Hanley Mennonite Church (Hanley, Saskatchewan, Canada)

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Hanley Mennonite Church
Source: Mennonite Church Saskatchewan website

Russian Mennonite immigrant families arrived in the Hanley area of Saskatchewan in the 1920s. They soon formed a congregation for worship, meeting in homes and farm buildings. That year, these families joined other Mennonites to form the Nordheimer Gemeinde, a group of congregations that, at its peak, had 400 members in a broad area spanning much of southern Saskatchewan. But by the 1930s the Gemeinde had decreased to three congregations. Hanley, Dundurn and Pleasant Point Mennonite churches remained part of the Gemeinde until it dissolved in 1975. Thereafter, the congregations gradually emerged as independent congregations, Johann J. Klassen is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through immigration from the Soviet Union.

The congregation built its first meetinghouse in 1929, on 0.8 hectares of land purchased by the ladies aid group. During a large celebration in the 1950s, a beam in the building’s foundation broke, collapsing the floor. The church constructed a new building in 1956.

During the 1950s, the congregation ordained two women to serve as missionaries. Esther Patkau served in Japan for 30 years, and Mary Epp served in the Congo for 23 years.

The church called Gary Peters and his wife, Margaret Ewen Peters, into ministry in 1989. As the congregation’s first salaried ministers, they served together until 2011, when Margaret resigned to serve the Fiske and Herschel Ebenfeld Mennonite congregations. Gary continued as Hanley Mennonite’s sole pastor on a half-time basis. In early 2020, he told the congregation he wished to move toward retirement. On 4 April 2021 the congregation held its closing service though there was some discussion of continuing to meet more informally for worship.

The language of worship was initially German; the transition from German to English occurred in the 1960s.

The congregation's cemetery is on the church yard


Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives (Winnipeg, MB): "Hanley Mennonite Church fonds." Web. 9 July 2010. http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/programs/archives/holdings/SK/SK_HanleyMC.htm.

Mennonite Reporter (24 June 1996): 14.

Nordheimer Mennonite Church of Saskatchewan, 1925-1975. Hanley, SK: Nordheimer Mennonite Church, 1975, 140 pp.

Schulz, Donna. "The church lives on in the people: Hanley Mennonite closes after nearly 100 years." Canadian Mennonite 25, no. 9 (26 April 2021): 20-21.

Archival Records

Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, MB: Vols. 66, 1622, 2824, 2883, 4031, 4426.

Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK: Volume 387.

Additional Information

Address: Box 387, Hanley, SK S0G 2E0

Location: 15 km west of Hanley on Highway 764, then 1.9 km north on gravel road [Coordinates: 51.6376°N, 106.6422°W].

Phone: 306-544-2722

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1925-2021)

General Conference Mennonite Church (1926-1999)

Hanley Mennonite Church Ministers

Minister Years
Abram Martens 1929-1934
Abram A. Kröger 1931-1941
Franz Epp 1929-1977
Jacob Schellenberg 1943-1981
Henry Peters 1959-1996
Henry Patkau 1971-1981
Margaret and Gary Peters 1990-2021

Hanley Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1975 102
1985 111
1995 94
2000 98
2010 99
2020 75

Author(s) Marlene Epp
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published March 2021

Cite This Article

MLA style

Epp, Marlene and Richard D. Thiessen. "Hanley Mennonite Church (Hanley, Saskatchewan, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2021. Web. 13 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hanley_Mennonite_Church_(Hanley,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=171384.

APA style

Epp, Marlene and Richard D. Thiessen. (March 2021). Hanley Mennonite Church (Hanley, Saskatchewan, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hanley_Mennonite_Church_(Hanley,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=171384.

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