Heritage Highlights: First MB Church in Burwalde

in 1888 the first Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada was organized in the Burwalde district. In April 1888 Rev. Gerhard Wiebe of Ebenfeld, Russia was invited to assume the leadership of this church. The first church was built in the summer of 1889, situated at the Dead Horse Creek in Burwalde. This building was moved to Winkler in 1897.

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It was at a meeting in Nebraska of the Mennonite Brethren Conference in 1883 that Rev, Heinrich Voth of Minnesota and Rev, David Dyck of Kansas were delegated to go to Manitoba and visit the Mennonite communities. This all came about through reports that there was a mission field in southern Manitoba. The two ministers visited this part of the province during the spring of 1884. They found the teachings of Holdeman and Swedenberg, as well as Mormons, was being spread among the members of their flocks.
For the next five years Heinrich Voth visited this area once or twice annually. It was the result of these visits that the MB Church in Canada had its beginning. At first services were conducted in farm homes and schools plus Voth’s house visitations.
There was open opposition at times and resistance to his teaching.
In 1888 the first Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada was organized in the Burwalde district.
Baptism was held in the Burwalde district near the Dead Horse Creek, about a mile from where the Winkler Bible Camp is now located. The first four baptismal candidates were Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Banman and Mr. & Mrs. John Nickel. A few weeks later there were four more converts baptized.
Two years later in 1888 the first Mennonite Brethren Church in Canada was organized in the Burwalde district. In April 1888 Rev. Gerhard Wiebe of Ebenfeld, Russia was invited to assume the leadership of this church. The first church was built in the summer of 1889, situated at the Dead Horse Creek in Burwalde. This building was moved to Winkler in 1897.
Excerpts from an article by Elizabeth Bergen, Red River Valley Echo

Heritage Highlights, supplied by the Winkler Heritage Society, introduces readers to the people, places and things that still impact us today. The Winkler Heritage Museum is located in the Southland Mall and is open Tuesday to Friday, 12 to 4 p.m., Saturdays 10 am – 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday evenings. The Archives located in the Winkler Centennial Library are open Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.. For appointments call archivist Ed Falk at 204-325-8929. The Stones and Stories binders are on display at both locations. Come for a visit!
One way of showing support for the Winkler Heritage Society (Archives, Stones & Stories and Museum) is by becoming a member of the Society. Forms may be picked up at both the Archives and Museum.

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