Classification scheme: 

Title: Jesse B. Martin fonds

Dates of creation: 1918-1973; 1940-1970 predominant

Physical description:  2.25 m of textual records

Biographical sketch: Jesse Bauman Martin (also known as J. B. Martin) was the son of Daniel E. and Blandina (Bauman) Martin, members of the Martin Old Order Mennonite congregation north of Waterloo, Ontario. Martin joined the St. Jacobs Mennonite congregation of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario in his late teens. He attended at Hesston College and Bible School (1919-1923) and a short term at Goshen College (1924). He married Naomi Collier, from Carver, Missouri, in 1926. The couple had three children.

Ordained in 1925 as pastor of the Weber congregation at Strasburg, Ontario (now Pioneer Park Christian Fellowship, Mennonite), he was transferred to the Erb Street Mennonite congregation, Waterloo, in 1929, where he served until 1964. Ordained bishop in 1947, he served in the Central District, in the Niagara District, and at Clarence Center, New York. His activities in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario included: home evangelist (1929-1934, 1937), Ontario Mennonite Bible School faculty, (1932-1965; principal, 1957-1966), assistant Conference moderator (1936-1945), and moderator (1946-1960).

He served the larger Mennonite Church (MC) on a wide variety of committees dealing with peace and conscientious objection, youth work, conference administration, and publications. Martin also worked with several committees and programs of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (MC), including time spent establishing a Mennonite presence in Israel (1953-1954). He was also sent to investigate opening mission work in England and Quebec. He was in charge of local arrangements for the Mennonite World Conference assembly at Kitchener (1962). He served the Conference of Historic Peace Churches on the Military Problems Committee (1941-1964), as a member of the Peace Problems Committee of the Mennonite Church. He served on several Mennonite Central Committee committees including a term as chairman of the board (1955-1961), and served as chair of the Historic Peace Church Council of Canada.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Naomi Martin in 1975. Arranged by the Archives at time of entry,and re-arranged in 2013 to remove duplication. A more coherent series structure, description and file list were also created at this time. Some files were consolidated. Loose photographs were transferred to the Archives for further processing, and most published materials were withdrawn as noted in the file list.

Scope and content: Includes business and personal correspondence, notes for speeches, lectures and sermons, memoranda, trip diaries, trip memorabilia, marriage and funeral records, and news clippings.

Notes: For photographs related J.B. Martin, search the Mennonite Archival Image Database.
Further materials related to J.B. Martin can be found by searching the Archives.
An encyclopedia entry for J.B. Martin is found in GAMEO; the above biographical sketch draws heavily from this article.
Original archival description created 2013 by Laureen Harder-Gissing; file lists created with assistance from Sarah Schmidt.

File list:

Series 1: Ministry and service

  1. Correspondence re Marion Nafziger, 1946
  2. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1938, 1949-1969, 1971
  3. Craigwood notes, reminiscences and honorary dinner, 1969
    Note: Copy of Ontario Mennonite Evangel, June 1969, was withdrawn. Located in Milton Good Library.
  4. Israel Evangelism Committee, 1964-1967
  5. Correspondence with J. D. Graber re Belgium Gospel Mission, 1948
  6. Visitation Evangelism datebooks 1955, 1956
  7. Ontario Mennonite Bible School, 1933-1962
    1. Lecture notes (3 folders)
    Note: Includes: The Pentateuch (old notes, 1933); Bible geography (Old Testament); Exodus; Public speaking (1951-1952); Speech - essay, oration; General church history (1962 - 20th century); Origin and establishment of the Sunday School; Distinctive church doctrines; Bible survey; Homiletics; Pastoral work; Teacher training; Sunday School Normal.
    2. Class handouts and outlines
    3. Notes and pictures for Tabernacle course
    4. Final graduation program and notes, 16 Mar 1969
  8. The Holy Bible: The Scofield Reference Bible /edited by Rev. C.I. Scofield, D.D.
    Note: Heavily annotated by Martin. The following sermons are tipped in: The Church in the community, 15 Oct 1973; God's great love text; Elmira senior citizens meeting, 10 Dec 1972; “I Believe” : the book called the Bible is the Word of God, Bethel Church, 1 Aug 1971
  9. Congregations
    1. Arcade Mennonite Church, 1967
    Note: File withdrawn. See Mennonite Conference of Ontario executive minutes and correspondence.
    2. Clarence Center Mennonite Church, 1961-1969
    3. The First Mennonite Church, Vineland, 1967-1969
    4. Weber (Strasburg, now Pioneer Park) Church, 1964-1970
    5. Bloomingdale Mennonite Church, 1962-1966
    6. Preston Mennonite Church, 1962-1967
    Note: Church Council minutes transferred to Preston Mennonite Church fonds.
    7. Breslau Mennonite Church 1962-1968
    Note: Church Council minutes transferred to Breslau Mennonite Church fonds.
    8. Listowel Mennonite Church, Birthday Parties for the Heimstra Home, Nov. 1970-Oct 1971
    Note: Minutes, reports, etc. transferred to Listowel Mennonite Church fonds.
    9. Photo album, c. 1951, mostly of Erb Street Mennonite Church.
  10. Marriages
    1. Register of Marriages performed by Martin, 1931-1968
    2. Acknowledgements by the Province of Ontario of the receipt of statements of marriage, 1931-1966
    3. Marriage registration
    Note: includes blank forms for the registration of marriages and copies of the Marriage Act (Ontario, 1950, 1965)
    4. Orders for the ceremony of marriage
  11. Funerals
    1. Clergyman’s funeral records and obituaries
    2. Copies of certain printed funeral sermons by Martin
    3. List of funerals officiated by Martin, 1932-1966, also funerals of ordained men
  12. Rockway Mennonite School cornerstone laying, 10 May 1947, 4 Jun 1954
  13. Children
    1. Pictures and cards for children’s talks
    2. Scrapbooks
    Note: Includes Erb Street summer Bible school, 1955; children’s songs; “Our class” January 1951.
  14. Overseas missions
    1. Missionary photo/prayer request cards (2 folders)
    2. Die Ludwigshafener Schulkinderspeisung 1947
    Note: Describes the work of the children’s feeding station operated by Mennonite Central Committee in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany.
  15. Programs of events attended by Martin
  16. Greetings brought by J.B. Martin to the centennial conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church, Nov 1960
  17. Meeting of the Division of Foreign Missions of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Jan 1952
    Note: Martin attended as an observer.

