First Mennonite Church (Kitchener, ON)

Classification scheme: 
III-12

Title: First Mennonite Church fonds

Administrative history: This church was named First Mennonite in 1917. Prior to that time it was known as Eby's, Benjamin Eby's, Christian Eby's, Berlin and East End. It is located at 800 King St. E., Kitchener, Ontario N2G 2M6. Worship services were held in a log schoolhouse on the South-East corner of the adjoining cemetery grounds as early as 1811. In 1834 a substantial frame church and the log schoolhouse was moved to Breslau where it was used for both school and worship purposes. The frame meetinghouse was replaced with a brick edifice in 1902, which was enlarged in 1927, 1950 and 1985.

First Mennonite was the administrative centre of Mennonite churches in the Waterloo district until about 1956 when it adopted a congregational polity. Waterloo district ministers' conferences were held here twice annually and Ontario ministers' conferences were held here every third year for many years. The Ontario Mennonite Bible School was conducted annually at First Mennonite from 1920 to 1969.

Scope and content: There are four series: Formal RecordsInformal RecordsNewsletter and Church bulletins.

Notes: 

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 reference see J. Boyd Cressman. "First Mennonite Church, Kitchener." Mennonite Quarterly Review, 13(1939), 159-86, 251-83; and E. Reginald Good. Frontier Community to Urban Congregation: First Mennonite Church, Kitchener 1813-1988. Kitchener: First Mennonite Church, 1988.

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

Box 1.1 - Deacons, Cemetery Records, etc.

  1. Deeds and Mortgages
  2. Budgets 1963/64-66/67, 70/71-74/75
  3. Deacon Books 1876-1911, 1911-1939, 1938-1940 (plus summaries for 1941-1948)
  4. Deacon Books 1944-1949 and 1949-1957
  5. Cemetery Account Books 1926-1943 and 1943-1950
    Cemetery Contract Books 1942-1943, 1944-1945 and 1945-1947
    Cemetery Receipt Book 1950
    Loose Cemetery Receipt
  6. Record of Offerings 1912-1949, 1934-1949 and 1949-1953
  7. Record Books of Stewardship Canvasses Promoting Planned Giving 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960
  8. Stewardship Canvass Records 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1965 (unbound)
  9. Stewardship Canvass Training Manuals and Promotional Materials
  10. Young People's Account Books 1916-1932, 1944-1947 and 1948-1954
  11. Treasurer's Book 1975-1976
  12. Liability Insurance Policy 1981-1982
  13. Deacon Book 1941-1951 (unbound)
  14. Deacon Book 1954-1960 (unbound)
  15. Treasurer's Miscellaneous Financial Records 1948-1963
  16. Sunday School Account Books 1942-1947, 1955-1957
  17. D.B. Betzner's Account of Pastoral Support for Bishop Derstine, 1925-1928
  18. Financial statements, 1997-1999

Box 1.2 (long wide flat box) - Oversize Records

  1. Ladies Aid Accounts 1969
  2. Ladies Aid Accounts 1970
  3. Ladies Aid Accounts 1971
  4. Treasurer's Accounts 1959-1963
  5. Treasurer's Accounts 1966-1967
  6. Treasurer's Accounts 1967-1968
  7. Treasurer's Accounts 1970-1971
  8. Treasurer's Accounts 1973-1974
  9. Treasurer's Accounts 1974-1975
  10. George Wright Estate Records
  11. Material Specifications for 1927 Church Addition
  12. Correspondence re: 1950 Church Addition
  13. Correspondence re: 1985 Church Addition

Box 1.3 - Congregational Meetings, Directories, etc.

