Riverdale Mennonite Church (Millbank, ON)

Classification scheme: 
V-14

Dates of creation: 1961-2014

Physical description: 70 cm. of textual record

Administrative history: The congregation is located at the west end of Millbank on Perth Line 72. Millbank, ON, N0K 1L0. (519) 595-4055.

The Riverdale congregation began as a church plant by the Maple View and Poole Amish Mennonite congregations in 1946. It was initially known as the Millbank Mission.

The building utilized by the congregation was originally built by the Presbyterian denomination in 1891. The creation of the United Church of Canada resulted in the merger of several congregations; the building fell into disuse in the 1940s.  It was sold with the intent of converting it into a chicken barn. However the Mission Board of the Amish Mennonite conference purchased the building in 1946 for $1900.

Renovations to the space took place numerous times over the years.

Sam Erb from the Maple View congregation did most of the preaching until Menno Zehr was ordained in 1948. Valentine Nafziger was ordained first as a minister, then a bishop, in 1951. In early 1956 he led a division in the congregation; the group that left began the Bethel Conservative Mennonite Church.

Pastoral leaders since 1946 have included Sam Erb (1946-1948), Menno Zehr (1948-1983), Valentine Nafziger (1951-1956), David Jantzi (1958-1982), Glenn Zehr (1982-2000), Darrell Jantzi (Interim, 2000/01), Clive Ollies (2001-2006), Sue C. Steiner (Interim, 2006/2007), Jim Brown (2007-2015), Doug Amstutz (2015- ).   

In 1950 there were 86 members; in 1965, 162; in 1975, 192; in 1985, 207; in 1995, 235.

The congregation closed in 2017.

Custodial history: The congregation has made periodic donations to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario; the largest came in late 2000 from Glenn Zehr.

Scope and Content: There are four series: Formal records, Informal Records, Church bulletins and Newsletters

Notes:

Original archival description created December 1999 by Sam Steiner

For further information see: A history of Riverdale Mennonite Church, 1946-1996 (Millbank, Ont.: The Church, 1996), 67 pp

See also Sound Recordings for Riverdale-related tapes

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Annual meeting minute book, 1948-1984
  2. Annual reports, 1983-2000, 2005-2009, 2012-2014
  3. Constitutions, 1987, 1992, 1999
  4. Membership records (1956-1977) & wedding register (1961-1977)(Menno Zehr book)
  5. Membership records (1967-1982), marriages, deaths, reports (David Jantzi records)
  6. Church directories, 1982-84, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000
  7. Church Council minutes
    1960-1985
    1986-1988
    1989-1990 Aug.
    1990 Sep.-1992 Aug.
    1992/93
    1993/94
    1994/95
    1995/96
    1996/97
    1997/98
    1998/99
    2004 (Dec.)
    2005-2009
  8. Support Group/Elders minutes
    1982-1984 (Support Group)
    1984-1992 (Elders)
    1993-1996
  9. Sunday Evening Committee minutes, 1982-1992
  10. Gift Discernment Committee
    1982-1990
    1990-2000
  11. Mission Board/Committee
    1953-1977
  12. Financial record & reports,
    Annual reports, 1975, 1979, 1980
    Offering receipt journals, 1962-1977
    Cash journals, 1958-1965, 1968-1982
  13. Worship Committee minutes, 1994-1997
  14. Vacation Bible School reports and financial statements, 1963-1995
  15. Vacation Bible School teacher lists and attendance records, 
    1973-1979
    1980-1995
  16. Mennonite Youth Fellowship
    Minutes & Secretary's reports, 1960-1961, 1963-1972, 1977-1979

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Vacation Bible School, pastor's file, 1982-1999
  2. Church Council correspondence, 1986-1991
  3. Elders correspondence, 1982-1992
  4. Riverdale profile and pastoral transition materials, 1982
  5. Student lists, 1986-2000
  6. Congregational Vision retreat records, 1996
  7. Care Team visits to members (summaries), 1990
  8. Yearbook information (Misc.), 1982-1998
  9. Missionary letters from persons supported by congregation, 1982-2000
  10. Correspondence at time of division in congregation, 1956
  11. Tent crusade materials, 1955, 1979
  12. Misc. programs, 1938-
    Note: Includes program for Non-Resistance Conference, 1957
  13. Misc. clippings, ca. 1950-
  14. Historical notes
    1946-1977 (gathered by Menno Zehr)
    Historical notes, 1986 (40th anniversary)
    Historical notes, 1991 (45th anniversary)
    Historical notes, 1996 (50th anniversary)
  15. Wo-He-Lo Literary book, 1951; also Winter Bible School notes (donated by Marcella Schwartzentruber Martin)
  16. Riverdale Mennonite Church, 1946-1996 (Millbank : The Church, 1996)

Series 3: Church bulletins

1961-2014

Series 4: Newsletters

Reflections on Riverdale, 1991-1995 (Incomplete), Jan/Mar 2011-Jul/Sept 2011, Jan/Mar 2012

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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