Elim Mennonite Church (Grunthal, Manitoba, Canada)

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Elim Mennonite Church, Grunthal, MB, 2015
Photo by Colleen Edmunds
Elim Mennonite Church, Grunthal, MB, built in 1961.

Mennonites from the Soviet Union settled in the Grunthal, Manitoba area in the 1920s, many on land previously farmed by Old Colony Mennonites who had recently migrated to Mexico. Initially they worshiped together in the Chortitzer Mennonite Church. In 1927 the Mennonite Brethren formed their own congregation and were then followed by the General Conference group organizing the Elim congregation on 27 February 1927. There were 35 charter families. Johann J. Enns became the first leader of the congregation in 1927. Since the members were scattered in the area and travel was difficult, several meeting places were organized. The meeting places were in Barkfield, Rosengard, and Chortitz. The leaders for these groups were respectively Jacob Penner, Heinrich Olfert, and Heinrich Janzen in Grunthal. These groups met in private homes and the Grunthal and Rosengard Schools. In 1933 a building was purchased and renovated for the Grunthal group. 

In 1931 the church was served by three ministers. The church had 181 congregational members, a total of 407 members and adherents, and 78 families.

By the mid-1940s transportation had improved to the extent that they could all worship in a central meeting house. In 1949 a new, larger meeting house was completed. In 1961 this meeting house was destroyed by fire and that same year, 1961, another meeting house was completed. 

The language of worship is English; German services ended in October 2003.


Canadian Mennonite (10 March 1961): 10.

Elim Gemeinde, Grunthal, Manitoba, 1927-1972. Grunthal: Elim Gemeinde, 1972, 140 pp.

Friesen, Gerald. "Elim Mennonite Church of Grunthal, 1979-1985." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1986, Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Grunthal History 1874-1974. 1974, 241 pp.

Konferenz-Bericht der 26. Konferenz der Mennoniten im mittleren Canada, abgehalten in Rosthern, Sask., den 2., 3. end 4. Juli 1928.

Wiens, David. "The History of the Elim Mennonite Church." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1980, 20 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Archival Records

Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, MB: Elim Mennonite Church (Grunthal, Man.) fonds.

Additional Information

Address: Box 269, Grunthal, MB, R0A 0R0

Telephone: 204-434-6905

Church website: Elim Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba / Mennonite Church Manitoba

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada

General Conference Mennonite Church (1929-1999)

Elim Mennonite Church Ministers

Minister Years
Johann J. Enns, Elder 1927-1943, 1943-1965
Abram A. Peters 1927-1934
Heinrich H. Janzen 1928-1930
Heinrich J. Olfert 1928-1930
Jacob K. Penner 1928-1935
David J. Fast 1934-1953
Abram H. Froese 1934-1970
Wilhelm J. Peters 1934-1943
Wilhelm Heinrichs 1937-1946
Heinrich A. Warkentin 1944-1953
Nick A. Janz 1961-1982
Cornelius M. Froese 1959-1982
Frank J. Klassen 1970-2006
Henry D. Warkentin 1979-2006
Diedrich Gerbrandt 1985-1990
Herb Franz 1992-2000
Robert Warkentin 2001-2003
Bryan Ens 2003-2005
Jarrod Chamberlin 2005-2013
Harold Peters-Fransen 2013-June 2021
Norm Voth (Intentional Interim) September 2021-present

Elim Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1927 35
1931 181
1946 199
1950 227
1965 277
1975 226
1985 211
1995 195
2000 184
2020 137

Author(s) Jacob J. Enns
Marlene Epp
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published June 2021

Cite This Article

MLA style

Enns, Jacob J., Marlene Epp and Richard D. Thiessen. "Elim Mennonite Church (Grunthal, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2021. Web. 19 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Elim_Mennonite_Church_(Grunthal,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=172374.

APA style

Enns, Jacob J., Marlene Epp and Richard D. Thiessen. (June 2021). Elim Mennonite Church (Grunthal, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Elim_Mennonite_Church_(Grunthal,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=172374.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 185. All rights reserved.

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