Breslau Mennonite Church (Breslau, ON)

Classification scheme: 
III-10

Title: Breslau Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1837-2009
Note: Further accruals are expected

Physical description: 80 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The church is located at 226 Woolwich St., Breslau, ON, N0B 1M0.

Joseph Hagey is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through emigration from Pennsylvania. The church was known as Cressman Mennonite until 1968 because it was on land originally owned by the Cressman Family. The first building was the 1813 log church built by Benjamin Eby in Berlin which was moved in 1834 to Breslau. The original property was conveyed by Christian Snyder for the purposes of preaching, a cemetery and a school in July 1837. Additional land was added in 1859 and 1870.

The congregation was part of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario; it joined the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada in 1988. Breslau Mennonite is part of the Mennonite Church segment of the Mennonite "family."  In 1925 there were 125 members; in 1950, 148; in 1965, 149; in 2009 the language of worship is English; language transition occurred in the 1890s. The congregation began services in 1815, and formally organized in 1826. The first building was occupied in 1834, with a second building in 1856, and a third in 1908. A major addition to and renovation of the 1908 building took place in 1990.

For further information see: Mennonite Encyclopedia, "Breslau Mennonite Church"; L.J. Burkholder, A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario (1935); Oscar Burkholder, Cressman Mennonite Church, Breslau, Ont., 1908-1954(1956)

Custodial history: The congregation made occasional donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. A major accrual was received in 2010.

Scope and content: There are four series: Formal records, Informal records, Newsletters and Church bulletins.

Notes: Original description created April 2000 by Sam Steiner.

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Legal documents 
        Deed, 1837 (copy)
        Deed, 1858 (copy)
        Deed, 1870 (copy)
        Deed, 1964 (copy)
        Statutory Declaration re: Name Change, 1968
        Map showing deed property lines
        "Historical sketch of the Cressman Mennonite church buildings," 1968 (copy)
       General operating by-law number 1, 2005 
  2. Congregational meeting minutes
        Congregational meeting minute book, 1887-1907 (includes some financial records)
        Congregational meeting minute book, 1908-1934
        Congregational meeting minute book, 1935-1965
  3. Church Council minutes, 1957-1989, 1993-1996 (incomplete)
  4. Annual reports, 1957-1975, 1978-1990, 1995
  5. Sunday school reorganization and record book, 1911-1948
  6. Sunday school account book, 1872-1925
  7. Sunday school workers minute book, 1933, 1953-56
  8. Young Peoples Bible Meeting minute books
        1920-1933; includes constitution
        1934-1937
        1938-1940
        1941-1959; includes constitution
  9. Bishop book (baptisms and marriages), of Elias Weber and Jonas Snider, 1879-1942. (Church membership and baptismal records for 1879-1919; marriage records for 1879-1942).
    Note: This item has been digitized.
  10. Church Directory (telephone and photo), 1967, 1971, 1974, 1976, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2010
  11. Church treasurer's account book, 1950-1964
  12. Charity Sewing Circle minute and record books
        1918-1923
        1924-1936
        1936-1950
        1950-1963
        1966-1970
        1970-1974
        1974-1979
  13. Junior Sewing Circle minute and record books
        1924-1932
        1937-1947
        1964-1967
  14. Sewing Circle account book, 1934-1964
  15. Eventide Sewing Circle minute and record book
        1949-1952
        1953-1958
        1958-1962
        1962-1966
       History of Eventide, 1949-1974 
  16. Women's Missionary and Service Commission
    Minutes, 1980-1990, 1989-1997
    Executive meetings, 1965-1999
    WMSC work report, 1971-1996
    Annual reports, 1965-1968, 1977/1978, 1981-1982, 1984, 1986-1987, 1990-2000
    Note: File also includes officer lists for various years. 
    60th anniversary notes 
    Chronologies
    Miscellaneous
  17. 175th Anniversary Committee, 2009
  18. Breslau Mennonite Church Cemetery
    Account Books, 1911-1948, 1927-1981, 1977-1991, 1981-1990
    Cemetery Commission, [19--]-2009
  19. Breslau Mennonite Youth Fellowship
    Constitution, [19--]
  20. Congregational profiles, 1979, 2002
  21. Christian Education Committee, 1979-1990
  22. Elders
    Note: Includes correspondence with the Militarism Committee, 1990-1991
  23. Personnel files (restricted access)
  24. College and Careers
    Note: Consists of resource materials on sexuality and women in leadership.
  25. Building projects

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Historical notes and typescript summaries, list of pastors, 1918-1930s[?], 2009, 2011  
  2. Misc. correspondence, 1918-1957
  3. Newsclippings, 1954-1973
  4. Misc. Programs, 1899-1980s
  5. Oscar Burkholder, Cressman Mennonite Church, Breslau, Ontario, 1908- (Breslau : The Church, 1956)(4 copies)
  6. Breslau-Bloomingdale MYF "Plan for action, 1968-1969"
  7. Misc. documents, questionnaires, etc., 1960s-
  8. D. W. Whittle, Gospel pictures and story sermons for children (Chicago : Bible Institute Colportage Association, 1895) presented to Susannah Frey from Cressman Sunday School, 1895
  9. Jacob Woolner, Mennonite preacher / Maryanne Szuck, Sept 2009
  10. Bloomingdale - Breslau : two paths, one purpose / Dennis Bells, May 2006

Series 3: Newsletters


Newsletter, 1968 (incomplete)
Breslau Branch, 1985-July/August 2003

Series 4: Bulletins

1955-1999

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Hours

Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Making an appointment with the archivist in advance is strongly recommended.

Contact

Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238

Email: marchive@uwaterloo.ca