Biehn Mennonite Church (New Hamburg, ON)

Classification scheme: 
III-5

Title: Biehn Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1873-1978

Physical description: 68 cm. of textual material
12 cm. of books

Administrative history: Biehn was listed as a regular preaching appointment in 1865, with services every fourth Sunday. In 1870 John Biehn donated one-half acre of land for a church, and a frame church building was erected. A new building was erected in 1964.

In 1900 another plot of land was added for a cemetery, and the meetinghouse was rebuilt. Pastors included Menno Cressman, Ozias Cressman, Curtis Cressman and Irvin Cressman. Menno Cressman, John Nahrgang, Moses Cressman, Jeremiah Good and Abner Cressman served as deacons.

The Sunday school began in 1871. In the late 1950s there was considerable dissension within the congregation on the matter of enforcing dress regulations and the wearing of wedding rings.

Because Wilmot Township had too many small congregations in the mid-20th century, several mergers took place. In 1975 Biehn merged with the Blenheim Mennonite Church (see III-6) to form the Nith Valley Mennonite Church (see III-51). At that time Biehn had a membership of 87. The new congregation continued to meet at the location of the Biehn meetinghouse.

Custodial history: Accessions from the Biehn congregation have been received at various undocumented times.

Scope and Content: There are four series: Formal records, Informal records, bulletins and books.

For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
An encyclopedia entry for this congregation may be found in GAMEO
 

For further information see L.J. Burkholder, A brief history of the Mennonites in Ontario (Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935), p. 62-64.

Original archival description created by Sam Steiner

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Membership records, 1874-1961
  2. Church Council minutes, 1959-1973
  3. Members meeting minutes, 1908-1946 (scattered; also include financial information); Account book, 1909-1920; Ballot for church name change, 11 May 1975
  4. Mennonite Youth Fellowship minute books, 1961-1966
  5. Constitution of Biehn and Geiger Sunday evening service, n.d.
  6. Young People's Bible Meeting, secretary/treasurer's records, 1908-1943
  7. Cheerful Workers sewing circle, 1949/50
  8. Senior sewing circle minutes, 1935-1950
  9. Senior sewing circle minutes, 1950-1955
  10. Senior sewing circle minutes, 1956-1962, 1962-1969
  11. Junior sewing circle minutes, 1955-1960
  12. Sewing circle records, 1962-1968
  13. Sunday school record book, 1898-1909
  14. Sunday school record book, 1910-1925
  15. Sunday school record book, 1925-1942
  16. Sunday school prize lists, 1926-1972
  17. Summer Bible School records, 1937-1961
  18. Sunday school attendance and financial record book, 1943-1978
  19. Summer Bible School minutes, 1945-1969
  20. Misc. reports and offering schedules; including Curtis Cressman's report for 1957
  21. Constitution of Biehn Mennonite Church, 1971
  22. Christian Couples Endeavor record book, 1960-1970
  23. Deeds (Photocopies), 1870, 1908

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Assorted printed programs and calendars, 1873-1965
  2. Young People's Bible Meetings programs, 1912-1940 (incomplete)
  3. Biehn and Geiger Sunday evening service schedules, 195?-1961
  4. Misc. clippings
  5. Sunday school awards used in display at centennial service, Nov. 15, 1970
  6. "History of the Biehn Mennonite Church," 1960 by Alice Koch; diagrams of 1870 meetinghouse; programs from historical celebrations in 1925, 1945, 1964 and 1970
  7. Dominion of Canada Non-Interest Bearing Certificate, 1945 (Mildred Snyder; donated by Jake Regier)

Series 3: Bulletins

  1. Bulletins, 1959-1975

Series 4: Books

  1. A collection of Psalms and hymns suited to the various occasions of public worship and private devotions(Elkhart, Ind. : Mennonite Publishing Co., 1884) (2 copies)
  2. German and English New Testament (1892) owned by Zenas Snyder
  3. Hymns and tunes for public and private worship, and Sunday schools (Elkhart, Ind. : Mennonite Publishing Co., 1890) (2 copies)
  4. Confession of faith and minister's manual.... 3rd ed. (Elkhart, Ind. : Mennonite Publishing Co., 1900)
  5. Benjamin Eby, Kurzgefasste Kirchen-Geschichte und Glaubenslehre der Taufgesinnten- Schriften oder Mennoniten (Elkhart, Ind. : John F. Funk, 1868)
  6. German New Testament (Philadelphia, 1828) found in old Biehn meetinghouse pulpit.

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Last updated 22-Jul-2009 by Laureen Harder-Gissing

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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
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Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

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