  1. Printed Programs 1893-1960
  2. Annual Financial Statements 1930-1931, 1940-1945
  3. Proposed Budgets 1956-1961
  4. Church Polity 1944
  5. Church Constitution 1957
  6. Church Constitutions
    1965, 1995, 2004, 2014
  7. Sunday School Constitution 1959
  8. Library Reports
  9. Congregational Meeting Minutes 1892 (photocopy)
  10. Congregational Meeting Minute Book 1903-1918
  11. Congregational Meeting Minute Book 1925-1937
  12. Congregational Meeting Minute Book 1938-1942
  13. Special Business Meeting Minute Book 1919-1952
  14. Stewardship Board Financial Statements 1953 and 1956
  15. Congregational Meeting Minutes 1935, 1938-1944, 1958
  16. Cemetery Plot Record Books
  17. Cemetery Correspondence
  18. C.F. Derstine's Marriage Register 1925-1949
  19. Merle Shantz's and John H. Hess's Marriage Register, 1940-1957
  20. C.F. Derstine's Record Book of Members and Adherents
  21. List of Funerals Officiated by Edgar Metzler
  22. Membership Book 1914-1950
  23. Membership Book 1950-2015
  24. E.S. Hallman Record Book, includes lists of confessions, baptisms and funerals (pp.180-196)
  25. Sunday School Record Book 1944-1959
  26. Letters of Membership Transfer 1959-1962
  27. Membership Lists/Directories
    1895-1970 (some photocopies from other sources)
    1973-1992, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011-2018
  28. Pictorial directories, 1974, 1982, 1988, 1992, 1995/96, 1999/00, 2003, 2018
  29. Formal documents
    "On Christian Marriage," 1998
    "Clarification of Membership Terminology," 1998
    "Congregational Plan for strengthening our integrated model," 1999
  30. First Mennonite Sector Plan, 1985-1988
  31. Renewal Journey = Jornada de Renovacion, 2009-2010

Box 1.4 - Church Council, etc.

  1. Trustee Board Minute Book 1944-1946
  2. Congregational minutes book,1946-1960; includes appendix of Building Committee Minutes 1949-1950
  3. Stewardship Board Minutes 1961-1962
  4. Stewardship Board Minutes
    1964-1984
    2001-2003
  5. Council of Boards Minutes 1958 (incomplete)
  6. Council of Boards Minutes 1960-1961
  7. Council of Boards Minutes 1965, 1967-1982
  8. Church Council Minutes 1962-1972
  9. Church Council Minutes 1973-1976
  10. Church Council Minutes 1976-1977
  11. Church Council Minutes 1977-1978
  12. Church Council Minutes 1978-1979
  13. Church Council Minutes 1979-1980
  14. Church Council Minutes 
    1980-1981
    2002-2009, 2011, 2017-2018
  15. Church Council Chair's File 1972-1974
  16. Church Council Chair's File 1974-1975
  17. Church Council Chair's File 1976
  18. Worship Committee Minutes 1959-1963
  19. Worship Study Committee Minutes 1960
  20. Christian Education Cabinet Minutes 1973-
  21. Mission and Service Board Minutes 1958-1977
  22. Mission and Service Board Minutes 1978-
  23. Elders Meeting Minutes 1974-
  24. Sunday Evening and Music Committee Minutes
  25. Commission on Divorce and Remarriage
  26. Commission on Aging
  27. Protection Plan: Children, Youth, Adults, and Leaders booklet 2018

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Box 1.5 Congregational Meetings

Annual & Congregational Meetings 
1951, 1957-1982
1991, 1993-1994, 1996-2000 
2001-2006, 2008-2010, 2013-2018

Box 1.6 - Correspondence

  1. Home Life Magazine Correspondence
  2. Annual Pastoral Letters
  3. Monthly Pastoral Letters 1950-1964
  4. Correspondence Pre-1955
  5. Correspondence 1955
  6. Correspondence 1956
  7. Correspondence 1957
  8. Correspondence 1958
  9. Correspondence 1959
  10. Correspondence 1960
  11. Correspondence 1961
  12. Correspondence 1962
  13. Correspondence 1963
  14. Correspondence 1964
  15. Correspondence 1965
  16. Correspondence 1966
  17. Correspondence 1967
  18. Correspondence 1968
  19. Correspondence 1969
  20. Correspondence 1970
  21. Haiti Project Correspondence 1969-1974
  22. Haiti Project Correspondence 1974-1975
  23. Organ Correspondence 1974-1977

Box 1.7 - Miscellaneous

  1. Church-School Week Committee 1958-1959
  2. K-W Hospital Radio Chapel 1957-1961
  3. K-W Council of Churches 1963-1967
  4. K-W Hospital Chapel 1967

