Title: Avon Mennonite Church fonds
Dates of creation: [195-]-2009
Note: Further accruals are expected
Physical description: 84 cm of textual records; 1 object
Administrative history: In July, 1951, the mission board of the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference sponsored a Summer Vacation Bible School in a tent at the corner of Romeo and Albert streets in Stratford, Ontario. In the spring of 1952, the conference mission board purchased a house at 464 Brunswick Street and regular church services began that September. In 1953, Ephraim Gingerich was appointed overseer of the meetings; interested members of the Poole, East Zorra, Steinmann and Wellesley Mennonite congregations supported the venture.
In 1955, Jake Spenler became the congregation's first pastor. Youth programs were begun and a Women's Missionary and Service Auxiliary (WMSA) group inaugurated. In 1961, a new church building was built on a lot adjacent to the house. The congregation occupied this building until 1994, when they moved to a new church home at 90 Greenwood Drive. Here the congregation is part of a larger complex which includes the Greenwood Court Seniors Complex operated by Tri-County Mennonite Homes.
Custodial history: A major transfer of records from the congregation to the Archives took place in 2010.
Scope and content: Contains formal and informal records of the congregation, as well as the Vacation Bible School registration cards. Files are listed below.
Notes: For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
For sound recordings related to this congregation, see Hist.Mss.9.25; for audiovisual recordings see Hist.Mss.26.
Further materials related to this congregation may be found by searching the Archives.
An encyclopedia entry for this congregation may be found in GAMEO.
Additional records for this congregation in microfilm form are listed in Hist.Mss.11.2 Reel 19.
Original archival description created 2012 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.
Series 1: Formal records
- Constitutions, proposed, adopted 1963
- Annual reports,
1964/1965-1981/1982 (not complete)
- Congregational meetings and correspondence
Note: Includes Congregational Covenants from 1990, 1997 and 2001; questionnaire for congregational review, 1978; membership list, 1998.
- Church council minutes, 1966-1968, 1972-1973, 1978-1979, 1982, 1985-1988, 1990-1991 (scattered)
- Property records
Permit to use lot for garden purposes, 1952
Dingman property purchase, 1971
Drawing showing Avon church's location in Greenwood Court
- Insurance records
Amish Mennonite Fire and Storm Aid Union 1964 valuation, 1976 rules and regulations
- Sunday School records
Pupil record book, 1983/1984-2000/2001
Note: Sunday School attendance records from 1958-1993 were in poor condition and deemed of minimal value. They were not kept.
1986, 1989/1990, 1997, 2000
Note: also includes two undated membership lists; the 1986 directory includes historical information.
- Financial records
Account books, 1964-1966
Note: Annual financial statements are filed with annual reports.
- Scrapbook, 2001 anniversary
Note: Contains some formal documents not found in other files.
Minutes, 1958-1961, 1968-1983
Directories, 1972/1973-1975/1976, 1977/1978-1980/1981, 1982/1983, 1984/1985
Note: The directories include yearly schedules of activities.
- Wayfarers, 1959-1968, 1975-1983
Note: Includes a copy of the Wayfarer's Guidebook, 1957.
A Wayfarer's scrapbook, [1961?] and vest with badges are located in Hist.Mss.4/8.
- Congregational profiles
Series 2: Informal records
- Youth activities
Avon youth group venture prayer cards, 1997, 2000
Games galore : fun tested games for all boys / Boy Scouts of Canada. - Ottawa : [the Scouts], [19--].
- Special worship services
Meetings with Ralph Lebold, [19--]
Parting for Vernon Roth, 3 Jul 1973
Service in new building, 9 Oct 1994
50th anniversary service, 20 Jun 2002
Worship leader/sermon text, [197-?]
Ordination service for Winston Martin, 19 Jul 1970
Baptismal testimony of Yvonne Gurney, 31 Mar 1990
- Guest books, Jan 1963-Nov 1968, Jan 1996-Mar 2000
- "Lord builds the house" CD project
Note: file includes copies of church logo
Series 3: Vacation Bible School records
- Pupil registration cards, 1950s
- Pupil registration cards, 1961-1963
- Attendance records, 1955-1980
Series 4: Bulletins
1966-1974, 1978-1979 (random issues), 1981-1996, 30 Aug 2009