The earliest known missionary work in Manitoba was done by Theodore Brandley who in company with Samuel Witmore, left Richfield, Utah, on 5 May 1884 to fill a mission. They were to preach to the Mennonites scattered in the northern United States and Manitoba, near what is now Winnipeg. There is no record of baptisms from their work. Brandley received an honorable release and returned home to Richfield on 22 October 1885.

The next missionary effort occurred on 29 November 1896 when President Charles O. Card of the Alberta Stake wrote to John Sherman, a Church member who migrated to Souris from Alberta. President Card asked Sherman if he should send missionaries. The response was positive and President Card called Neils Hansen to begin missionary work in Manitoba on 5 December 1896. On 23 January 1897, Hansen, along with missionaries William S. Baxter, J. G. Stuart, Alonzo G. Baker, Frank May, Alva M. Merkley, and Edward Leavitt prepared to depart for Brandon, Souris, and Winnipeg from Cardston, Alberta. Several converts migrated to Alberta to join the larger group of Saints.

On 20 July 1889, Manitoba was assigned to the Northern States Mission until 1 July 1919 when the Canadian Mission was organized and Manitoba was transferred to the new mission. The Manitoba conference was organized by 5 March 1901. In June 1906, the missionaries in Winnipeg began selling copies of the Book of Mormon. In August, when city officials insisted they pay a vendors license fee, the missionaries gave the books away, accepting any donations. A year later their efforts bore fruit, and five in the province were baptized. Many of the converts later moved to Latter-day Saint centers in other areas.

On 23 May 1909, the Winnipeg Sunday School was organized with 37 members. A year later a branch was organized in Winnipeg on 9 May 1910. A chapel was built and dedicated on 30 August 1914. When the branch was later reorganized on 26 March 1922, the first local member to serve as Winnipeg Branch President was Stanley N. Roberts.

Membership in the district in 1930 was 197, and included the Winnipeg Branch and the Bergland Branch. The branches had their chapel dedicated on 20 November 1925, the same day the branch was organized. The Brandon Branch was created on 3 July 1955, and a second branch in Winnipeg was created on 22 October 1961. Other branches were organized in Portage La Prairie, for U.S. Air Force personnel on 28 March 1954, Kenora by 24 March 1957, and Thompson on 5 January 1969.

On 20 March 1926, Elder Joseph Fielding Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited Winnipeg for two days, and two years later, on 15 June 1928, Elder David O. McKay of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also visited.

Winnipeg Stake[]

The Canada Winnipeg Mission was created on 1 March 1976 with about 4,200 members in four districts, including those in Saskatchewan and western Ontario. The Winnipeg Manitoba Stake was created 12 November 1978 by Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve. A new stake center was dedicated on November 1988, and stake membership reached 2,500.

At one of the largest gatherings ever in Manitoba on 4 August 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley, accompanied by President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke to about 1,500 members of the Winnipeg Stake and Fort Francis Ontario District.


Andrew Jenson, Encyclopedic History of the Church, 1941; Andrew Jensen, Biographical Encyclopedia, 1971; Melvin S. Tagg, A History of the Mormon Church in Canada, 1963; Hal Pruden, Mormons in Manitoba, 1988; Anna Brandley Ostlund, My Father, Theodore Brandley, 1961; Northern States Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports; Alberta Canada Stake, Manuscript history and historical reports; North Central States Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports.

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