Erb Street Mennonite Church (Waterloo, ON)

Classification scheme: 
III-26

Title: Erb Street Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1852-2015
Note: Further accruals are expected

Physical description: 175 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec (1851-1988), the Mennonite Church (1898-), the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (1988-) and Mennonite Church Canada (1995-). The language of worship transitioned from German to English in the early twentieth century. The congregation began services in 1837, and formally organized in 1851.  The first building was occupied in 1851, with subsequent building programs in 1902, 1950 and 1980. David Eby is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through immigration from Pennsylvania. The early settlers included David Eby, Jonas Bingeman and Samuel Schantz.

Pastoral Leaders who served the David Eby/Erb Street Mennonite congregation, have included: Jacob M. Oberholtzer (1840-1879), Elias Schneider (1874-1889), Jonas Snider (1892, Bishop, 1895-1944), Noah Hunsberger (1900-1920, 1923-1929), Newton S. Weber (1921-1923), Jesse B. Martin (1929, Bishop 1947-1964), Milton Schwartzentruber (1964-1970), Galen Johns (1970-1976), (Doug Snyder, Interim, 1977), Wilmer Martin (1977-1991), Richard Yordy (Interim, 1992/1993), Renee Sauder (1993-2003), Allan Rudy-Froese (-2004), Laurence Martin (Interim, (2003-2004), Eleanor Epp-Stobbe (2004-2014), Sandi Hannigan (2004-2007), Matthew Bailey Dick (2005-2007), Tanya Dyck Steinmann, Interim (2007-2008), Gord Alton (2008-2011), Jenny Csinos (Interim)(2012-2013), Glenda Ribey Rozomiak (2013- ), Gary Knarr (Intentional Interim (2014-2016), Jodie Boyer Hatlem (2016- ), Doug Johnson Hatlem (2016- ) 

In 1900 there were 100 members; in 1925, 165; in 1950, 290; in 1965, 298; in 1975, 269; in 1985, 292; in 1995, 321; in 2000, 314. Two long-serving deacons were Noah Weber (1908-1948) and Clare Shantz (1948-1980).

Custodial history: The Erb Street congregation has made periodic donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Scope and content: There are five series: Formal recordsInformal recordsBooksChurch bulletins and Newsletters.

Notes: See also the Worship Services listing in Sound Recordings for Erb Street-related services.
For further information see: Albert and Greta Hunsberger, A brief history of the David Eby Church and Erb Street Mennonite at Waterloo, Ontario from 1851-1976 (The Church, 1976); L.J. Burkholder, A brief history of the Mennonites in Ontario (1935), 95-98.
For cemetery records, see Waterloo Cty.  - Waterloo Twp. Erb Street Mennonite Church, Hist.Mss.5B.106.
Archival description originally created in 2001 by Sam Steiner.

