Classification scheme: 

Title: Grace Lao Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of Creation: 1996

Physical description: 1 cm of textual records

Administrative history: 

The St. Jacobs Mennonite Church began to sponsor Laotian persons  near the end of 1980. By 1988 the church had sponsored at least eight Lao families.

A Sunday school for the Laotian families began in 1982, and included Bible reading in both English and Laotian. Five or six Laotians attended every Sunday. Beginning in 1985 Pastor Tong Chitchalerntham visited the Laotians in St. Jacobs once every two months. Sometimes Ong ath Phounsavath from Hamilton, Ontario accompanied him.

On 21 April 1986 the group met with persons from the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec. The meeting concluded the Lao group had the potential for becoming a church. In the fall of 1987, Ong ath and his family came to minister to the group once a month. The Lao Fellowship soon asked Ong ath to come and live in the community. On 27 May 1990 Ong ath Phounsavath was licensed as a minister in the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada. The congregation was first known as the St. Jacobs Lao Mennonite Church.

At Christmas 1993 the Grace Lao Mennonite Church, as it became known, held a meeting to discuss the possibility of collecting money from each member family, to enable the the congregation to move to Kitchener where all of its members lived. In April 1996 the Grace Lao Mennonite congregation was received as an emerging congregation in the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada. In October 1999 the group moved to a church building purchased at 575 Lancaster St. W. in Kitchener.

Custodial history: First accession received from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in 2016.

Scope and Content: There are two series: Formal records and Informal records.

Notes: Any photographs related to this congregation can be found in Hist.Mss.10

Series 1: Formal Records

Series 2: Informal Records

  1. Correspondence
    1996 (including application to become member of MCEC)
  2. History
    One page history prepared in October 1997 along with list of charter members


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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