Canadian Megachurch Pastor and TV Executive Dies At 59

By Sarah Einselen
leon fontaine
Leon Fontaine, CEO of The Miracle Channel and co-senior pastor of Springs Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has died. He was 59. (Photo via Facebook)

The pastor of one of the largest churches in Canada, and CEO of a Christian cable TV channel, has died at age 59, news media reported this weekend.

Pastor Leon Fontaine of Springs Church died on Saturday, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Family members reportedly announced his death in a video shown Sunday at his church.

Springs Church is one of Canada’s largest churches with thousands attending its two sites in the provincial capital of Manitoba, and a third in Calgary, the largest city in Alberta. The church reportedly has a total average weekly attendance of 8,000. In addition to in-person services, the church also has drive-in and online services.

Fontaine was well-known as a prominent opponent of COVID-19-related restrictions during the pandemic. He would have turned 60 this Friday.

Fontaine’s family reportedly didn’t disclose details of his death and the church has declined comment to Canadian media. But someone who knew Fontaine for decades told the Free Press that his death was unexpected.

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Fontaine and his wife, Sally, had pastored Springs Church since 1994. He became CEO of the Miracle Channel in 2010.

The cable TV station broadcasts sermons from Fontaine, as well as televangelists including Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen. It also airs popular preachers like Tony Evans, David Jeremiah, and Charles Stanley.

The nonprofit Miracle Channel Association reported revenues of more than $5 million Canadian in 2021, according to Canadian nonprofit watchdog Charity Data. Nearly $1.7 million of that was in donations, federal data indicate.

Canadian legislator Sen. Don Plett, who represents Manitoba and leads the opposition party in the Canadian Senate, said Fontaine’s “untimely passing” shocked and saddened him. He called Fontaine a “man of integrity who led with compassion.”

Correction: This article has been corrected to state that Calgary is the largest city in Alberta, not the capital. 

Sarah Einselen is an award-winning writer and editor based in Texas.





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12 thoughts on “Canadian Megachurch Pastor and TV Executive Dies At 59”

  1. Physician here. The subtext is that he likely died from COVID 19. He was an antivaxxer because lack of in person church services impedes cash flow. This is an opinion, but it can be a logical conclusion.

    1. Kristina Delblanc Howell

      Pastor Leon Fontaine loved loved His Heavenly Father above all else. He loved his family and he loved people. He served God. A man of integrity.

      Pastor Leon preached for months outside in extreme Cold temperatures. He cared about people.

    2. Charmaine Holmes

      If he was opposed to the vax then at least we can be sure he did not die from adverse effects of “the vaccine”.

      1. It states that He was opposed to the restrictions of CoVid ( i.e Closing of the churches etc) he was not opposed to the vaccine.

      2. The article states that the Pastor was opposed to the restrictions of CoVid.
        Such as, closing of church services etc. It does not say he was opposed to the vaccine.

  2. Many churches today have eliminated In person Giving opting instead for automatic cash withdrawals.
    Attendance is for faith building, education, social support, accountability, and oh yeah, Worship.
    Stop making stuff up and have a heart!

  3. People die of many things. Just because he didn’t get the vax doesn’t mean he died of covid. I know hundreds of people that didn’t get that vax and are still alive and well. Let’s get real. Sad that he passed away. He is with Jesus now. No need to use this as a poltical tool to push a vaccine that is still in the experimental stage.

  4. Leon died of a very aggressive cancer discovered on a recent vacation. His death was a shock. He was the real deal. so sad.

  5. Brenda MacDonald

    Whatever …just recently started to tune in to Leon Fontaine’s teaching and preaching ministry. I’m a 50+ years believer and I can say that truly this man was the real deal. God bless this ministry going forward what a legacy this man of God left. Hope the same can be said of others!

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