Portage Evangelical Church (Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada)

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Portage Evangelical Church
Photo: Google Street View, 19 July 2017.
Glenn Loewen, pastor since 2003.
Photo: Church website.

In 1959 the Extension Committee of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference began a church-planting ministry in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Leaders from the nearby MacGregor EMC conducted the first meetings in the home of Benny Penner, and then in the rented Orange Hall. The language of worship from the beginning was English.

David K. and Helen Schellenberg from Steinbach, Manitoba moved to Portage la Prairie in July 1959 to lead the work. They, with their six children, rented a house on Royal Road. In addition to the services in the Orange Hall, they held morning services and Sunday School in their home. There were seven regular families.

A building lot was chosen in the northwest part of the city at 502-5th Avenue West, and on 2 May 1960 a sod-turning celebration was held. The first worship service was held on 6 November 1960 in the church basement. The upstairs was completed in Spring 1964 and a dedication service was held on 7 June 1964 for the Portage la Prairie Evangelical Mennonite Church (as it was known at the beginning).

The official organization of Portage la Prairie EMC happened on 19 February 1961 with 14 charter members.

Around 1969 Evelyn Barkman, an EMC missionary candidate served the Portage church for a term before heading to Mali.

By 1987 the church name had changed to Portage Evangelical Church. In 2007 the meeting location moved to 72-3rd Street NE, where the congregation had purchased and renovated the former Beaver Lumber building.

In 2017 Portage Evangelical Church described itself as “a family of believers who come from different church and family backgrounds. Our uniting and central Focus is the Lord Jesus Christ! Our church is made up of young families, singles, children, youth, seniors, and middle aged. We stress the importance of: the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and its lifelong impact on our daily lives; corporate and private prayer, and a necessary revival; the truth and authority of the Bible in an age of relativism; evangelism, missions, and Christ-like love for those around us; lives of holiness and personal purity; worship, intimacy, and deep love for Jesus; remembering the persecuted church and learning from them as we prepare for difficult times. Our desire is to be a lighthouse in the city of Portage La Prairie and the region of Central Plains as we declare the gospel of Jesus Christ.”


Canadian Mennonite (24 February 1961): 3.

Hamm, Menno. "Church Profile: Portage Evangelical Church.” The Messenger (June 23, 1989): 7-10.

Additional Information

Address: 72 3rd Street NE, Portage La Prairie, MB R1N 1N6

Phone: 204-857-4146

Website: Portage Evangelical Church

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference

Portage Evangelical Church Pastoral Leaders

Minister Years
Dave K. Schellenberg 1959-1965
John Dyck 1965-1969
Gladwin Plett 1969-1978
Cecil Nelson 1979-1985
Ken Zacharias, associate/youth 1982-1984
Ken Zacharias, pastor 1984-1985
Otto Hamm 1986-1989
Lester Kroeker, youth, associate 1988-present
Ian Alford, minister 1989
Karl Goertzen 1990-1994
LeRoy Barkman 1995-2001
Glenn Loewen, senior pastor 2003-present

Portage Evangelical Church Membership

Year Members
1965 18
1970 37
1975 44
1980 50
1985 82
1995 90
2000 101
2005 108
2010 101
2015 96

Author(s) Terry Smith
Date Published July 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry. "Portage Evangelical Church (Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2017. Web. 21 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Portage_Evangelical_Church_(Portage_la_Prairie,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=171222.

APA style

Smith, Terry. (July 2017). Portage Evangelical Church (Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Portage_Evangelical_Church_(Portage_la_Prairie,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=171222.

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