Fonds ORG - Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church fonds

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Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church fonds


  • 1948-2015 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

2.12 meters of textual records
73 hours of sound records
3 microfilm reels

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Sargent Avenue Mennonite congregation in Winnipeg began services in 1949, and formally organized in 1950. The first building was occupied in 1951.

Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba traces its beginning to the efforts of the Home Missions Committee of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada during the late 1940s to help meet the needs of recently immigrated Mennonite refugees from Russia. Minister Jacob Toews used the Bethel Mission Church for meetings and baptisms in early 1949. The first worship service was led by Minister Jacob Toews on Sept 11, 1949 in the building at 515 Wellington which housed the new Canadian Mennonite Bible College.

The congregation was first called, "Winnipeg Mennoniten Stadtmission". It was renamed Winnipeg Mennonite Mission church in 1950, and became called Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in 1955.

In 1951, the Baptist church on the corner of Sargent and Furby was purchased and was home to the congregation until a new church was built on the corner of Sargent and Garfield in 1961.

Jacob Toews was elected as the Aeltester in 1952 and served as the leading minister until 1958. He was suceeded by Gerhard Lohrenz, Jake Harms, Arthur Fast, Martin Sawatzky, Bernhard Sawatzky, Isaac Block, Jacob F. Pauls, Edwin Epp, Marla Langalotz.

In 1977 the church saw a need for another minister and called Bernie Neufeld as minister of music and education. Other ministerial staff included Ken and Rhonda Warkentin, Angela Reed, Gary Schapansky, Sonja Freisen, Ruth Epp, Marla Langalotz, David Peters, Chris Lenshyn, Lee Hiebert, Mark Tiessen-Dyck, Andrea De Avila.

The church has also had a long history of strong lay leadership. Some lay leaders include: Johann Adrian, Georg K. Epp, Herman Dueck, Peter Harder, Art Fast, Ben Sawatsky, Martin Friesen, Bruno Ens, Jacob Pankratz, Arthur Heidebrecht, Hermann Rempel, Ingrid Cornies, Richard Olfert, Gerhard Ens, and Menno Wiebe.

Archival history

Most of the material in this fonds was deposited by the church historian Peter I. Friesen on January 9, 1997. The Jacob Rempel materials were passed on to Peter I. Friesen, by Peter Rempel after his father's passing away in 1988. Another deposit was made in January 2000 after the church office did some cleaning which contained materials collected by to Rev. Martin Sawatzky. In 2000 John Dyck wrote a history of the church and after he was done donated the earliest church books which were also created by Jacob Rempel. The church bulletins and annual meeting reports were submitted to the Mennonite Heritage Centre at various intervals over the years. In 2005 the Women's Fellowship disbanded and Marg Neufeld, the last president brought their minutes (1967-2005) and financial records in February of 2006. Some additional items were received from Mennonite Church USA Archives - North Newton, KS in 2007 which were used to fill in minor gaps.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

This fonds consists of fifteen series:
-1) Jacob Rempel's Church journals covering 1950-1988
-2) Jacob Rempel's manuscript and related files on the history of Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church, 1982
-3) Telephone directories
-4) Young People's files, 1955-1970,
-5) Printed materials, 1967-1987,
-6) Annual Meeting report books, 1972-2015
-7 ) Church newsletter, 1980-1996,
-8) Weekly bulletins, 1957-2001,
-9) Worship service audio recordings, predominantly 1989, and
-10) Membership records, 1949-1987.
-11) Rev. Martin Sawatzky's correspondence and notes 1984-1991,
-12) Birth and death records 1960-1987,
-13) Church seminars and workshops 1986,1987,1990-1992,
-14) Church minutes 1988-1989
-15) Women's groups (1953-2005).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arrangement and description updated on February 17, 1999 and 27 November 2007 by Alf Redekopp, and by Conrad Stoesz on February 17, 2000, September 20, 2002, July 29, 2005, and February 17, 2006.

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Language of material

  • English
  • German

Script of material

Language and script notes

Much German

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Series description and inventory file list

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Notes area


Accession No.97-026, 98-071, 00-029, 02-119, 05-067, 06-013, 07-059.

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