Springs Church pastor Leon Fontaine who was instrumental in growing the St. Boniface church’s congregation into one of the largest in the country, passed away Saturday according to his family. He was 59 years old, days away from his birthday on Friday.
Fontaine made a name for himself with his charismatic sermons and for hosting services during the COVID-19 pandemic which broke public health orders.
“On Nov. 19 at 5 p.m., our dad passed away and went to be with Jesus,” said Eden Shimoda, in a recorded video of her and her four siblings that was shown at the end of respective services held at the church Sunday.
“I know you’re probably shocked and we’re really shocked too,” said Danielle Fontaine Craig, telling the congregation that her father had been absent from the church stage for over a month and that he and his wife and fellow senior pastor Sally had decided to take “a vacation and some R and R” and that he had got himself checked out and realized that something was wrong.
“The last couple of days all of a sudden it just took a really sharp turn that we really didn’t expect.”
His family did not disclose details about his illness or cause of death. Winnipeg Sun reached out to Springs Church on Monday but hasn’t heard back. Church officials requested privacy and declined to comment Sunday.
The church typically holds in-person, drive-in and virtual services. On Sunday, none of the services was live-streamed although a clip of the family’s video was shared on Facebook by one of the congregation.
The church’s social media was filled with messages of condolence. The Canadian flag outside the church on Lagimodiere Boulevard was flown at half-mast on the weekend.
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Source: Winnipeg Sun