Henry Reimer

Saskatchewan Mennonite minister suspended, resigned on findings of ‘irregularities’

In 1994, Henry Reimer (b. 1942), a pastor credentialed by the Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan (now Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, part of Mennonite Church Canada), was found by that regional body to have violated ethical boundaries of his position with a woman in his congregation at First Mennonite Church of Saskatoon.

After the congregant reported abuse by Reimer in the spring of 1994, the pastoral leadership committee of the Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan appointed an “intervention team” to investigate.

As reported in the Mennonite Reporter and The Mennonite in October 1994, the unnamed leadership committee members found the “allegations of sexual intimacy and abusive control” to be “in dispute,” but held Reimer responsible for “violations of confidentiality; financial…irregularities in either personal or professional relationships; deviance from Christian norms regarding sexuality…with a parishioner, client…involving the minister’s professional roles and responsibilities.”

The committee suspended Reimer’s ministerial credential for a minimum of one year, following the “Guidelines for Discipline Regarding Ministerial Credentials.” Reimer appealed the decision, and subsequently resigned his position as pastor at First Mennonite Church of Saskatoon that fall. The congregant who filed the report of abuse also appealed the committee’s decision.

In March 1995, The Mennonite described reasons the conference had suspended Reimer’s credential as “breach of the code of ethics in regards to counseling, inappropriate financial dealings with a client, and accusation of sexual impropriety.” It referred to “hurt and upheaval” at First Mennonite Church, and stated that the executive committee of the conference “indicated that litigation fees [were] being incurred.”

In November 2020, MAP requested information from Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, and executive minister Ryan Siemens reported that there were no digital files on the case, so finding out the status of Reimer’s credential would require “some digging.”

Doug Klassen, executive minister of Mennonite Church Canada, noted that Canadian law limits what the church is able to share without the consent of all parties involved, although relaying information that is part of public record is permissible. He further noted that there are provincial derivatives of the law, and likewise within the church: “Each region deals with their files differently.”

Church-related positions

  • Teacher, United Mennonite Educational Institute (UMEI Christian High School), Leamington, Ontario, 1972–1980
  • Pastor, First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1984–1994

Documentation

Scroll to Top