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The revival movement was supported by four Sommerfelder Church ministers: W. H. Falk of Schoenthal} P. S. Zacharias of Rein­ land, Gerhard J. Froese of Reinfeld and Isaak Hoeppner of Waldheim which caused deep divisions in the Church. Consequently, brotherhood meetings were called to decide the issue of evening services which the revival meetings had introduced. At these meetings evening services were rejected and the Sommerfelder Lehrdienst decided to hold a new registration of church members so that members could decide whether to remain with the Sommerfelder church, or follow the four dissenting ministers. Eventually, approximately 1,200 members chose to join this new group which became known as the Rudnerweider Mennonite Church. An election was held to elect the church leaders and on February 4, 1937, Bishop David Schulz of the Bergthaler Mennonite Church ordained W. H. Falk as Bishop of the Rudnerweider Church."

While the Sommerfelder Mennonite Church was splitting up in the 1930's, the Reinlaender Mennonite church was reforming itself. Ever since the Reinlaender emigration to Mexico in the 1920's, the approxi­ mate 30-40 per cent of this group who had stayed in Manitoba, had existed in limbo. Some had joined the Sommerfelder or other area churches, but many others had ceased going to church, or had held private church services. These members re-organized themselves in the 1930's and in 1936 officially named their church the Old Colony Mennonite church. Bishop Loeppky travelled to Manitoba from Sas­ katchewan to help with the re-organization and stayed to ordain Jacob J. Froese as Bishop of the Church."

New Beginnings

By 1937 the agricultural outlook in Rhineland had begun to im­ prove. Bumper crops raised the hopes of area farmers who again began to buy land and machinery. Prospects continued to improve in 1938 and 1939 and with the onset of the Second World War agricultural prices rose initiating a new era of growth.

The depression had caused severe hardships in the R.M. of Rhine­ land, but had also initiated new developments which helped rebuild theĀ· agricultural economy and re-integrate Rhineland society. The Rhine- . land Agricultural Society, through its courses and crop clubs, helped farmers diversify their farms and introduced new crops to the area. Co­ operative enterprises, on the other hand, not only effected savings for farmers and consumers, but promoted a greater co-operation between towns and rural residents, between Mennonites and non-Mennonites and between the municipality and the larger society.

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