Mennonite Church Alberta
Major changes took place in Mennonite Church Alberta during the last half of the 20th century. In 1950 there were seven member congregations, all but one located in the rural areas of the province, and all served by unpaid lay ministers. By 1998 the conference numbered 21 affiliated congregations, with a total membership of 1,918. Each congregation was served by a professionally trained, salaried minister. In 2000 several congregations, including the large Coaldale Mennonite Church, withdrew from the conference over issues of congregational discipline, especially on the matter of congregational acceptance of homosexual members. In 2009 the conference numbered 17 congregations, in 2020 it numbered 12.
The six rural congregations affiliated with the conference in 1950 were, for the most part, little changed in membership and character in 1986. The exception was the Coaldale Mennonite Church, which is so close to a large urban center that many of its members work in the city. The newer congregations are located in urban centers. The lifestyle and form of worship in these congregations differs little from that found in other urban Protestant churches.
Menno Bible Institute, formally established in 1935, closed in 1966 for lack of enrollment. It had a profound influence on the conference during its 30-year history. The Alberta Conference then joined the Saskatchewan Conference of Mennonites in support of the Bible School at Swift Current, which has now closed as well. Interest in camping grew rapidly in the 1950s. In 1958 and 1959, 166 acres (67 hectares) on the Little Red River were purchased to establish a camp. Camp Valaqua has been developed so that it is suitable for both summer and winter programs. A retirement home was constructed in Coaldale in 1955 at a cost of $19,500. Most of the work was done by volunteer labor. The facility has been renovated several times since then and houses 14 residents (1987).
The conference has shared responsibilities in a number of other projects. It has given annual financial support to Rosthern Junior College and has appointed members to its board of directors. It actively participates in Mennonite Central Committee Alberta (MCCA and, in 1990, was directly involved in the Youth Orientation Unity, an MCC project at Warburg, which endeavored to rehabilitate youth offenders placed there by the attorney general's office.
Mennonite Church Alberta adopted its name in February 2002 when a new constitution was approved. Prior to that it was known as the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta.
In 2020 the following congregations were members of Mennonite Church Alberta:
|Bergthal Mennonite Church||Didsbury|
|Bethal International Church Edmonton Oromo||Edmonton|
|Calgary Chin Church||Calgary|
|Calgary First Mennonite Church||Calgary|
|Edmonton Christian Life Community Church||Edmonton|
|Edmonton First Mennonite Church||Edmonton|
|Foothills Mennonite Church||Calgary|
|Holyrood Mennonite Church||Edmonton|
|Lethbridge Mennonite Church||Lethbridge|
|South Sudanese Mennonite Church||Edmonton|
|Springridge Mennonite Church||Pincher Creek|
|Trinity Mennonite Church||Calgary|
CMC Directory 1998. Winnipeg: Conference of Mennonites in Canada, 1998: 87.
Mennonite Directory 2001. Scottdale, PA: Faith and Life Resources, 2001: 19-21.
Reimer, Margaret Loewen, ed., One Quilt, Many Pieces. Waterloo, ON: Mennonite Publishing Service, 1983: 51.
Schmidt, Doris Mendel, ed. Handbook of Information 1998. Newton, KS: General Conference Mennonite Church, 1998: 103-104.
