Memorable Manitobans: Richard Ernest Carl Frederick Meinzen (1906-1962)
Born at Cincinnati, Ohio on 13 April 1906, son of Rev. William C. Meinzen and Adelinda Daib, he graduated in 1930 from the Concordia Theological Seminary at St. Louis, Missouri.
He was called to Winnipeg in September 1930, charged with organizing the first solely English-speaking congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Western Canada. (There were already two older LCMS congregations in Winnipeg’s North End but they were primarily German-speaking.) From five Charter Members, the congregation grew under his pastorate and in 1946-1947 they built The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, designed by local architect John N. Semmens, at the intersection of Academy Road and Wellington Crescent, a portal to the south end of Winnipeg. (That structure was demolished in 1962 and replaced by the current building.)
While continuing to minister to his congregation during the Second World War, he traveled extensively as the Director of the Army and Navy Commission-Canada, the LCMS liason with the many American soldiers building the Alaska Highway. After 1945, he introduced Gamma Delta, LCMS’ campus fraternity as part of fledgling student ministries at the University of Manitoba.
Meinzen was married to Dorothy Soergel and they had two daughters, Ann and Kathryn. Between 1934 and 1940, the family lived at 170 Chestnut Street and from 1941 to 1949, at the Parsonage at 61 Academy Road, adjacent to the church.
He left Winnipeg in 1949 to become Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church at Canton, Ohio, where he served until his death on 28 January 1962.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 January 1962, page 22.
A History of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer by Karen Popp, 1990.
Crescentwood, A History by R. R. Rostecki, Winnipeg: Crescentwood Home Owners Association, 1993.
We thank Ann Meinzen Hildebrand for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by George Tacik and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 October 2014
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