Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, ON)

Classification scheme: 

Dates of creation: 1865, 1916-2007

5 cm. of textual records

37818 Zurich Hensall Rd. (County Rd. 84), Zurich, ON, N0M 2T0. (519) 236-4933.

In 1950 there were 143 members; in 1965, 140; in 1975, 185; in 1985, 233; in 1995, 268; in 2000, 276. The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec (1908-1988), Mennonite Church (1908-1999), Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1988-) and Mennonite Church Canada (1995-). The language of worship is English.

The congregation began services and formally organized in 1908. The first building was occupied in 1910, with a subsequent building program in 1989. Peter Ropp is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through division from Hay Amish Mennonite over rejection of dress regulations.

Pastoral leaders who served Zurich have included: Christian Schrag (1911-1939), Stephen Peachey (1935-1952), Cyril Gingerich (1951/52), Albert Martin (1949-1961), Orval Jantzi (1961-1966), Ephraim Gingerich (1966-1970), Cyril Gingerich (Interim, 1971), Clayton Kuepfer (1972-1990), Paul & Grace Brunner (Interim, 1991/92), Winston Martin (Interim, 1992), Phil & Julie Bender (1993-1997), Reynold Kipfer (Interim 1998/99), Harold & Judy Shantz (2000-2003), Phil Wagler (2003-2010), Tim Doherty (2004-2011), Tom Roes (2007- ), Ken Gazley (Interim, 2012-2014), Ryan Jantzi (2016- )

An earlier congregation in this community was known as the Hay Mennonite Church. It is first mentioned in 1837, and a meetinghouse was built about 1864. Daniel Brundage was a minister in this community; Henry Newschwanger also served here in the 1860s. Henry B. Detweiler became minister in 1874 until 1893. Following this the congregation dwindled until the present congregation came into being. The deed relates to this earlier congregation.

 For further information see: Zurich Mennonite Church : Seventy-five years 1908-1983. Zurich, ON: The Church, 1983; L.J. Burkholder, A brief history of the Mennonites in Ontario (1935), 99-100, 125.

Custodial history: Programs and deed donated at unknown time; other items from Steve Gingerich, May 2007.

Created February 2002 by Sam Steiner

There are three series: Formal records, Informal records and Bulletins

Series 1: Formal records

  1. "Indenture of Bargain and Sale between Jacob Wideman to Trustees of Old Menonists Church," 16 September 1865  (Also includes signatures of Mary Ann Wideman, Heinrich Neuschwenger and Abraham E. Reist) This land for a church building was part of Lot 9, 10th Concession of the Township of Hay.
  2. Annual meeting reports and minutes
    1980, 2003-2006
  3. Church Council minutes
    November 2004-April 2007

Series 2: Informal records

  1. Miscellaneous programs, 1916-1999.
  2. Historical narratives
    Zurich Mennonite Church: Seventy-Five Years, 1908-1983
    "Historical resume of the Zurich Mennonite congregation," Selda Steckle, June 1981
    "History of Zurich Mennonite Church"

Series 3: Bulletins

1981, 1982, 1989 (few random issues)
2004-2007 (Incomplete)

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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238