Steinbach MB Church

The Steinbach MB Church is located on the corner of 2nd and Lumber in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada. This timeline presents the history of the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church from 1860 to the present. Photo:

This project aims to compile available information and media on the history of the church in one place in a visual and chronological format. The content is indebted primarily to the following sources:;xNLx;["A Brief History of SMBC"](, cited inline as "ABH" and drawing from ;xNLx;Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online;xNLx;Harder, Leland. Steinbach and Its Churches. Elkhart, Ind.: Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 1970. Pp. 49–51.;xNLx;Mennonite Brethren Herald 27 May 1988: 41.;xNLx;Mennonites in Canada Collection, “70-Steinbach,” Mennonite Archives of Ontario.;xNLx;Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church records at the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.;xNLx;Süss, Lenora. “A Short History of the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church, from 1927 to March, 1985.” Unpublished typescript, 1985, 9 pp. Mennonite Historical Society of Canada coll., Mennonite Archives of Ontario.;xNLx;;xNLx;["A Short History of the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church: From 1927 to March, 1985" by Lenora Süss]( cited inline as "ASH" and drawing from the 1977 “Church Pictorial Directory” and “Historical Reports”;xNLx;[SMBC's Facebook Page]( cited inline simply as "Facebook".;xNLx;;xNLx;All other sources are indicated throughout.

Two Sunday Morning Services (2004 -2013)

A decision was made in 2004 to hold two morning services each Sunday, both in English. The early service began at 9:00, Sunday School held at 10:10, followed by the later service at 11:15. These separate services were reunited in the fall of 2013. Sunday school at 9:30 followed by a single worship service at 10:45.

New Mission Statement

In November 2015 a new Mission Statement was adopted: "We are disciples of Jesus Christ Being transformed by his Spirit To demonstrate and communicate God’s love to all!"

Ethiopian Refugees and the REST Team

In the fall of 2015, a group of church members formed the REST team (Refugee Encouragement Sponsorship Team) to mobilize the congregational response to the needs of refugees. This was precipitated by the Syrian refugee crisis, but extended to a compassionate response to refugees in general. An Ethiopian refugee family was tentatively scheduled to arrive in March 2016. The house, furnishings, and various household and personal items were donated and gathered by church members.

The Mennonite Brethren Church Founded

"The Mennonite Brethren Church had its beginning as a movement of spiritual renewal in the Molotschna Mennonite settlement in Russia on January 6, 1860. From there, it spread to other Mennonite colonies in what is today called the Ukraine." (ABH)

Migration from Russia to Canada

"Among the Mennonites that migrated from Russia to Canada between 1922 and 1930 were many Mennonite Brethren, who either joined already established Mennonite Brethren (MB) congregations or formed new ones." (ABH)

The Brethren Move to Steinbach

"A number of Mennonite Brethren families made Steinbach their new home, where they initially worshipped with the Brudertaler (Evangelical Mennonite Brethren) congregation." (ABH)

Separate Fellowship

"In spite of their similarities, the MBs eventually terminated their association with the EMBs and formed their own church... Thus began the Steinbach Mennonite Brethren Church." (ABH)

First Leadership: G. Unruh and H.K. Siemens

"On January 3, 1927, '38 brethren and seven sisters' met, electing Gerhard Unruh as their leader and H.K. Siemens as their assistant leader." (ABH) These men served without remuneration, a trend that would continue for the next forty years (ASH).

Meetings in the Old Schoolhouse

"At first the small group met in the EMB church, but after a few months they purchased an old schoolhouse, which they remodelled." (ABH)

New Sanctuary Construction

"The present lot was purchased in 1942, but a new church could not be built because of World War II." (ASH) "In 1943, near the end of the second World War, the church began construction of a facility on the present site" (ABH). "A basement with a roof over it served as a meeting place until five years later, when the new sanctuary was completed. The project was finally completed in 1947." (ASH)

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