Hunta Mennonite Church (Frederickhouse, ON)

Classification scheme: 
III-57

Title: Hunta Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1974-
Note: Further accruals are expected.

Physical description: 12 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The church is located at Site 1, Box 1, Camp 2, Frederickhouse, ON P0L 1K0; 8 km north of Highway 11 on Hunta Rd.

Hunta, Ontario is a small hamlet in Northern Ontario located about 25 km west of Cochrane, Ontario, north of the Trans-Canada highway on Hunta Road. At one time a thriving community with a railway station, general store and sawmill, Hunta now includes a small cluster of homes and a large transformer station.

In the 1960s Eli and Mary Landis and their sons from Berks County, Pennsylvania, came to the Hunta area to hunt moose and bear. In the late 1960s Eli purchased some land and some livestock near Hunta. The Jerry Miller family moved to the area in 1969 to look after the livestock. The Landis family, including their married sons, moved to the area in 1970.

A first worship service was held in 21 June 1970, with a total of 39 in attendance. The Millers returned for visits in fall 1970 and again in March 1971 and helped to establish a Summer Bible School in 1971, assisted by the Arlen Kauffman family from Michigan. During these years pastoral leadership came from visiting ministers. Hunta Mennonite's first communion service was held 24 October 1971, officiated by Bishop Raymond Charles of the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church. The Lancaster Conference asked Raymond Charles to give formal oversight to the developing congregation on 20 November 1973.

The distance from the Lancaster Conference became an increasing issue, especially when the small congregation went through some difficult times at the end of the 1970s. The Mennonite Conference of Ontario agreed to take over denominational responsibility for the congregation, and in May 1980 welcomed Hunta as a congregation in the conference. They provided financial and administrative assistance in provision of pastoral leadership at that time.

The first church building was constructed in 1974; prior to that time services were held in the Hunta Community Centre and other local buildings. This building served until 1999 when it was renovated and expanded, with a dedication service on 25 June 2000.

As the only Protestant church in the local area, Hunta Mennonite Church has always played an important spiritual role in the local Hunta/Frederickhouse community. This has included use of the church building by local groups, a community youth club, summer picnics and Bible school, Christmas sing-alongs, and assistance to persons in need within the community. Hunta's mission statement commits itself to "respond to God's love through Christ centered worship, Bible based nurture, and Spirit led outreach."

Pastoral leaders have included Raymond Charles, Arlen Kauffman, Willard Moyer, J. Harold Sherk, David Danton, Henry Yantzi, Vernon Brubacher, Sam Shantz, Polly Johnson and Glenn Carney.

Custodial history: The initial donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario were made prior to 2000; a later donation of photographs, annual reports and some bulletins was made by Bill Heavener in December 2003 and in 2004. A donation of bulletins and special programs was made by Vernon Brubacher in 2011.

Scope and content: There are three series: formal records, informal records and bulletins.

Note: For photographs of this congregation, see the Mennonite Archival Image Database.

Original description created by Sam Steiner, January 2004

File list:

Series 1 - Formal Records

  1. Council and congregational meeting minutes, 1974-1988 (photocopies)
  2. Annual Reports, 2002-05 and related documents
  3. Congregational Leaders, 1997-2004, 2007, 2010

Series 2 - Informal Records

  1. Histories
    "Living the Gospel in the Northland" by Hubert Schwartzentruber, 1979
    "History of the Hunta Mennonite Church" by Grace Landis (Mrs. Eli Landis), early 1980s
    "The first 25 years: a brief history of Hunta Mennonite Church" by Rita Carney?, 1995
    "Brief History of Hunta Mennonite Church" 1995
    Map locating member families, 1980s?
  2. Special programs & reports, 1980-
    Note: Includes programs for various pastoral installations, and for World Day of Prayer 1991 and 1992; Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 1992
  3. Clippings
  4. Correspondence

Series 3 - Bulletins

Jun 1990 - Aug 1992 Note: 5 Jan 1992 bulletin is mislabeled 5 Jan 1991 
single bulletins from 1996, 2000, 2001
2003 Note: not complete

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