History of Grace Baptist Church
After the First World War and the collapse of the German economy, the German Baptist
Church began to look at helping their people by assisting them to immigrate to Canada. In
1927, some of the people in that small church made a decision, on faith, to come to a new
country in order to make a new life for themselves. About half of the members of that small
church sold what they had for a one way ticket to a new life. They could not afford a return
ticket. They packed what few belongings they had, boarded a ship for a ten day voyage
across the Atlantic, then took a ten day rail trip from Halifax to Ste. Rose. They settled in
the areas of Ste. Rose, Ochre River, and Makinak. They settled on previously occupied
"Soldier Settlement" farms through negotiations by E. P. Wahl, appointed by the North
American Baptist Mission Board and Mr. Sanderson, Immigration Officer of the Soldier
Settlement Board. Four or five years before this, Canadian soldiers had left these farms, and
no one had lived on them since then.
In June of 1927 these new Canadians officially organized as a church as a mission outreach
of McDermot Avenue Baptist Church in Winnipeg, through the leadership of Rev. Luebeck and
Rev. Bloedow. This church became known as the Ste. Rose Baptist Church. This was
changed in the 1950's as it is now known as Grace Baptist Church. It began with a
membership of 53. The first officers included: Deacons - R. Meyerhoff and C. Lange;
Secretary Treasurer - H. Sturhahn, Sunday School Superintendent - A. Blessin. More
immigrants arrived in 1928-29 and settled here through private negotiations.
In 1930 under the leadership of Rev. Luebeck and Rev. Kaiser, this church was reorganized
and was officially recognized as a member of the North American Baptist Conference. Elected
officers were as follows: Deacons - R. Meyerhoff and Heinriche Amman; Secretary - Fred
DeVries; Treasurer - Ippe Voss; Sunday School Superintendent - E. Wentland.
During the first 13 years, the congregation met for worship in the Turtle River School house,
approximately two miles north of the current location. The place was kept warm in winter
with a wood heater. It was very rare that anyone failed to attend, and when seating space
was lacking, the men brought in blocks of fire wood to sit on.
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