WMBC Dedication Service, 1947
It is our prayer that the past will become a prologue to a future where the church continues to grow and minister to needs in the Southern Manitoba. WMBC was the first Mennonite Brethren church in Canada, and for over one hundred years God has proved his faithfulness to us. This is the story of our early beginnings…
Evangelist Heinrich Voth was commissioned by the US Annual Convention of the Mennonite Brethren Conference to go to Manitoba in 1883. Voth and another evangelist, David Dyck began visiting a number of Mennonite villages in 1884 and often-encountered opposition. In one such encounter a person planned to seize him and send him back to Minnesota. Voth challenged him in his faith and the person accepted Jesus into his life. He never followed through with his plan to force Henry Voth back to the US.
In 1886, Voth baptized eight people in the Dead Horse Creek near Winkler. By 1886, they had invited Gerhard Wiebe, an ordained pastor, to lead the small church. Then in 1888 a group of 16 members was organized as the first Mennonite Brethren Congregation in Canada. Other Mennonite Brethren families arriving from Russia joined the small church and a building was constructed at Burwalde.
In 1895, David Dyck became the pastor of the church, which had now grown to 84 members. Eventually, in the same dynamic spirit of outreach, two daughter congregations were established. One of these churches was in Grossweide, north of Plum Coulee, and the other at Kronsgart, north east of Winkler.
In 1947, a new church building was built on Mountain Ave in Winkler and it was used until 1988 when another building was constructed on Pineview Drive in Winkler, and many now know it as the church with the red roof!