Leon Fontaine Obituary, Death – A church in Winnipeg is mourning the loss of the man who helped it become one of the biggest in the nation. The charismatic pastor of Springs Church, Leon Fontaine, gained renown for holding services that flouted public health regulations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The family of Fontaine reports that he passed away on Saturday. He was a grandfather who was approaching a significant birthday at the age of 59.
In a prerecorded video of herself and her four siblings that was shown at the conclusion of the various services held throughout the day Sunday, Eden Shimoda said, “It’s with devastating hearts that we’re sharing with you today that on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m., our dad, pastor Leon, went to be with Jesus.” The four-minute video depicts Fontaine’s five adult children, who are all engaged Springs Church members, talking about their astonishment as a family and their father’s devotion to the nondenominational Christian organization.
Deanna Fontaine Craig informed the congregation that his father’s absence from preaching live for more than a month was due to their parents’ vacation and Fontaine “getting himself looked out,” at which time he learned about some personal concerns. Recent days saw a sudden and abrupt change in Fontaine’s health, she claimed.
The illness and cause of death were not made public by the family. Administrators of Springs Church declined to speak on Sunday and asked for privacy. Usually, the church offers in-person, drive-in, and online services. None of the sermons were broadcast live for the general audience on Sunday. The Canadian flag was flying at half-mast over the weekend in front of Springs Church, the main headquarters of the Christian organization in southeast Winnipeg, at 595 Lagimodiere Boulevard.
Everyone is shocked to hear about Fontaine’s abrupt death, according to Sylvia Buller Isaak, who has known him for approximately 20 years. “He loved people dearly. He was deeply religious. She stated this after attending a Winnipeg service in the afternoon. “And he loved his nation,” she added. Parishioners are finding solace in a slogan Fontaine frequently proclaimed: “the best is yet to come,” according to Buller Isaak.
The group first met in 1980 as Springs of the Living Water Centre, before changing its name to Springs Church. The parish was transformed into a megachurch with three locations under the leadership of Fontaine and his wife Sally in 1994. The non-denominational church reportedly draws 8,000 Canadians in all to its events on a regular basis, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.
The original site, which was close to Symington Yards, has been transformed into a campus with a chapel, a coffee shop, and other facilities. The Fontaines moved their family to Calgary many years ago, and there is a Springs Church there as well. Springs Christian Academy had a student body of little under 500 in 2021–2022 When the church-affiliated private school held a convocation during the height of the pandemic, it received harsh criticism for going against official health orders prohibiting indoor meetings.
Fontaine was well-known in Christian circles prior to March 2020, but his divisive views on public health precautions and frequent violations of them caused him to become a well-liked anti-restriction personality. In a video message that was shown on the Miracle Channel, Fontaine’s Christian TV channel, declared that “this trucker’s convoy had exploded.”
If you’ve ever thought that the past two years have been a complete lack of logic and reason, the volume of donations and the speed with which our movement has gained momentum have just demonstrated that you are not alone. After its management acknowledged holding an indoor graduation ceremony in May 2021, Springs Church was fined $9,000 for the violation.
Prior to that, Fontaine and his son accrued a total of six $1,296 fines while the church was hit with five $5,000 fines for having drive-in services in November 2020. As part of a plea agreement including the graduation penalty, all of these charges were suspended. Because other places of worship were shuttered as a result of COVID-19, according to Hope Wiebe, her son and his wife—previous members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church—started to Springs Church in August 2021.
Wiebe posted on Facebook on Sunday, saying, “As their chauffeur, I started going (in September 2021) and appreciated the love (and) companionship of the church, all generations from youngsters to the elderly.”
She said, “The church continued to grow throughout the COVID season.” The family vowed to continue Fontaine’s legacy in the video that was broadcast on Sunday. One of his four adult daughters, Michala Fontaine Stannard, said, “We’re so thankful for what mom and dad built over the previous 28 years… and we know, without a doubt, that the best is yet to come.” And we are going to carry on the race of constructing this empire by standing on our father’s shoulders and what he has established.