Fonds Vols. 42, 1960, 2349, 3906, 4302, 4303, 4304, 4305, 4306, 4307, 4496, 4902, 4903, 4953; Microfilms 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 432. - Bethel Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Man.) fonds

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Bethel Mennonite Church (Winnipeg, Man.) fonds

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CA MHCA Vols. 42, 1960, 2349, 3906, 4302, 4303, 4304, 4305, 4306, 4307, 4496, 4902, 4903, 4953; Microfilms 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 432.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1942-2000 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

116 cm of textual records
6 microfilm reels

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Administrative history

Mennonites moved in great numbers to the city of Winnipeg in the 1930s, mostly students and young women finding employment there. These people made the transition to the English language very quickly and therefore did not relate to the established immigrant dominated congregations. Benjamin Ewert was asked to find these people and start a congregation with them. Their first meeting was in late 1937. In early 1938 they used rented facilities on Sargent Avenue and soon purchased and renovated the building for their own meeting house. Ewert sought but did not get much support from his Bergthaler Gemeinde nor from the city Schönwieser Gemeinde. In 1940 the name was changed from Winnipeg Mission to Bethel Mission. In the early 1940s there was pressure from the young people atttracted to this congregation to have English language services. This occurred in 1943 under the leadership of Ewert and I. I. Friesen. They moved to a new meeting house with the purchase of a building on Furby Street in 1945. The membership stood at 139 in 1949. In 1955 they built a new meeting house on Carter Avenue. In 1957 it changed its name to Bethel Mennonite Church. In 1958 the membership was 379. By 1980 the membership had risen to 459. In 1991 a larger meeting house was built on this site. The membership in 1991 stood at 522. A number of other congregations grew out of this congregation: Elmwood Bethel (1960), Charleswood Mennonite (1963), Hope Mennonite (1987), as well as Bethel Place on the same site, and a Carter Day Care. In 2000 the membership was 587. Leaders of the congregation were: Benjamin Ewert (1937-1958), I. I. Friesen (1973-1951), Heinrich Wall (1948-1964), Benno Toews (1950-1956), Arnold Regier (1947-1954), Hugo Hildebrandt (1951-1956), David Schroeder (1952-1956, 1959-1963), George Groening (1955-1965), Henry Poettker (1955-1977), David Janzen (1957-1962), David P. Neufeld (1963-1966), William Block (1966-1975), Don Friesen (1976-1977), Jake F. Pauls (1977-1993), Peter Janzen (1994-1995), David Epp-Stobbe (1996- ).

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds contains bulletins (1945-2000), directories (1955-1995), yearbooks (1966-1976), annual reports (1949-1992), congregational newsletters (1945-2000), programmes for various congregational events (1946-1991), correspondence related to the congregation (1938-2000), minutes of many congregational groups' meetings including congregational meetings, church council, and deacons (1942-1998), congregational data including statistics, attendance records, and women's society records (1946-2000), congregational financial records including general ledgers and financial statements from various groups in the congregation (1943-1997), congregational constitution ([195-?]-1994), church registers (1946-1981), and essays on various topics including congregational history and newspaper clippings (1938-1967). The records pertain to the beginning and development of the congregation, its leaders and participants.

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No restrictions on access.

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Inventory file lists available for both textual records and microfilms.

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Language of material note

Much German.

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  • English

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