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

2008-2013

  1. Deeds, legal documents
    1902 Deed
    Assessment notices, 1910, 1912
    Mennonite Aid Union evaluation, 1979
  2. Congregational constitutions
    1963, 1968, 1972, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1996, 2010
  3. Congregational meeting reports/minutes
    1889-1915 (Book; Includes financial records)
    1916-1937 (Book; Includes financial records)
    1938-1963 (Book; Includes financial records, cemetery accounts and Board of Trustee minutes (1950-1969)
    1934-1936, 1938-1940
    1941-1948 (Financial reports only)
    1950-1959
    1960-1965, 1967-1969
    1970-1979
    1980-1982, 1984-1989
    1990, 1998-1999
    2000-2016
  4. Church Council/Church Ministry Council 
    1951-1958 (Book)
    1958-1968 (Book)
    1968-1970 (Book)
    1951-1973 (typed copies  - Deacon E. Clare Shantz file)
    1968-1983
    1997, 1999-2007, 2008-2016
  5. Trustee Board/Board of Property
    See congregational minutes above for 1950-1969.
    Meeting book with actions on building a new church building, with expenses, 1901-1903
    Minutes, 1961-1963, 1973-1978, 1997, 1999-2001
  6. Board of Christian Education
    1960-1964
    1975-2004
  7. Board of Missions and Service/Christian Witness Ministry
    1971-1978
    1981-1991 (file mostly concerns sponsorship of refugees from Laos)
    1997-2001
  8. Board of Elders
    1972-1978
    Documents, 1999-2003
  9. Stewardship & Finance
    Minutes, 1976-1977
    General Expense account books, 1948-1965
    Offering record book, 1945-1960
  10. Personnel Committee
    1974-1977
  11. Pastoral Committee
    1969-1977
  12. Worship Committee
    1993-2001
  13. Long Range Planning
    1992, 1994
  14. Building Committees
    1949-1951 (includes record of donations)
    1949-1951 (blueprints)
    1970-1980 (misc. minutes of facilities committee)
    1998-2000
  15. Young People's Bible Society/Mennonite Youth Fellowship
    Constitution, n.d.
    Record book, 1945-1953, 1952-1972, 1972-1977
    Program book, 1955-1965
    Financial records, 1952-1969
    Member's list, 1968/69
  16. Cemetery Committee
    Cash book, 1942-1960
    Burial contract and regulations
  17. Sunday School 
    Constitution, n.d.
    Reorganization meetings, 1931-1957; 1957-1975
    Sunday School Executive, 1955-1969; 1969-1979
    Attendance books, 1931, 1934, 1960
    Annual Attendance records, 1958-1979
    Cash book, 1929, 1957-1973
    Financial pledges and lists of teachers, 1929-1969 (incomplete)
    "My attendance record and reward" sheet (colour photocopy)
  18. Waterloo Charity Circle minute and record book 
    1908-1916
  19. Junior Charity Circle minute and record book
    1916-1925
    1925-1932
    1932-1937
    1937-1941
    1941-1944
    1944-1951
    1951-1967
  20. Senior Charity Circle minute and record books
    1917-1927
    1927-1935
    1936-1938, 1942-1947
    1938-1942 (treasurer records, 1936-1946)
    1948-1952 (plus attendance book, 1948-1953); copy of constitution; treasurer records, 1946-1954)
    1954-1977 (financial records) 
    1952-1958
    1958-1963
    1964-1968
    1968-1973 (records and correspondence)
    1974-1981 (records and correspondence)
  21. Cheerful Sunshine Band minute books
    1940-1944
    1945-1957
    1957-1976
    1940-1976 (financial)
  22. Evening Group/Beacon Mission Circle minute and record books
    1946-1950
    1950-1956
    1950-1963 (Financial)
    1958-1973
    1967-1983 (Financial)
    1975-1983
  23. Women's Missionary and Service Commission (WMSC) minutes and records
    1981-1993
    1994-2013
    102nd anniversary celebration, 20 Apr 2010 Note: Includes 8 photographs.
  24. Sewing Circle Joint Executive/Planning Meeting/Council
    1955-1983
  25. Food Service menus and notes
    1950s-1989
  26. Girl's Club record book
    1976-1979
  27. Membership records
    1909-1937 (with notes on missions offerings included)
    1937-1944 (with notes on missions offerings included) 
    1926-1994 (typed lists)
    Lists, 1966, 1969, 1976
    Cards, 1940s-1970s
    Church letters of transfer (1930s-1940s)
  28. Church directories
    1971, 1978
    1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
    1990, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001,
    2005-2017 (also 2006 & 2013 photo directory)
  29. Library Committee
    Library records, 1955-1960
    1998-2001
  30. Ministerial Search Committee 
    1991-1993 (selected minutes)
  31. Congregational Information Form/Congregational Profile
    1976, 2007/08

