Kitchener-Waterloo House Church

Classification scheme: 

Note: This description is in process.

Title: K-W House Churches fonds
Note: Also known as Kitchener-Waterloo House Church

Dates of Creation:

Physical Description:

Administrative History:

The house church began services in 1969, and formally organized in 1970. Walter Klaassen and John W. Miller are considered the founding leaders of the group. The congregation originated through outreach by Mennonite and non-Mennonite individuals. The group is considered to be a congregation and a member of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, but in effect functioned as a cluster of individual house churches with a central meeting place where they gathered in alternate weeks. In 1988 there were four house churches.

March 1988 saw the beginning of the Reception Centre for refugees newly arrived in Canada. The House Church property at 101 David Street had been used to house refugees for several years. In 1988 the House Church signed a contract with the government to provide services, and began to appoint staff. The reception centre and house church programs overlapped in their board personnel, and contributed to the stress of the 1990s.

A subsequent division within the house church led to the separation of House Church #2 from the other house churches in the early 1990s. The issues included the appropriate language for God (was feminine language permitted), the nature of the Mennonite peace position and the appropriate sexual ethic in relation to marriage. The authority of founder John W. Miller was also controversial. House Church #2 eventually became the Blenheim Ecumenical House Church. The other house churches eventually dissolved  except for one house church that retained the name KW House Church.

Custodial History:
The newsletters were donated at an unknown date by the House Church. Items from the 1990s were donated by MCEC in 2016. A substantial collection of materials was donated by Mark & Glennis Yantzi in 2017.

Scope and Content:

There are three series: Records, Informal Records and Newsletters

Series 1: Records

  1. Constitution, 1978
  2. Covenant Statement, n.d.
  3. House Church 5 minutes, 1978-1982
  4. House Church representatives minutes, 1980-1984
  5. Affiliation with Mennonite Conference of Ontario & Quebec, 1982-1984
  6. House Church and Reception Centre minutes and financial records,
  7. House Church members lists, n.d., 1999, 2002
  8. House Church Charitable Entity records, 2002-2006
  9. Reception Centre Job Descriptions and Personnel Policies, 1988-2006
  10. K-W House Church Assembly income tax returns, 2000-2002, 2004
  11. K-W House Church Assembly property tax assessments (101 David Street, Kitchener), 2002-2005
  12. House Church Discretionary Fund records, 1999-2003

Series 2: Informal Records

  1. Draft history, ca. 1980
  2. House Church Assembly worship programs (scattered), 1998-2003
  3. Reception Centre materials and evaluation by Power Analysis, Inc., 2001
  4. "Organizational review of Kitchener-Waterloo Reception Centre" by Sarah Cardey, 2005
  5. Clippings, 1988-2004
  6. Brochures, n.d., 2002

Series 3: Newsletters

News and Views, July 1973-July 1975
Ikos, July 1978-Summer 1979, Winter 1980-Winter/Spring 1981, September 1984-December 1984
Lamplighters' Newsletter, 2010


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 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