Horse Lake Mennonite Church (Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada)

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Horse Lake Mennonite Church, Duck Lake, SK. Original building.
Source: Mennonite Church Saskatchewan website
Horse Lake Mennonite Church, Duck Lake, SK. Later building.
Source: Mennonite Church Saskatchewan website

In the 1920s Mennonites began to settle in the farming area of Horse Lake (Lac Cheval). Occasional visiting pastors from the Rosenorter Gemeinde provided services in homes.  In 1938 they formally organized and established a Sunday School program in the home John J. Reimer. In 1941 the Mennonites built a small, 5.5 m (18 feet) by 9.1 (30 feet) church building and established a cemetery. This was located at 52.92134°N 106.34191°W.  In 1943 John J. Reimer and Willy Janzen were elected as lay pastors. They were soon supported by Klaas Kroeker, an ordained pastor, who served as assistant pastor until 1955 when he moved to British Columbia. In the early 1940s Kroeker started outreach pastoring to secluded Mennonite families in the MacDowell, Saskatchewan, area about 30 km northeast of Horse Lake. This small group met in the Sunbeam Valley School, SD#5198, located on SW2-45-03-W3. In 1944 six people from MacDowell were baptized in the Horse Lake church as were a few other young people over the years from MacDowell. In the 1950s many Mennonites from the MacDowell area moved away and after Kroeker left the remaining members joined the local Anglican church. 

The Horse Lake Mennonite Church had a close association with the nearby Garthland Mennonite congregation. For example Jacob Pauls was ordained in 1949 to serve at Garthland Mennonite Church, but also served as needed at Horse Lake particularly after Garthland closed in 1954 and before he moved to Saskatoon in 1960.

In 1958 the Tiefengrund Church planned to build a new building and made available its old building to the Horse Lake congregation. This building was moved to its current site at: 52.92944°N 106.3418°W on Wiens road, which is Saskatchewan highway 783. This location was about 0.75 kilometres north of the original site. The original Horse Lake church building was moved and became a private residence.

In 2010 the congregation entered into a sharing arrangement with the nearby Eigenheim Mennonite Church in which one Sunday per month members worshiped with Eigenheim and one Sunday per month Eigenheim leaders brought a worship service to the Horse Lake Mennonite Church.

After a worship service on 26 June 2016, Horse Lake Mennonite Church closed its doors. The pastoral couple, Walter and Esther Janzen, had retired. Walter was the son of founding pastor Willy Janzen

The original cemetery was still actively utilized in 2011.


Canadian Mennonite (17 October 1958): 1.

Mennonite Reporter (6 January 1991): 9.

Rempel, J. G. Die Rosenorter Gemeinde in Saskatchewan. Rosthern, Sask: D. H. Epp, 1950, 183 pp.

Their dreams-- our memories: a history of Duck Lake and district. Duck Lake, Sask.: Duck Lake History Committee, Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, 1988. 2 volumes.

Archival Records

Photocopied records at Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Cemetery Records:

Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan Archives, vol. 6.7.

Additional Information

Address: Box 278, Duck Lake SK  S0K 1J0

Location: southwest 1/4 Sec. 2 Township 45 Route 3 west of 3rd Meridian

Phone: 306-467-4814

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Saskatchewan

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1941-2016)

General Conference Mennonite Church (1941-1999)

Pastoral Leaders at Horse Lake Mennonite Church

Name Years of Service
John J. Reimer 1943-? 
Willy F. Janzen 1943-1968 
Klaas Kroeker 1940?-1955 
Jacob Pauls 1949-1960 
Bill Zacharias (also taught at Swift Current Bible Institute) 1958-1963 
Frank Sawatzky  1968-1972 
Walter E. Janzen  1972-2016

Horse Lake Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1941 20
1945  30
1950  65
1955  75
1960  35
1965  29
1970  14
1975  17
1980  24
1985  26
1990  14
1995  14
2000  14
2005  14
2010  14

Author(s) Victor G. Wiebe
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published June 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiebe, Victor G. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Horse Lake Mennonite Church (Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2016. Web. 10 Aug 2022.,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=171351.

APA style

Wiebe, Victor G. and Richard D. Thiessen. (June 2016). Horse Lake Mennonite Church (Duck Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 August 2022, from,_Saskatchewan,_Canada)&oldid=171351.

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