Box 1.8 - Ladies' Aid Minutes

  1. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1908-1916
  2. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1916-1923
  3. Ladies' Aid Annual Meetings 1924-1925
  4. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1925-1937
  5. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1937-1941
  6. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1941-1947
  7. Ladies' Aid Minute Book 1948-1960
  8. Sewing Circle Relief Committee

Box 1.9 - Dorcas Circle Minutes

  1. Dorcas Circle Minute Book 1918-1935
  2. Dorcas Circle Minute Book 1930-1938
  3. Dorcas Circle Minutes 1939-1946 (missing)
  4. Dorcas Circle Minute Book 1947-1958
  5. Dorcas Circle Minutes 1959-1972
  6. Dorcas Circle Minutes 1972-1981
  7. Dorcas Circle Account Book 1928-1929
  8. Dorcas Circle Account Book 1928-1936
  9. Dorcas Circle Annual Reports 1931-1941
  10. Dorcas Circle Account Book 1941-1981
  11. Dorcas Fellowship record book, 1976-1995 (the "Fellowship" was for single women and widows)

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Box 1.10 - Bon Accord Minutes

  1. Bon Accord Minute Books
  2. Bon Accord Attendance Records
  3. Bon Accord Account Book, 1947-1993
  4. Young Women's Bible Class Missionary Offering Account Book 1940-1952
  5. Young Women's Bible Class Missionary Offering Account Book 1952- 1958
  6. Young Women's Auxiliary Minute Book 1963-1969
  7. Young Women's Auxiliary Account Book 1963-1968
  8. Young Women's Auxiliary Membership List 1966-1967

Box 1.11 - Women's Organizations, Misc.

  1. Published articles on women's missionary organizations
  2. History of women's organizations at First Mennonite Church
  3. Constitution of First Mennonite's Women's Missionary and Service Auxiliary
  4. Planning Committee Minutes 1955-
  5. WMSA Correspondence 1955-1962
  6. WMSA Minutes 1965-1971

Box 1.12 - Young People's Bible Meetings, Mennonite Youth Fellowship

  1. Young Peoples' Bible Meeting Programs
  2. Young Peoples' Bible Meeting Minute Book 1936-1938
  3. Young Peoples' Bible Meeting Minute Book 1943-1950
    3a. Intermediate YPM records, 1943-1945
    3b. YPBM financial records, 1938-1947
  4. Mennonite Youth Fellowship Program Materials
  5. Mennonite Youth Fellowship Correspondence 1957-1962
  6. Mennonite Youth Fellowship Correspondence 1963-1969
  7. Mennonite Youth Fellowship Correspondence 1970-1981
  8. Couples' Club
  9. Junior Camp Reports 1960-1961
  10. Church Camp 1963
  11. Church Camp 1964
  12. Church Camp 1964-1965
  13. Instruction Class Materials 1959-1960
  14. Baptismal Vows 1969
  15. Torchbearers
  16. Student Aid

Box 1.13 - Daily Vacation Bible School

  1. Daily Vacation Bible School Programs and Correspondence 1928- 1969
  2. Daily Vacation Bible School Progams and Correspondence
  3. Edna B. Rowe. Standard Vacation Bible School Courses Kindergarten: First Year. Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1928.
  4. Arthur W. Gross. The One Eternal God: A Workbook for Vacation Bible School. St. Louis, Missouri, n.d.
  5. Daily Vacation Bible School Scrapbook of Programs, 1928-1963
  6. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1940-1960, for children aged four
  7. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged five
  8. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged six
  9. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged seven
  10. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged eight
  11. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged nine
  12. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged ten
  13. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged eleven
  14. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged twelve
  15. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged thirteen
  16. Daily Vacation Bible School Attendance Record, 1937-1950, for children aged fourteen
  17. Memorabilia from 1940 Vacation Bible School saved by Margaret Fuller

