Fonds BA-506; Microfilm: R50, R51 - Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, Gem, Alberta fonds

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Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, Gem, Alberta fonds

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CA CMBS BA-506; Microfilm: R50, R51

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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  • 1968-2001 (Creation)

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Physical description

40 cm of textual records
2 microfilm reels

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Administrative history

The Canadian Pacific Railway had developed farming areas in southern Alberta by their water diversion project to provide for irrigation farming. However, the first settlers were not successful after the first world war. Therefore, abandoned farms were available for new settlers. These were offered to the Mennonites in the late 1920s. One such settlement was Gem where Mennonites began arriving in 1928. They represented 3 Mennonite conferences: General Conference, Evangelical Mennonite Brethren, and Mennonite Brethren. They worshiped together in rented facilities the first year. Then in 1929 the Mennonite Brethren founded their own congregation and were accepted into the Alberta Mennonite Brethren conference with 24 charter members. The Evangelical Mennonite Brethren families continued to worship with the Mennonite Brethren group but the General Conference families met separately and built their own meeting house in 1947. In 1932 the Mennonite Brethren group built their own meeting house and in 1943 an addition was added. In 1933 they also began the Bethesda Bible School on the site which operated until 1957. A new meeting house was built in 1952 which has been renovated over the years. The membership stood at 100 in 2000. The leaders of the congregation were: Henry Siemens (1929-1936), P. P. Doerksen (1937-1959), H. H. Siemens (1959-1963), J. P. Doerksen (1963-1989), Larry Schmidt (1990-1993), Phil Born (1994-1997), John Block (1998- ).

Custodial history

Records were transferred to the Centre for M.B. Studies archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a regular basis to 2001. Some records were microfilmed in 1978 through the work of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of six series. Gem Mennonite Brethren Church history, Bulletins, Church registers, Annual reports and minutes, Gem Mennonite Brethren Church Youth committee records, Bethesda Bible School Board records.

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No restrictions to access.

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Series description and a file list is available.

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Much German.

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  • English

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