River East Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

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River East Mennonite Brethren Church, ca. 1964.
Source: Centre for MB Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba (NP154-01-111).
River East Church, August 2017.
Photo: Bert Friesen.

The River East Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba began services in 1962, and formally organized in 1963. It started when Jacob Ens befriended Japanese families and began Sunday School classes for the children because they did not know German -- the language of all the Mennonite Brethren churches in the area. The classes grew and soon the parents requested that worship services be held. Initially services were held in a school and the group was known as the Princess Margaret Fellowship. In 1962, the leadership committee was asked if it was possible to organize a church. Many people in the congregation were part of the North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church. Five couples from the mother church were released to organize this new congregation.

In 1963, the congregation had a chartering service and renamed themselves the Springfield Heights Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1964, Sunday School was held in the school for the last time before moving to their new building. To avoid confusion with the Springfield Heights Mennonite Church, the name changed in 1964 to McLeod Avenue Mennonite Brethren and later that same year to River East Mennonite Brethren. In 2017, the name of the congregation changed to River East Church.


Fast, Karl, ed. Fiftieth Anniversary of the Mennonite Settlement in North Kildonan. Winnipeg: The Anniversary Committee, 1978, 128 pp.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 42.

Mennonite Reporter (15 June 1992): 9.

Toews, John A. A Brief History of the Mennonite Brethren Church: Pilgrims and Pioneers. Fresno, CA, 1975: 162.

Archival Records:

Records at Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.

Additional Information

Address: 755 McLeod Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2K 0B8

Phone: 204-663-5096

Website: River East Mennonite Brethren Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba (1963-present)

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1963-present)

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1963-2002)

River East Church Ministers

Minister Years
Ernest A. Isaac 1965-1973
John B. Epp 1976-1987
Norm Neufeld 1988-1990
Karen Heidebrecht Thiessen 1990-2000
Christine Longhurst 2000-2006
Wesley Toews 2000-2001
Connie Epp 2000-2009
Gerry Derksen 2001-2012
Mary Anne Isaak 2011-present

River East Church Membership

Year Members
1965 179
1985 328
1995 187
2000 197
2010 218

Author(s) Marlene Epp
Date Published March 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Epp, Marlene. "River East Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2011. Web. 31 Mar 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=River_East_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=173520.

APA style

Epp, Marlene. (March 2011). River East Church (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 March 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=River_East_Church_(Winnipeg,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=173520.

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