Box 1.14 - Biographical information on prominant women

  1. Louida Bauman
  2. Elaine Brubacher
  3. Mary Clemens
  4. Mary Cressman
  5. Una Cressman
  6. Doris Gascho
  7. Alice Kehl
  8. Maria Kolb
  9. Ruby Schmidt
  10. Linda Shantz
  11. Susannah Shantz
  12. Alice Snyder
  13. Florence Snyder
  14. Mary Snyder
  15. Dorothy Swartzentruber
  16. Barbara Sherk
  17. Malinda Mumaw

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Box 1.15 - Research for 175th Anniversary History

  1. Baden Mission
  2. Blacks (Charlie Jones)
  3. Brubacher, Glenn
  4. Choir
  5. Deacon Board (Eldership)
  6. Derstine, C.F.
  7. Dress
  8. Knollwood Park Gospel Centre
  9. Polity
  10. Rockway Mennonite Church
  11. Spanish Ministry
  12. Sunday School
  13. Theology of Evangelism
  14. World War I
  15. World War II
  16. Young Peoples' Bible Meetings
  17. Balmer, Brice
  18. Stirling Ave.

Box 1.16 - Historical Writings

  1. Samuel Bowman's History 1902
  2. Aaron Kolb's History 1902
  3. George Weber's Historical Notes n.d.
  4. J.B. Cressman's History 1939
  5. 1950 Church Addition Dedication programme
  6. 150th Anniversary Book
  7. 1963 Stewardship Calendar
  8. 160th Anniversary (1974) Materials
  9. 1834 Meetinghouse Materials
  10. Berlin/Kitchener Maps
  11. Hand copied Articles from Religoser Botschafter Newspaper
  12. Berlin/Kitchener Histories
  13. Berlin Deeds
  14. Berlin Roads
  15. Waterloo County Deeds
  16. Newspaper Clippings
  17. Historical Materials Collected by 175th Anniversary Committee
  18. 175th Anniversary Committee Correspondence and Minutes
  19. 175th Anniversary Committee Minutes

Box 1.17 - Sunday School, etc.

  1. Cecil Gingrich's Note Book of Lessons, Sermons, and Blair Gospel Service Worship Schedules
  2. Nursery Schedule 1969-1976
  3. Cradle Roll Birthday and Record Books 1928-1950
  4. Secret Sisters 1957-1984
  5. Sunday School Record Book, 1931-1935
  6. Annual Sunday school reports to Conference, 1926-1932
  7. Teacher's meetings minutes, 1931-1938
  8. Sunday school minutes, teacher lists, 1944-1962
  9. Sunday school account book, 1962-1982

Box 1.18 - Miscellaneous

  1. Obituary notices, 1969-1992
  2. Special programs

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Series 2:  Informal records and memorabilia

Box 2.1 - Books 

Biblia, Das ist: Die ganze Heilige Schrift des Alten und Neuen Testaments, Nach der dutschen Uebersetzung D. Martin Luthers; Mit eines jeden Capitels kurzen Summarien, Auch beygefügten vielen aufs neue berichtigten Parallelen. Philadelphia: Kimber und Scharple, 1831. Typeset bookplate is pasted on inside front cover: "Diese Bibel ist bestimmt zum Lob Gottes und Gebrauch in Eby's Versammlungshaus" (This Bible is intended for the praise of God and use in Eby's meetinghouse).

The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments: Translated out of the Original Tongues; and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised, By His Majesty's Command. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1884. Inscription on front flyleaf: This bible has been placed here instead of the one formerly used, and owned by my Grandfather the late Rev Benjamin Eby. Berlin. Eby's church--August 27th 1886. E. E. Eby.

C. R. Demme, ed. Die Werke des Flavius Josephus, des berichten Judischen Geschichtsreibers. Enthaltend: Zwanzig Bucher von der alten Judischen Geschichte; Sieben Bucher vom Kriege der Juden mid den Römern; Zwey Bucher von dem alten Herkommen der Juden wider Apion; Ein Buch von dem M?rertode er Makkab?nd Das Leben des Josephus von ihm selbst geschrieben. Philadelphia: Kimber und Scharpleß 1846.

Christian Monitor. June, 1924-December, 1928.

