Classification scheme: 

Title: Olive Branch Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1986-2006

Physical description: 8 cm of textual records

Administrative history: Olive Branch had its genesis in conversations within the Inter-Mennonite Service Board. Over a period of time, the feeling grew that a new Mennonite congregation was needed in Waterloo. In the spring and summer of 1984, a series of public meetings took place in order to determine who was interested and what their vision was for a new congregation. The first regular worship services were held at the Adult Recreation Centre in fall of 1984. The worshippers relocated to the lower level of Erb Street Church shortly thereafter. At the end of September 1985 the worshippers were ready to declare themselves to be a congregation. A covenanting service was held, in which sixteen persons committed themselves publicly to membership in the congregation. In the spring of 1986 the congregation was recognized as an emerging congregation by the Inter-Mennonite Conference.

The congregation met first at Erb Street Mennonite Church, and later shared church facilities with an Anglican and Presbyterian church in Waterloo. In 2003 it moved to 116 Queen St. N. Kitchener, Ontario (Church of the Good Shepherd at Queen & Margaret Streets in Kitchener).

In 1995 there were 41 members; in 2000, 30; in 2004, 30.

Olive Branch operated with participatory leadership and a committee of coordinators. Lay leader Jane Reble chaired the coordinating committee in 2004. It was a publicly affirming member of the Supporting Communities Network of the Brethren/Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Interests beginning in July 1995.

28 May 2006 in a congregational meeting Olive Branch decided to close. It held its last service 30 September 2006.

Custodial history: The congregation's records were donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Jane Reble in August 2008; a few records were received in the early 1990s.

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

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

For photographs related to this congregation search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.

An encyclopedia entry for this congregation may be found in GAMEO

Original archival description created September 2008 by Sam Steiner

File list:

Series 1: Formal Records

  1. Congregational meeting minutes, 1986-2006 (incomplete)
  2. Coordinating Council minutes, 1993-2005
  3. Membership files, transfer records, 1985-2002
  4. Olive Branch visioning documents, 1997, 2004
  5. Rental agreement, Church of the Good Shepherd, 2003
  6. Process in becoming Welcoming Congregation in Supportive Congregations Network, 1994-1995
  7. Sunday school records, 1990-1992

Series 2: Informal Records

  1. Olive Branch Information booklets, `1986, ca. 1993 (policy documents, history, etc., includes 1986, 1993 & 1997 membership lists, and several listings of positions)
  2. Historical papers (some submissions to MCEC yearbook, 1984-1991
  3. Letters from the church to members who are away, 1988-1991
  4. Development of Covenant Statement, 1985, 1994
  5. Correspondence with Revenue Canada, 1986/87
  6. Funeral service for Timothy Epp-Tiessen (30 August 1986-31 October 1994)

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Generally 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238