Pansy Chapel (Pansy, Manitoba, Canada)

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The sanctuary of Pansy Chapel prior to the dedication service (10 August 2014).
Photographer: Terry M. Smith.
Source: The Messenger

Pansy Chapel, a member of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC), had its start between 1958 to 1960 as an outreach ministry of Blumenort Evangelical Mennonite Church in the rural area of Pansy, about 25 km. southwest of Steinbach, Manitoba. Leonard Barkman and Arnold Brandt began holding Sunday School in the Barkfield School; later adult classes were held. A chapel was built in 1961 and in 1962 Leonard and Betty Barkman, who had purchased a farm, became its self-supporting pastoral couple. Leonard Barkman was ordained in 1964; the congregation formally joined the EMC about this time. In the early years, teachers from the Blumenort EMC assisted the work, but this ended.

In 1978 the building was enlarged. By 1986 the worship service attendance was about 100. In 1986 Leonard and Betty Barkman were the pastoral couple; Dennis and Agatha Friesen, the assistant pastoral couple; and Jake and Margaret Penner, a deacon couple. In 1999 Ben Unger was interim pastor and served as pastor from 2000-2002. In 2003 Dennis Friesen served as assistant pastor. In 2004 Ed Giesbrecht, previously a youth leader, was youth pastor. During 2004-2006 Dennis Friesen was pastor and Leonard Barkman served as a minister. In 2009 Leonard Barkman was senior pastor, Ed Giesbrecht was youth pastor, and Dennis Friesen was a minister-at-large.

In 2014, Pansy Chapel added 371 square meters (4,000 square feet) to the building and on 10 August 2014 dedicated the space; at that event, it was said that Pastor Leonard and Betty Barkman had a 55-year history with the work at Pansy. In 2014 the Sunday morning attendance averaged 200 people. At that time there were three ministers, all partly self-supporting: senior pastor, Leonard and Betty Barkman; teaching pastor Dylan and Sheila Barkman; and youth pastor Ed and Sabrina Giesbrecht. Dylan Barkman is the son of Leonard and Betty Barkman.

Early on, John Dueck, a leader providing support from Blumenort, had counseled Leonard Barkman: "Don’t call it a Mennonite church." Pansy Chapel has consciously developed into a congregation of people coming from a range of cultural and church backgrounds.


Barkman, Sue. Ever-Widening Circles: EMC Missions Silver Jubilee 1953-1978. Steinbach, MB: Evangelical Mennonite Conference, [1978].

EMC Yearbook (1999-2009).

Loewen, Royden. Blumenort: a Mennonite Community in Transition 1874-1982. Blumenort: Blumenort Mennonite Historical Society, 1983.

Schellenberg, Dave. "Pansy EMC Church Profile." The Messenger 24, no. 26 (26 December 1986): 4-6.

Smith, Terry M. "Pansy Chapel: What Will The Next 55 Years Bring?" The Messenger 52, no. 10 (October 2014): 14-16.

Additional Information

Address: Box 20, Pansy, MB R0A 1J0

Telephone: 204-434-6770

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference (1966-present)

Pansy Chapel Membership

Year Members
1970 21
1975 34
1980 49
1985 75
1990 86
1995 86
2000 50
2005 68
2010 88
2015 100

Author(s) Terry M Smith
Date Published August 2014

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry M. "Pansy Chapel (Pansy, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2014. Web. 27 Sep 2022.,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=166066.

APA style

Smith, Terry M. (August 2014). Pansy Chapel (Pansy, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 September 2022, from,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=166066.

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