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Series 2: Informal records

  1. Historical Memorabilia
    • Baptism and cradle role lists, 1930-1960 (J.B. Martin), 1940-1990
    • Deacon Noah Weber biographical notes, membership notes in Weber's hand
    • List of converts at D. Eby Church, C. Eby Church, Bridgeport Church, n.d. (J.B. Martin)
    • List of members, converts, 1910 (J.B. Martin)  
    • Correspondence, etc. re: Lewis S. Weber, 1940 (J.B. Martin)
    • Noah Weber on obligation of church to deacon, 1948 (at Clare Shantz ordination)
    • Recognition of Noah Weber's 90th birthday, 1958 (J.B. Martin)
    • Correspondence re: deacon ordination, 1943, 1948
    • Funeral record slips, 1950s-1960s; Funeral cards for Clinton Shantz (d. 1918), Gordon Schweitzer (d. 1912), Leah (Groff) Shantz (d. 1924), Ada (Eby) Shantz (d. 1918), Franklin Shantz (d. 1929)
    • Certificate of ordinations, Clare Shantz, 1948 (plus letter of resignation, 1980)
    • J.B. Martin retirement sermon text, 1964; materials related to Martin's retirement
    • Letter from Conference at time of Jonas Snider's death, 1944
    • Short biographical note on Jacob Oberholtzer, 1976
    • Notes on history of Erb. Street congregation, 1952 (including Noah Weber, Eli Hallman, Joseph S. Weber, Moses Hunsberger and Albert Hunsberger)
    • Background of Boy's Club, 1960
    • 60th anniversary of WMSC (1968); includes photograph of "Fresh Air" children at the home of Enoch Erb and a manuscript books with 1908 "rules and regulations" of the Charity Circle as well as later notes on the history of the Waterloo WMSC.
    • 10th and 25th anniversaries of Laotian families in Canada, 1990, 2005
    • A Brief History of the David Eby Church and Erb Street Mennonite at Waterloo, Ontario from 1851-1976
    • Path of a People: Erb Street Mennonite Church 1851-2001 / Karl Kessler, 2001
    • Correspondence and photographs re the "Signature Quilt" presented to Galen and Edith Johns in 1976, 2009-2010 
    • the Eby-Snider House : some historical background on the occasion of the unveiling of the heritage plaque, 22 Nov 2009
    • "Certificate of honor in behalf of the orphans of India" from the Home and Foreign Relief Commission and Orphan Relief Association of India to the David Eby Sunday School, 1898. - Located in oversize cabinet.
  2. Correspondence, including "Pastoral letters" 1964-1975
  3. Questionnaires used in the congregation, 1960s
  4. Programs, 1903-
  5. Summer Bible School programs and announcements, 1950s
  6. Letters sent to men in C.O. camps, 1942-1944
  7. Sermon texts sent to men in C.O. camps, 1942-1944
  8. News clippings
  9. "Erb Street Mennonite Church Research Project," by Mark Fischer, et al, 1998 - Grade 12 project that included survey of worship and Christian Ed hour.
  10. Print Blocks
    Erb Street building (1902); David Eby Church (Drawing)
  11. 150th anniversary
    Programs, tickets, bulletins associated with anniversary
  12. Manna Program Photo Scrapbook
  13. Volunteer Service for Seniors News and Views, 1989-1993
  14. Documents related to Volunteer Service for Seniors / Project H.E.A.R. Program, 1979-1993.
  15. 160th anniversary
    Minutes, programs, trivia game, anniversary cantata news clipping
    Note: Recordings of cantata located in Hist.Mss.9.25 Worship services.
     

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Series 3: Books

Of the Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis (London : Castell Brothers, n.d.) "Jacob E. Groff, Jan. 1891 Waterloo, Ont." on flyleaf

Jubeltöne : eine Sammlung von Liedern und Melodien aus deutschen und englischen Quellen zum Gebrauch für Sonntagschulen und den Familienkreis. 6. verm. u. verb. Aufl. (Cleveland, Ohio : W.F. Schneider, 1871)  "These kind of song books were used in the Sunday School, which was first started in a vacant house formerly owned by William Bamberger, May 29th, 1887. Later the Sunday School was held in the schoolhouse S. Section 21, which was called the Martin's School. Some years later, the S. School was held at the David Eby's church, and later the church at Waterloo was built, in 1902, and now have Sunday School all the year summer and winter. Mrs. Ira S. Bauman" on flyleaf

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Series 4: Church Bulletins

1951-2016

Series 5: Newsletters

[Untitled Youth Paper] 1967-1968 (v. 1, no.1-v. 1, no. 4; v. 2, no. 4-v. 2, no. 5)

Erb Street News 1975-1980 (v. 1, no. 1-v. 6, no. 2)

The Community 
1980-1990, 1998
2001-Summer 2016

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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