Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.223

Title: J. Laurence Martin fonds

Dates of creation: 1969-2005

Physical description: 25 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: J. Laurence Martin was born 20 December 1936 to Simon B. and Lydia Martin; he is the youngest of seven children. He married Marilyn Shantz in 1959; they have two children.

Laurence Martin attended Teachers College in Stratford in 1956, and then taught school for a number of years. From 1960-1963 he studied at Toronto Bible College and gave pastoral leadership to the Cedar Grove Mennonite Church. He later studies at Waterloo Lutheran University, and began pastoral ministry at Cressman (Breslau) Mennonite Church in 1965 where he served until 1970. He also pastored the Bloomingdale congregation from 1967-1970. In 1971 he moved to Scottdale, Pennsylvania to work for the Mennonite Publishing House in the Congregational Literature division, and became director of the division in 1973. During his years at Scottdale, Laurence obtained an M. Ed. and D. Min. from the University of Pittsburg. He continued to serve as Director of Congregational Literature until returning to Ontario in 1993 to pastor the Breslau Mennonite Church (1993-2002) and to serve as Minister of Pastoral Leadership Training for the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (1993-2002). He then undertook a series of intentional interim pastorates at Steinmann Mennonite Church, Erb Street Mennonite Church, Tavistock Mennonite Church and Stirling Ave. Mennonite Church.

Laurence Martin also has a strong interest in local history and early American music. He was active in the Westmoreland-Fayette [Pennsylvania] Historical Society and helped to create musical folk drama for productions in their Museum Theatre. He was founder and director of the Heritage Singers (1977-1991), and served on the board of several heritage groups upon his return to Ontario, e.g. Steckle Heritage Homestead and the Detweiler Meetinghouse, Inc.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario in August 2007 by J. Laurence Martin. Item Hist.Mss.1.223.3/9 was donated by Martin in 2023.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of three series: Sermons, Paper and Publications, and Musical and Heritage Productions

Note: Archival description created August 2007 by Sam Steiner

File list:

Series 1: Sermons

  1. Sermon books, vols. 1, 3-5 (Bound notebooks primarily from 1970s containing detailed notes for a variety of sermons)
  2. Liturgical Year Cycle A (1990s-2005)
  3. Liturgical Year Cycle B (1990s-2005)
  4. Liturgical Year Cycle C (1990s-2005)
  5. General and Other (1990s-2005)

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Series 2: Papers and Publications

  1. "Focus on Christian Education Leadership" Handbook & Participant Book for One-day workshop, 1984
  2. "Theological Reflections on Managing a Church Institution," 1984
  3. "The Congregation: a Learning-Teaching Community," 1984
  4. "Storytelling as a Way to Make Decisions," 1984
  5. "Which Educational Setting do I Choose?: Formal, Informal or In-between" Article in Builder July 1993

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Series 3: Musical & Heritage Productions

  1. "Good Morning America: a Revue of Cultural Life West of the Alleghenies," 1980
  2. "The Haymakers," 1981
  3. "Going Home: Music and Drama about Home and Family Life in Early America," 1984
  4. "Storytelling Bus Tour #1," 1985 (Stories of Coal & Coke, Steel and Related Stories)
  5. "The West Overton Story: a Musical Folk Drama," 1988
  6. "Turn Your Radio On: a Musical Drama from the 1920's, 30's and 40's," 1989
  7. "Procedural Understandings for Heritage Singers," December 1990
  8. Programs from various musical & heritage productions, 1979-1996, 2021
  9. "Sing It Again!" A recreation of a singing school given in 1862 at the United Brethren Church formerly in Freeport. Performed at the Outdoor Museum sponsosred by the University of Waterloo, 1998.


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