Classification scheme: 
V-16

Title: Blake Amish Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1875-1984, 2012

Physical description: 1 cm of textual records; 2 audio compact discs

Administrative history: The church was located 1.75 miles north of Highway 84 on Bronson Line, Hay Township. 

Clayton Kuepfer served in 1980 as a  congregational leader. In 1925 there were 43 members; in 1950, 55; in 1965, 91; in 1975, 57. The congregation formally dissolved about 1981; it last met as a separate congregation in late 1978. It had been affiliated with the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference (1923-1981) and Mennonite Church (1959-1981). The language of worship was English; the transition from German occurred in the 1930s.

The congregation began services in 1848, and formally organized in 1849. Bishop John Oesch organized the group, but died in 1850. Early family names were Baechler, Gingerich, Kuepfer, Erb, Gerber, Gascho, Schantz, Bender, Egli, Schwartzendruber and Wuetherich.

The first building was occupied in 1884. The first minister ordained was Joseph Wutherich (in 1849); the second was John Egli. John Gascho served 1876-1908. Bishops from Waterloo County served the congregation except when Bishop Eli Frey of Wauseon, Ohio served 1915-23.

Blake was formerly known as Hay Amish Mennonite church. The members became part of the Zurich Mennonite Church when Blake closed. The building was sold to Lakeview Conservative Mennonite Church in 1992. Lakeview built a new building on the site in 2012.

Custodial history: Series 1, files 1-3 were donated by the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference and Lorraine Roth in the 1980s. Series 1, files 4-7 and Series 2, files 2-4 were donated by Irma (Baechler) Buehler in 2016. The audio recording of the final service was donated by Lorraine Roth in 2013.

Note: Archival description created March 2000 by Sam Steiner and updated 2016 by Laureen Harder-Gissing. Photographs related to this congregation are listed in the Mennonite Archival Image Database. Further information on this congregation is found in GAMEO.

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Records of business, 1875-1916, translated/transcribed by Lorraine Roth, 1979 (18 leaves of typescript)
  2. Minutes, correspondence related to closing of Blake congregation and rental of property to Lakeview Conservative Mennonite Church, 1979-1984
  3. Photocopy of indenture related to Blake property, 1875
  4. Church record book, 1875-1916
    Scope and content: Includes meeting minutes, financial records and membership lists. Amount of information recorded in each year varies; some years have no entries.
  5. Church record book, 1928-1941, 1947
    Scope and content: Includes meeting minutes, financial records, birth, death and membership lists. Amount of information recorded in each year varies; some years have no entries.
  6. Church record book, 1942-1978
    Scope and content: Includes meeting minutes, birth, death, marriage and membership lists. Includes a handwritten copy of the "Constitution of the Ontario Amish Mennonite Sunday School Conference." Also includes the minutes of a ministers' meeting, 5 Nov 1945, to discuss the purchase of an old age home by the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference. Amount of information recorded in each year varies; some years have no entries.
  7. Membership transfer certificates, 1948-1976

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Special commemorative service, 1885-2012 : Lakeview Mennonite Church, December 9, 2012.
    Scope and content: Audio recording of a commemorative service, the last service held in the old building, in 2012. Speakers were Paul Zehr, Merle Bauman, Peter Steckle, Glen Swartzentruber, Harold Woodrick, Chuck Erb, Clayton Kueptfer, and Merlin Bender.
  2. Obituary for Solomon Baechler
  3. Flyer for revival meetings with Nelson Litwiller, [between 1968 and 1981]
  4. Letter from the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference regarding the advisability of accepting government aid (such as family allowances),12 Apr 1945.

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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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