Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Kleefeld, Manitoba, Canada)

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The Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite congregation in Kleefeld, Manitoba, Canada was one of the first congregations of that denomination to be organized east of the Red River in 1882.

In May-June 1881 Bishop Peter Toews of the Kleine Gemeinde who lived in Kleefeld went to Kansas to seek religious counsel from John Holdeman. In the following winter, Holdeman and Mark Seiler visited Manitoba and conducted meetings in various places. They conducted baptisms at six locations--Blumenhof, Blumenort, Hochstadt, Rosenfeld, Steinbach and Kleefeld. The largest number of baptisms, 45, took place at Kleefeld where about half the congregation followed Peter Toews. Before Holdeman left Manitoba, Peter Toews and Abram Isaac of Kleefeld were elected and ordained as ministers, as was Martin Penner of Blumennort.

Prior to 1900 three other ministers were ordained to help serve in the various locations. Kleefeld, Hochstadt, and Rosenfeld were in close proximity. The few Rosenfeld families moved away, so worship services alternated between Kleefeld and Hochstadt. After 1900 many families began to move further west or to Texas. A church building was erected in Hochstadt in 1907, but as the population center shifted, it was moved to Kleefeld 10 years later.

Between 1920 and 1940 the Kleefeld-Hochstadt group increased from a low of under 25 to 50 members. Greenland (consisting of resettled members from Blumenort and Blumenhof) and Steinbach also increased in those years. Thus in 1940 Kleefeld, Greenland and Steinbach were organized as separate congregations, each having its own leadership.

A new church building replaced the 1907 building in 1952. An entrance was added in 1971.

The congregation has contributed members to the founding of new congregations in Sinclair, Manitoba and Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.

It also established the Wild Rose School in 1976, originally as a one-room school.

In 2019 the congregation was part of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. The ministers were Ralph Wiebe and Marshall Toews.


Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. Yearbook (2009): 36-37; (2019): 47.

Histories of the congregations. 3rd. ed. Moundridge, Kansas: Gospel Publishers, 1999: 97-101.

Additional Information

Address: 35010 Provincial Rd. 216, Kleefeld, Manitoba.

Phone: 204-377-4901


Denominational Affiliations:

Church of God in Christ, Mennonite

Ordained Pastors at the Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Abraham P. Isaac (1852-1938) 1882-1938
Peter Toews (1841-1922) 1882-1910
Peter Baerg (1856-1933) 1884-1904
John I. Penner (1893-1973) 1924-1973
Joseph Isaac (1912-1999) 1942-1968
Cornelius Penner (1918-2012) 1950-1975
Otto Isaac (1925-2016) 1950-1975
Don Toews 1975-1990s
Lorne Schellenberg 1980-1988
Ralph Wiebe 1984-present
Marshall Toews 1999-present

Membership at Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1920 20
1940 50
1955 181
1985 67
2000 93
2009 100
2019 110

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By John I. Penner. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 194. All rights reserved.

Kleefeld (formerly Gruenfeld) Church of God in Christ, Mennonite Church, located at Kleefeld, 50 km. (30 miles) southeast of the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was organized in 1881. Most of the members are descendants of the first settlers of 1874-75, immigrant Mennonites from Russia, and until 1881 were a part of the Kleine Gemeinde group. One of the first ministers, Abraham Isaac, was actively in charge from 1881 until his death in 1938. In 1902-11 most of the congregation moved west to Swalwell, Alberta. Among them was Peter Toews, the first leader. John I. Penner, leading minister in the mid-1950s, and Deacon Jacob I. Bartel were ordained in 1924. Later Joseph Isaac was ordained as minister and Peter I. Bartel as deacon. A meetinghouse was erected in the early 1880s. A church was built in 1907 in Hochstadt and moved to its present site in 1917. Its seating capacity was 250. 

In the 1950s Low German was spoken in the homes. The majority of members were farmers. The church activities in both the German and English language included weekly Sunday morning worship services, Sunday school, midweek Bible classes, and singing practice, with Christian Endeavor every third Sunday evening. The sewing circle aided in Mennonite Central Committee relief, hospitals, and home mission work. The membership in 1956 was 181.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published August 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Kleefeld, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2020. Web. 25 Jul 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kleefeld_Church_of_God_in_Christ,_Mennonite_(Kleefeld,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=169032.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (August 2020). Kleefeld Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Kleefeld, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 July 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kleefeld_Church_of_God_in_Christ,_Mennonite_(Kleefeld,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=169032.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.