Website: Mennonite Church Alberta
Mennonite Church Alberta Conference Sessions: 1930-1980
|November 1930||Rosemary||Cornelius D. Harder||P. P. Dyck|
|November 1931||Didsbury||Wilhelm Martens||John J. Sawatzky|
|November 1932||Coaldale||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John J. Sawatzky|
|November 1933||Gem||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John J. Sawatzky|
|October 1934||Didsbury||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John J. Sawatzky|
|November 1935||Coaldale||Wilhelm Martens||Cornelius D. Harder||John J. Sawatzky|
|July 1936||Rosemary||Wilhelm Martens||P. P. Dyck||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1937||Springridge||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1938||Didsbury||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1939||Coaldale||David Janzen||Wilhelm Martens||John Vogt|
|March 1940||Tofield||David Janzen||Wilhelm Martens||John Vogt|
|March 1941||Rosemary||Wilhelm Martens||John J. Sawatzky||John Vogt|
|March 1942||Coaldale||John J. Sawatzky||Wilhelm Martens||John Vogt|
|March 1943||Didsbury||Wilhelm Martens||John J. Sawatzky||John Vogt|
|March 1944||Rosemary||Wilhelm Martens||David Janzen||John Vogt|
|March 1945||Tofield||David Janzen||John Vogt|
|March 1946||Grantham||David Janzen||Jacob D. Nickel||John Vogt|
|March 1947||Coaldale||David Janzen||Jacob D. Nickel||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1948||Rosemary||Jacob D. Nickel||Cornelius G. Neufeld||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1949||Didsbury||Jacob D. Nickel||Wilhelm G. Pauls||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1950||Springridge||Jacob D. Nickel||Wilhelm G. Pauls||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1951||Coaldale||Jacob D. Nickel||Wilhelm G. Pauls||John J. Sawatzky|
|March 1952||Tofield||Jacob D. Nickel||Wilhelm G. Pauls||D. P. Neufeld|
|March 1953||Coaldale||Jacob D. Nickel||Wilhelm G. Pauls||D. P. Neufeld|
|March 1954||Rosemary||Wilhelm G. Pauls||D. Boese||Peter A. Unger|
|March 1955||Gem||Wilhelm G. Pauls||Peter P. Schellenberg||Peter A. Unger|
|March 1956||Calgary||Wilhelm G. Pauls||Peter P. Schellenberg||Peter A. Unger|
|March 1957||Didsbury||Wilhelm G. Pauls||Peter P. Schellenberg||Peter A. Unger|
|March 1958||Tofield||Wilhelm G. Pauls||F. W. Dyck||Peter A. Unger|
|April 1959||Coaldale||Wilhelm G. Pauls||F. W. Dyck||Peter A. Unger|
|April 1960||Calgary||Wilhelm G. Pauls||F. W. Dyck||Peter A. Unger|
|April 1961||Rosemary||Wilhelm G. Pauls||F. W. Dyck||Peter A. Unger|
|April 1962||Didsbury||Wilhelm G. Pauls||F. W. Dyck||Peter A. Unger|
|April 1963||Tofield||F. W. Dyck||D. Boese||Jacob D. Nickel|
|April 1964||Coaldale||F. W. Dyck||C. Lorne Dick||A. Baergen|
|April 1965||Calgary 1st||F. W. Dyck||C. Lorne Dick||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1966||Rosemary||H. Walde||C. Lorne Dick||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1967||Calgary F.H.||H. Walde||C. Lorne Dick||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1968||Edmonton||H. Walde||J. Wiebe||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1969||Vauxhall||E. J. Harder||J. Wiebe||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1970||Didsbury||E. J. Harder||J. Wiebe||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1971||Taber||E. J. Harder||H. M. Dick||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1972||Tofield||Werner Froese||H. M. Dick||Henry D. Goerzen|
|April 1973||Coaldale||Werner Froese||H. M. Dick||E. Klassen|
|April 1974||Calgary 1st||Werner Froese||E. L. Dyck||E. Klassen|
|March 1975||Rosemary||Jacob D. Harder||E. L. Dyck||E. Klassen|
|April 1976||Calgary F.H.||Jacob D. Harder||F. David Dyck||E. Klassen|
|April 1977||Edmonton||Jacob D. Harder||F. David Dyck||E. Klassen|
|April 1978||Didsbury||Jacob D. Harder||F. David Dyck||E. Klassen|
|April 1979||Rosemary||Jacob D. Harder||F. David Dyck||D. Reimer|
|April 1980||Tofield||Jacob D. Harder||W. Wiebe||D. Reimer|
|Author(s)||C. Lorne Dick|
|Samuel J. Steiner|
|Date Published||July 2010|
Cite This Article
Dick, C. Lorne and Samuel J. Steiner. "Mennonite Church Alberta." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 20 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Church_Alberta&oldid=168358.
Dick, C. Lorne and Samuel J. Steiner. (July 2010). Mennonite Church Alberta. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Church_Alberta&oldid=168358.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 181. All rights reserved.
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