Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church

Classification scheme: 
III-53

Title: Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church fonds

Dates of creation: 1964-1986

Physical description: 16 cm of textual records

Administrative history: Located on Lot 1, Concession 2, Markham Township, Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church began services and formally organized in 1965. The congregation resulted from a division in the Reesor Mennonite congregation, a congregation of the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference. A majority of the members joined the new group. The two congregations continued to share the building until Steeles Avenue merged with the Cedar Grove Mennonite Church in 1986 to form the Rouge Valley Mennonite Church

The congregation became part of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario in 1965. The congregation also participated in the Markham Mennonite Council. Pastoral leaders included: Newton Gingrich (1965); Emerson McDowell (1966-1976); George Reesor (lay leader, 1977); Paul Martin (1978-1979), Arthur Byer (1980-1985); Steve Drudge (1986). In 1986 there were 99 members.

The Reesor Mennonite Meetinghouse dates back to approximately 1820, when a log building was constructed at the north-west corner of Steeles Avenue and the Pickering town line, then known as Reesor's Corners. It served as a school and church for Mennonites and Presbyterians.  The original building was replaced in the 1855 or 1857, and was renovated and enlarged in 1950. This building was designated as an historic site by the Town of Markham.

Scope and content: Correspondence and minutes, notes on the founding of the congregation, and history of the church building.

Custodial history: Donated by George Reesor in the 1980s.

Notes: Original description created by Sam Steiner, March 2000
For further information see: A brief historical sketch of the Steeles Avenue (Markham) Mennonite Congregation / Nighswander, J.M. - Markham, Ont. : s.n., [199-?]
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.

File list:

Series 1: Formal records

  1. Meeting minutes and correspondence, 1965-1986
  2. Directories, 1981, 1986
  3. Sunday School teachers' meetings, 1983-1984
  4. Congregational profiles, 1982, [1984?]

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Notes on the formation of Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church, 1964-1965
  2. A brief history of Reesor Mennonite Meetinghouse
    Note: includes transcription of a diary kept by Simeon Reesor on his trip to Manitoba as an interpreter for Mennonite immigrants, May 1875.
  3. A brief history of the Steeles Avenue Mennonite Church 1964-1986 by Joe Nighswander, 1986

Series 3: Bulletins

(not complete)

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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