Classification scheme: 

Title: Canada East Fellowship Retreat fonds

Dates of creation: 1981-2011

Physical description: 12 cm of textual records ; 114 cassette audio tapes ; 7 photographs

Administrative history: The East Africa Revival began as an ecumenical, grass-roots Christian renewal movement in 1929. The movement emphasized a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ, and encouraged a Christ-centered life in community that broke down barriers of denomination, race, class and ethnicity. Women took significant leadership roles in the movement.

Subsequently, African revival leaders were invited to speak in European and North American settings. Mennonites first encountered the movement after the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions established a mission in Tanzania in 1934. North American Mennonite missionaries returning from East Africa spoke of the influence of the revival on their lives, and sought to bring the same revival to North American Mennonites through itineration and fellowship conferences.

In 1981, Simeon and Edna Hurst and Ron and Marjorie Lofthouse from Ontario attended an East Africa revival fellowship retreat in Minneapolis. They were inspired to bring a similar retreat to Ontario, and gathered a group together to plan an event in Kitchener for September of that year. Successive annual retreats would follow until 2006. From 1985 onwards, the retreats were held at Chesley Lake Camp. The initial planning group included Simeon and Edna Hurst, Ron and Marjorie Lofthouse, Amsey and Leona Martin, Darrell and Florence Jantzi, Nelson and Wilma Martin, Erwin and Marian Wiens and Howard and Della Tyrell. Don Jacobs of Pennsylvania, a former Mennonite missionary to East Africa, also provided significant leadership. Victor and Viola Dorsch, returned missionaries from Africa to Ontario, also became involved in the movement.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by Darrell Jantzi in 2020

Scope and content: The fonds contains brochures, programs and recordings of the sessions of the Canada East Fellowship retreats. Also includes the minutes and correspondence of the organization and some additional miscellaneous materials.

Notes: See also MacMaster, Richard K., and Donald R. Jacobs. A Gentle Wind of God : the Influence of the East Africa Revival Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2006.
Original archival description created 2020 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.

File list:

  1. Canada East Fellowship Retreat brochures and programs, 1981-2006
  2. Canada East Fellowship Retreat minutes and correspondence, 1981-2011
  3. Historical notes by Darrell Jantzi
  4. Photographs of speakers
    Note: Photographs have been digitized and are viewable in the Mennonite Archival Information Database.
  5. Miscellaneous conference proceedings
    Note: Includes proceedings of the United States East Fellowship (2003, 2005), the West Coast Fellowship (1998, 2001-2002, 2005) and the international East Africa Revival Fellowship conventions in Switzerland (1991) and Nairobi (2000)
  6. Audio recordings
    1. Canada East Fellowship Retreat, 1982-1985, 1987-1995, 1997-2003
    2. East Africa Revival Fellowship convention (Switzerland), 1991


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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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