Das Neue Testament Unsers Herrn und Heilandes Jesue Christi, Nach der Deutschen Uebsetzung Doctor Martin Luthers. Mit kurzem Inhalt eines jeden Capitels, und vollständiger Anweisung gleicher Schriftstellen. Wie auch aller Sonn-und Festt?en Evangelien und Episteln. Lancaster: Johann Bär, 1844. Inscription on inside front cover: "Dieses Testament ist bestimmit zum Lob Gottes und Gebrauch in Eby's Versammlungshaus" (This testament is intended for the praise of God and use in Eby's meetinghouse).

Unpartheyisches Gesang-Buch, enthaltend Geistreiche Lieder und Psalmen, zum allgemeinen Gebrauch des Wahren Gottesdienstes. Lancaster: Johann Bär, 1820. Inscription on outside front cover: "Dieses Gesang Buch gehoret in des Eby's Versammlungshaus" (This song book belongs in Eby's meetinghouse).

Christliches Gemeinsgesprach vom Seligmachenden Glauben, für die Jugend, in Fragen und Antworten; und ein Glaubens-Bekenntniss der Mennoniten. Nebst einem Anhang. Elkhart, Indiana: J. F. Funk, 1873. Inscription on front flyleaf: "This book belongs to Christian Ebys, meeting house Catechism and Confession of Faith of the Mennonite Church."

Spurgeon, C.H. Twelve Striking Sermons by C.H. Spurgeon. London: Passmore and Alabaster, n.d. Typeset bookplate pasted on inside flyleaf: "Mennonite Sunday School at Eby's Church. This reward is presented to Lucinda Betzner, Jan 1st 1892. Teacher Andrew Schaaf, Sup't: Isidor B. Snyder, Asst. Sup't: David Shuh, Secretary: Josiah Weber".

Moody, D. L. Bible Characters. Chicago: Fleming H. Revell, 1888. Typeset bookplate pasted on inside flyleaf: "Mennonite Sunday School at Eby's Church. This reward is presented to Susannah Shantz, Jan 1st 1892. Teacher Mary Oberholtzer, Supt't: Isidor B. Snyder, Asst. Sup't: David Shuh, Secretary: Josiah Weber".

Derstine, C. F. The Sheet Music of Heaven (Spiritual Song): The Might Triumphs of Sacred Song. Eureka, Ill.: C. F. Derstine, 1925.

Die Gemeinschaftliche Liedersammlung zum allgemeinen Gebrauch des wahren Gottesdienstes: Mit einem Inhalt sammt zweifachem Register versehen. Berlin, Canada: Boedecker u. Stuebing, 1857. Title page missing. Inscription on inside flyleaf: Samuel S. Bowman, Berlin, April 6--1902.

The Child's Preacher: or, The Gospel Taught to Children in Very Simple Language / by the Hon. and Rev. L. Barrington. London : Wertheim and Macintosh, 1853. Inscription on flyleaf: Simon Bowman's Prize Book 1871. William Sherk, Teacher. [Simon Bowman was son of preacher Samuel S.Bowman.] 

Box 2.2

Stewardship Slides, 1964
Plaque presented to Bishop C. F. Derstine in 1964
Four copper engravings of First Mennonite Church buildings

Songs of the Christian faith compiled by E.V. Halt, Y.P. Rodeheaver, Kenneth Wells (Winona Lake, Ind. : Rodeheaver Hall-Mack Co, 1945) (K-W Fireside stamped on cover; used in 1950s)

The sheet music of heaven (spiritual song) : the mighty triumphs of sacred song by C.F. Derstine (Toronto, Ont. : Evangelical Publishers, 1925) (Label on front flyleaf: "Property of First Mennonite Ladies Aid") 

Bryan Suderman, "The Development of the Spanish Community at the First Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ontario," CMBC student paper, 1988, 23, [12] leaves.

Ernie Martin, "Memories of First Mennonite," n.d., 1 leaf

Clippings

Promotional materials

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Series 3: Newsletters

First Forum November 
1974-1982
1982-1991
1992-2000 (incomplete)
2002-2005, 2007 
First Mennonite Messenger, Jan-Mar. 1970
Your Mennonite Neighbours: A [...] Newsletter from First Mennonite Church and Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, Oct 1988, Mar 1989, Jun 1991

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Series 4: Bulletins

1949-1955 (incomplete)
1956-2018

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