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Gilroy Mennonite Brethren Church – Gilroy, SK

Proper Title

Gilroy Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

0.5 cm of textual materials, 1 microfilm reel of textual materials

Administrative History

In the early 1920s, a group of Russian Mennonite immigrants settled in Gilroy, Saskatchewan and the Mennonite Brethren church was founded soon after that. The church grew quickly, so that by 1926, there were a total of 17 families [1].  The Gilroy MB Church enjoyed many visits from traveling preachers and the church thrived. Early church leaders and lay pastors included Peter P. Braun, Jacob I. Bergen and Franz F. Wiens. In later years, D.H. Loewen and Jacob P. Dyck would fulfill church leadership roles [2].

Trouble arose for the Gilroy MB Church in 1932, when they no longer had use of their building and the community was left without a place of worship. The community correspondence never says why this occurred - only that their church building had been “taken” from them. After holding a fellowship meeting, two men were sent to each church family to specifically ask for funds. In the spirit of true survivors, each family scraped together enough money for the church to buy its own building and continue their church services [3]. The good feelings didn’t last, however, with crop failure occurring in June due to worms and bad weather.

After another crop failure in 1933, a group of five men traveled to Mullinger, SK and Glenbush, SK in the North Saskatchewan district, to look at possible resettlement. Their findings were good, producing heartening and disheartening reactions. With mixed feelings, the church celebrated a farewell and said goodbye to seven families [4]. Between 1933 and 1934, another 22 families left the community. By 1940, few families remained in Gilroy, resulting in the ultimate disbanding of the Gilroy MB Church in 1945.


[1] Toews, Wilhelm & Anna, “Korrespondenzen,” Zionsbote, December 1, 1926, 11.
[2] Information collected from the Saskatchewan Conference Northern District Yearbooks, 1927-1945.
[3] Krahn, H., “Korrespondenzen,” Zionsbote, January 6, 1932, 12.
[4] Braun, Peter, “Korrespondenzen,” Zionsbote, September 13, 1933, 7.

Scope and Content

This fonds contains the membership and family records of the Gilroy MB Church, the congregational minutes of the church, and a collection of photocopied newspaper correspondence from Gilroy MB Church to Der Bote, Die Mennonitische Rundschau and  Der Zionsbote.

Custodial History

The membership records and congregational minutes of the Gilroy MB Church were transferred to Herbert MB Church when the church was closed.  These documents were microfilmed during the microfilm project lead by J.B. Toews 1978-1979.. The newspaper collection was created in 2013. In an effort to obtain more information about the church, CMBS volunteers were asked to photocopy letters written by Gilroy MB Church correspondents to various Mennonite newspapers.


  • Location: Volume 618.
  • Name based on contents of fonds.
  • Contents written in German.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Finding aid consists of a file list.
  • Description created by Kate Woltmann, August 2014.
  • Related material: See article by Kate Woltmann in the Mennonite Historian, September 2014.

File List

Volume 618

15. Gilroy MB Church newspaper collection: 1926-1941. -- Photocopied in 2013.


Microfilm List

Reel 47

  1. Membership and Family Register - Book I. -- p. 552-577.
  2. Congregational Minutes. -- 1937-1941. -- p. 498-551.
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