Community Bible Fellowship (Swan River, Manitoba, Canada)

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Community Bible Fellowship and CBF Christian School in Swan River, Manitoba.
Source: Google Street view.
Ron and Rita Thiessen, serving since 2011.
Photo: Ron Thiessen.

In 1974 the Spirit of God brought together people for Bible study in the basement of Jake and Doris Reimer’s home in Swan River, Manitoba Eventually, as the numbers grew, they soon rented the Masonic hall, and there was encouragement to become part of a conference.

Jake and Doris Reimer, Ben and Elma Dyck, and George and Elsie Braun were of Mennonite background, but there was concern that a Mennonite church identity would be an obstacle to families of war veterans who had settled into the area. Joining the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination was considered, but with the assistance of Milton Fast, who was part of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, the group opted to become part of the EMC. The abiding concern was that people would come to Jesus.

The Community Bible Fellowship was formally organized in 1976 with George Braun as pastor and Ben Dyck as deacon. Planning for a building began in 1977 and it was constructed in 1978. The church relocated to a larger lot and building in 1986. The new building was dedicated on 12 June 1988. Beyond a large sanctuary and a large multipurpose room, an office, a kitchen, and Sunday School rooms, four classrooms serve the Christian Day School, which in 1988 had 41 students, two full-time teachers, and three part-time teachers.

Wil and Lynn Warkentin and John and Connie Reimer served lengthy periods as pastoral couples with the Community Bible Fellowship. Between these two periods, Darryl Peters, with his wife Karen, began serving in October 1994. At the time he was the youngest pastor in the EMC. He died in a local traffic accident on 5 November 1996.

Ron Thiessen began to serve as pastor in 2011. Ron trained at Millar College of the Bible for four years and then served in pastorates in Saskatchewan and Ontario before serving in Manitoba.

Community Bible Fellowship, located in a farming and logging area, has served the community as an evangelical church, attracting people from a range of church and cultural backgrounds. It’s building has also been the site of a private Christian School in which the congregation plays a key role.


Alford, S. “Pastor Installation Service Held.” The Messenger (8 February 1995): 8.

Hamm, Menno. “Dedication of the new facility of the Community Bible Fellowship at Swan River.” The Messenger (24 June 1988): 10-11.

"History of Community Bible Fellowship." Excerpt from Church dedication service, June 5, 1988. 2 pp. MHSC collection, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Peters, Karen and family. “Darryl Quinn Peters, 1969-1996.” The Messenger (18 December 1996): 11-12.

[Schellenberg, Dave K.] "Church Profile: Community Bible Fellowship, Church in the Valley." The Messenger (29 June 1984): 2-4

Thiessen, Ron and Terry Smith. “Ron Thiessen: Pray for your church leaders!” The Messenger (May 2017): 25.

Additional Information

Address: Box 1630, Swan River, MB R0L 1Z0 (Meetingplace Highway 83 South)

Phone: 204-734-4829

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference 

Portage Evangelical Church Pastoral Leaders

Pastors Years
George and Elsie Braun 1976-1979
Ben Dyck (deacon) 1980
Wil and Lynn Warkentin 1981-1993
Darryl and Karen Peters 1994-1996
John and Tina Toews (interim) 1996-1997
John and Connie Reimer 1997-2009
Dwayne Klassen (associate/youth 2000
Ron and Rita Thiessen 2011-

Membership at Community Bible Fellowship

Year Membership
1980 20
1985 56
1990 78
1995 69
2000 80
2005 83
2010 92
2015 75 (attendance)

Author(s) Terry Smith
Date Published December 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry. "Community Bible Fellowship (Swan River, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2017. Web. 22 Sep 2021.,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=171219.

APA style

Smith, Terry. (December 2017). Community Bible Fellowship (Swan River, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2021, from,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=171219.

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