Bethel Mennonite Church (Elora, ON)

Classification scheme: 

Title: Bethel Mennonite Church (Elora, Ontario) fonds

Dates of creation: 1865, 1947-2000

Physical description: 30 cm. of textual material

Administrative history: The church is located about six miles northeast of Floradale. The congregation began in 1947 as a rural outreach of the Elmira and Floradale congregations. Reuben Dettweiler is considered the founding leader of the group. The church building was formerly owned by the United Church.

Ministers have included Newton Gingrich, Gerry Vandeworp, Amsey Martin, Art Beyer and Darrell Jantzi. In 1950 there were 53 members; in 1965 104; in 1975 214; in 1985 247; in 1995 175. The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Church (1948-), the Mennonite Conference of Ontario from 1948-88, the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada since 1988 and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada since 1995.

Custodial history: Accessions from Bethel Mennonite Church have been received at various undocumented times. A major accession came in February 2006 via Bethany Seiling Leis.

Scope and Content: There are four series: 1) Formal Records; 2) Informal Records; 3) Bulletins; 4) Books

For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
For sound recordings related to this congregation see, see Hist.Mss.9.25.
An encyclopedia entry for this congregation may be found in GAMEO
For further information see: Gospel Herald (29 May 1989), p. 12; Church records at MAO include unpublished 2 page history; "Mennonites buy Pilkington United Church"; Mennonite Historical Society of Canada Collection collection "MC (1830-Moorefield)" ; Linda Weber, "A Brief History of Bethel, Berea, Moorefield, Glen Allen, and Listowel," Research paper, CGC, 1971, 37 pp.
Original archival description created 1998 by Sam Steiner.

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Annual & Congregational Meeting minutes
    1969-1983 (includes printed reports)
    1984, 1993 (annual reports only) 
  2. Church Council minutes
    1971-1978 (notes) 
  3. Constitution
    1973, 1983
  4. Marriage Register
  5. Financial Records
    Treasurer's Account Book, 1947-1966
  6. Summer Bible School 
    Attendance & Offering records, 1947-1968 
  7. Mennonite Youth Fellowship
    Minute book, 1950-1970
  8. Congregational Profiles
    1977, 1985, 1986, 1987 (includes organization chart), 1994, 1999
  9. Job Descriptions
    Misc. committee job descriptions, n.d.
  10. Leadership Review
    Leadership Review documents, 1989-1990
  11. Membership Book
    1947-1986 (includes historical notes at front of book)
  12. Sunday School
    Minute Book, 1947-1976 (incomplete) (also includes minutes of first exploratory meeting on founding of Bethel Mennonite Church from 21 November 1947.)
  13. Sewing Circle Records
    Senior circle minutes, 1948-1969
    Busy Bee circle minutes, 1967-1979
    Nightingale circle minutes, 1965-1974 

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Clippings
  2. Worship surveys 
    1980s?, 1992
  3. Busy Bees
    Program outline and event schedule, n.d.
  4. Church Historian
    Notes on weddings, baptisms, funerals, elections, pastoral changes, etc., 1947-1994

Series 3: Bulletins

  1. Bulletins, 1960-1991
    5 Nov 1995
    21 Nov 1999
    21 Apr 2000

Series 4: Books

Die Bibel, oder die ganze Heilige Schrift des alten und neuen Testaments. New York, 1865. Owned by Anna Weber, b. 20 August 1851. Fraktur entry in family register. Donated by Bethel Mennonite Church to Archives.  

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