Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church (Roseisle, Manitoba, Canada)

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Group photo at EMC bi-centenial celebrations in 2012.
Courtesy of Terry Smith.
Dave Harms, Roseisle EMC first and long-serving pastor, and his second wife, Fran, 2016.
Courtesy of Terry Smith.

The Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church located on Main Avenue at the west end of Roseisle, Manitoba began services in 1955, and formally organized uner the Evangelical Mennonite Conference in 1961. The language of worship was English. Dave Harms is considered the founding leader of the group.

The congregation originated in 1955 when several families from various Mennonite denominational backgrounds wanted to have a service locally. People of Bergthaler, EMMC, Sommerfelder, and other backgrounds were moving into the area to farm. Abe Klassen, a deacon, donated land and brought in a school for a meetingplace where services were held.

When leadership for the group failed to develop, the Rosenort Evangelical Mennonite Church was asked to help. It began to conduct Vacation Bible School in the area. Shortly after graduating from Steinbach Bible Institute, Dave Harms, was elected as a minister at the Rosenort EMC. The Rosenort EMC missions committee approached Dave Harms to serve at Roseisle. On 14 March 1960, he held his first service in Roseisle, and returned to Rosenort EMC for an evening service where he was ordained.

Dave Harms was largly a self-supporting minister, giving credit to the Lord for the provision received for himself, wife Katie and their family of four daughters. His brother Henry Harms provided them with a house, meat, and work in his building moving business. Dave Harms also worked as a school bus driver, a hardware clerk, and a hospital orderly.

The school building was enlarged twice. The congregation’s highest attendance was 119 during Dave Harms’ ministry. When the church was ready for a full-time pastor, Dave’s wife Katie was ill with cancer. He resigned in 1978 and Katie died in 1979.

Wilbert and Hilda Friesen, EMC missionaries who had been evacuated from Nicaragua because of political unrest, agreed to serve for a year and stayed for 10. David Schmidt, a Providence Seminary student, and his Judy Schmidt, were later approached to serve and did so for three years, until they left to serve as missionaries. Brian and Linda Johnson then served as a pastoral couple for a year and a half.

Randall and Faith Krahn, former missionaires in Mexico, then came in 1994. During the time of Randall Krahn’s pastorate, in 1998, the congregation began the construction of a one-level, 6,400 square-foot steel building. The sod-turning was on 28 June 1998. The building was dedicated on 8 October 2000. Kelly and Karen Lesser began serving in Fall 2004 and ten years later the church held a farewell for them on 29 June 2014. Kelly and Karen were known for their music ministry, and Kelly also coached high school volleyball. He was known for his challenging sermons and involvement in committees, Bible studies, and community events. In August 2014 Kelly became the pastor of the Morden EMMC.

Paul and Kaylee Walker began as pastoral couple in 2015. Paul had a Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada background and held an undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry from Horizon College and Seminary.

The congregation celebrated its 50-year anniversary in 2010. Dave Harms, at the 2010 celebration and repeated in 2016, said, “Today we have a beautfiful building, a wonderful congregation, and what great men of God it has had to follow me in carrying on the work.”

The congregation seeks to connect with the wider community in various ways, including Vacation Bible School and children’s meetings, and through service opportunities.


Friesen, Eleanor. “The Lessers will be missed.” The Messenger (October 2014): 20.

Harms, Dave. “A Caboose, a Call and 56 Years Later.” The Messenger (September 2016): 10-12.

Harms, Dave, “A Story of Entering Pastoral Ministry.” The Messenger online (April 26, 2017).

Smith, Terry M. “Roseisle EMC: A congregation with heart.” The Messenger (Nov. 1, 2000): 10-14.

Additional Information

Address: Box 29, Roseisle, MB R0G 1V0

Phone: 204-828-3242

Denominational Affiliation:

Evangelical Mennonite Conference

Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church Ministers

Minister Years
David Harms 1960-1978
Wilbert Friesen 1979-1989
David Schmidt 1989-1991
Brian Johnson 1992-1993
Randall Krahn 1994-2004
Kelly Lesser 2004-2014
Paul Walker 2015-2017

Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1965 31
1970 42
1975 53
1980 41
1995 45
2000 49
2005 62
2010 70
2015 57

Author(s) Terry Smith
Date Published June 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry. "Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church (Roseisle, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2017. Web. 22 Sep 2021.,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=156332.

APA style

Smith, Terry. (June 2017). Roseisle Evangelical Mennonite Church (Roseisle, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2021, from,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=156332.

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