of the various branches met together occasionally for worship in private homes and schoolhouses. One of the leaders, N. A. Rempel, was later ordained as a Mennonite Brethren minister. In 1926 J. R. Barkman, Evangelical Mennonite Brethren, a schoolteacher, came into the community and influenced the group toward the EMB (then called Bruderthaler) Conference. This trend was helped by successful revival meetings held in 1926 by G. P. Schultz of Chicago, an EMB evangelist. In 1930 the group unanimously applied for membership in the EMB Conference, but when the EMB representative came, only about half of the group actually joined the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren; the rest, mostly Mennonite Brethren, refused to go along, although they continued to worship with the EMB congregation. In 1933 a meetinghouse was erected at Linden, and also one at Namaka, where the members were chiefly Allianz from Russia, and this group joined the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren in 1934, with A. A. Toews as leader. (In 1942 Namaka withdrew from the EMB Conference and joined the Mennonite Brethren Conference.) In 1934 the Mennonite Brethren members fully joined the Linden EMB Church. In 1947-1948 the Linden congregation also finally joined the Mennonite Brethren Conference, with Sam Ratzlaff as leader.

Swalwell left the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren in 1947 and joined the Mennonite Brethren conference. It became known as Linden Mennonite Brethren.


Rempel, G. S. A Historical Sketch of the Churches of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren. 1939, 109 pp.

Author(s) C. W. Toews
Marlene Epp
Date Published July 1986

Cite This Article

MLA style

Toews, C. W. and Marlene Epp. "Swalwell Evangelical Mennonite Brethren (Swalwell, Alberta, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 1986. Web. 26 Mar 2015.,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=77965.

APA style

Toews, C. W. and Marlene Epp. (July 1986). Swalwell Evangelical Mennonite Brethren (Swalwell, Alberta, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 March 2015, from,_Alberta,_Canada)&oldid=77965.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 350. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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