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Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel – Blaine Lake, SK

Proper Title

Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel fonds

Dates of Creation

1918–1940, 1952–1997, 2002–2012

Physical Description

9 cm of textual records and 5 photographs

Administrative History

The Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel, located near Petrofka, is a member of the Canadian Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, Northern District. In 1906, Herman Fast came to the Petrofka school to teach the Russian language and to conduct gospel services in the school and in homes. People who attended these services decided to build a church in the country. Wasyl Wasilenko and his brother-in-law Nicholas Boulanoff, whose farms were adjacent to each other in the Harmonia district, each donated an acre of land for the church site. The structure was completed in 1912.

In 1918, Wasyl Wasilenko was ordained as minister and Paul Makaroff as deacon. After Wasilenko moved away in 1924, the Mennonites at Blaine Lake attended Baptist services.

In the 1940s, the members decided to move the Mennonite church from the Harmonia District to the town of Blaine Lake. The building was moved to 107 Railway Avenue West. From 1944 to 1956, the church was under the leadership of John Koval, a local storekeeper, who conducted services in the Russian language. When the church membership grew, members built an addition to the existing building. Services in the 1950s were in both Russian and English languages. By 1959, the Russian-speaking people met separately and services at the church were in the English language.

Pastors of the congregation have been Wasyl Wasilenko (1918–1924), John Koval (1944–1956), Peter Esau (1954–1959), Abe Dueck (1959–1964), George Reimer (1964–1968), Irvin Penner (1968–1972), David Wootton (1973–1977), Frank Froese (1982–1983), Gerald Epp (1984–2010), Kevin Koop (2010–2015), Rick Schellenberg (2016– ).

Two women's groups emerged from the congregation. Beginning in the early 1950s, the Ladies Mission Circle supported and corresponded with various missionaries and mission agencies. The Christian Literature Helpers first met in 1960 and supported groups involved in distributing Bibles and Christian literature.

The church went through several name changes. At first it was a Mennonite Brethren Church at Petrofka. It became the Baptist Mennonite Union Church of Blaine Lake when the two congregations worshiped together. When the Baptists moved away, the name again became the Blaine Lake Mennonite Brethren Church. Then in 1967, to encourage attendance by people of all denominations, the name was changed to Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel. Also in 1967, the church was accepted into the Saskatchewan conference with a membership of 11.

Church membership was 14 in 1997, 18 in 2000, and 35 in 2010.

The language of worship is English.  The transition from Russian occurred in the 1950s.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of historical notes about the Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel, several photographs of the church and manse, 2 ledgers containing membership records and minutes of the Petrofka church (1918–1940), 2 files of minutes covering 1965–1997, an essay about the conflict between Russian Baptists and Mennonite Brethren in the 1950s, an article about Mennonite Brethren ministry to Russian and Jewish people, minutes and financial records from the Ladies Mission Circle and the Christian Literature Helpers groups, and correspondence from missionaries and mission agencies to the Ladies Mission Circle.

Custodial History

File 1 came from the Bethany Bible School archives while file 2 was already at CMBS. Files 3–6 came from Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel in October 1998 via moderator Arnold Stobbe (Acc. No. 1998–053). Files 9-12 came from the Saskatchewan Mennonite Brethren Conference in 2009 via Doug Heidebrecht (Acc. No. 2009-42).

Notes

  • Location: Volume 603.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory BF511; updated by Theodore Dyck on May 11, 2010.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Acc. Nos. 1998-053, 2007-033, 2009-42.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • see Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel Centennial Celebration, 1912–2012 by Kevin Koop.

File List

Volume 603

  1. Historical notes written for the 80th church anniversary by Mary Lamers. -- 1992.
  2. Historical notes and five photographs of the church and manse. -- 1985.
  3. Petrofka membership list and baptism ledger book. -- 1917–1940.
  4. Petrofka church minutes. -- 1918–1922.
  5. Blaine Lake MB Church minutes. -- 1965–1976.
  6. Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel minutes. -- 1977–1997.
  7. Russian Baptist/Mennonite Brethren Turf Wars in Blaine Lake/ Katie Funk Wiebe.-- 2006.
  8. Widening the Fellowship: Mennonite Brethren ministry to Russian and Jewish People/ Ken Reddig. -- 2005.
  9. Ladies Mission Circle minutes and financial records. -- 1952–1976.
  10. Ladies Mission Circle minutes and financial records. -- 1962–1983.
  11. Christian Literature Helpers minutes and financial records. -- 1960–1982.
  12. Correspondence from missionaries and mission agencies to Ladies Mission Circle. -- [1963?]–1983.
  13. Financial report. -- 1995.
  14. Blaine Lake Gospel Chapel Centennial Celebration, 1912–2012 by Kevin Koop. 2 copies. -- 2012.
  15. 2002 Photo Directory. -- 2002.
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