Title: Niagara United Mennonite Church fonds
Dates of creation: 1961-1989, 2013-2021
Physical description: 60 cm of textual records
Administrative history: The church is located 0.5 miles northeast of Virgil on the south side of Stone Road, in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The first "Russian" Mennonites settled in the Virgil/Niagara-on-the-Lake region in 1934. Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites held occasional worship services together in the early years.
Local leaders decided to build a church in 1937 after efforts to purchase a building fell through. The founding meeting of the new congregation was held in the basement of the new facility on Feb. 1, 1938. The building was finally completed in 1940, with a subsequent building program in 1949, with an educational wing and auditorium added in the 1960s.
The congregation has been affiliated with the Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario (1938-1988), Conference of Mennonites in Canada (1938-), General Conference Mennonite Church (1938-) and Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (1988-). The language of worship in 1999 remained English and German; the transition from German began in the 1950s.
Custodial history: The congregation has made minimal donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario; the major archival collection remains at the church.
Scope and content: There are four series: Formal records, Informal records, Church bulletins and Newsletters.
Notes: For further information see Niagara United Mennonite Church history: Eben-Ezer 25 Jahre, 1938-1963 (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: Niagara United Mennonite Church, 1963), 46 pp.; The Niagara United Mennonite Church, 1938-1988 (Niagara-on-the-Lake: Niagara United Mennonite Church, 1988), 196 pp.; C. Alfred Friesen, Memoirs of the Virgil-Niagara Mennonites (1984), 39-42.
Original archival description created December 1999 by Sam Steiner.
For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
For sound recordings related to this congregation, see Hist.Mss.9.25.
Further materials related to this congregation may be found by searching the Archives.
An encyclopedia entry for this congregation may be found in GAMEO.
Series 1: Formal records
- Directory, 1964, 1966, 1975, 1977, 1979-1980, 1983, 1985, 1989, 2015, 2020
- Annual and congregational meetings and annual reports, 1938-1955, 1957-2018, 2020-2021
Note: Reports from 1938-1945 and 1948 were written by Peter Kroeker and translated from German by his niece Martha (Kroeker Epp) Bartel. Files from reporting years 2011-2021 do not include annual meeting minutes.
- Statuten, 1966
- Membership records, 1938-1998 ; predominantly 1983-1980s
1. Engagements, marriages, births, child dedications, transfers, deaths, 1988-1998
Note: For earlier records of this type, see back of membership ledger #2
2. Membership ledgers
3. Family registers
4. Membership supporting documents, 1938-1958
5. Memos of records transfer
- Mission and Service Committee, 1988-2005
- Education Committee, 1999, 2001-2003, 2015
- Worship Committee, 1989-1993, 1997-1998, 2004, 2018, 2018-2019
- Spiritual Council, 1993-2000, 2001-2005, 2010, 2012-2015, 2018-2019
- Church Council, 1945-1954, Mar 1957, 1958-2006, 2008-2010
Series 2: Informal records
- Niagara United Mennonite Church history: Eben-Ezer 25 Jahre, 1938-1963 (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: Niagara United Mennonite Church, 1963), 46 pp. (3 copies)
- Familienkalender, 1961
- Niagara United Mennonite Church Statistics, 1938-1976
- P.H. Dirks, Heiraten (Virgil, Ont. : Author, n.d.); P. H. Dirks, Kurzer Ueberblick der Missions-geschichte in Fragen und Antworten (Virgil, Ont. : The Author, n.d.)
- Special programs
50th anniversary program, 9 Jul 1988
"Music and Artefacts of the Mennonites," 2001
Series 3: Church bulletins
Nov. 1966-Sept. 1968
20 Apr. 1997
2013-2020 (2015 incomplete)
Note: Includes funeral bulletins
Series 4: Newsletter
Spring 1986, Christmas 1989, Fall 1990
Life with us at Niagara United Mennonite Church 2014 (Sept. and Nov.), 2015 (Jan.-Feb., Apr.-Dec.), 2016 (Jan.-Dec.), 2017 (Jan.-Dec.), 2018 (Jan.-Apr.)-2019 (Sept.-Dec.), 2020 (Jan.-Sept.)