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Series 2: World War II

  1. Correspondence with men in Alternative Service camps, 1942-1944
    Note: Sermons removed. For sermons, see Erb Street Mennonite Church file III-26.2/7.
  2. Photograph albums of Alternative Service camps (3 folders)
    Note: Includes Green Timbers, B.C.; Langford Camp, C4, Victoria, B.C.; Montreal River; Koksilch Camp – C-3, Shawnigan Lake , B.C.; B.C. scenery; Emery Creek Camp, Yale, B.C.
  3. Birch bark token from men at Montreal River Alternative Service Camp, 1941
  4. Memorandum of activities Martin was involved with during the war, 1940-1943
  5. Hansard clippings re comments on conscientious objectors, 1942-1943
  6. Scrapbook of news clippings on conscientious objectors and the war
  7. Newspapers celebrating victory in Europe
    Note: Includes Kitchener Daily Record Extra, 7 May 1945; London Free Press Victory in Europe edition, 8 May 1945 (in 6 sections; missing section 2); London Daily Free Press Victory in Europe edition, Tuesday Morning 8 May 1945.

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Series 3: Personal

  1. Sympathy cards at death of father, Daniel Martin
  2. Military exemption papers, 1918
  3. Certificates
    Note: Contains certificates of ordination as bishop (1947), Ontario Mennonite Bible School (1933), Ontario Mennonite Bible School advanced course (1949)
  4. Family memorabilia
  5. Jokes, witty sayings, cartoons
  6. Anniversaries of ordination and pastorate at Erb Street
  7. Autobiographical notes
    Note: Includes biographies by David Cressman (1959), Clifford Snider, Jr. (1961), Esther G. Steckle (1970), Salome Bauman.
  8. News clippings
  9. Report of the MCC Peace Section Study Conference – held at Winona Lake, Indiana on November 9-12, 1950
    Note: File withdrawn. Copy located in MCC Peace Section fonds (IV-

Series 4: Historical

  1. Script and correspondence, “Peace Church: Mennonite Way,” Heritage Series, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast 22 Dec 1963.
    Note: Martin has a role in this film.
  2. Historical manuscripts
    Note: Contains a typescript entitled “The Mennonites” describing the relationship of Quakers, Mennonites and Tunkers (Brethren in Christ) to the government of Upper Canada, and Mennonite immigration from Europe to Pennsylvania. Also contains a typescript entitled “The Hutterites.” The authors of both are unknown.

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Series 5: Trips to Europe and Israel

  1. Israel Trips, 1952, 1954
  • Mennonite Association Membership Cards and European currency
  • File of Trip to Israel
  • Trip File 1952
  • Trans World Airlines Information Package
  • Correspondence & Notes – “Observations from Two Years of Relief Work in Jordan Relative to the Possibility of Mennonite Mission Work in the Near East” by Myron Ebersole 1952
  • Israel Trip 1954 - Farewell note to Mrs. Martin from friends before 1953 departure
  • Telegrams re: accident of daughter, Grace 1954
  • Correspondence from U.S. including home church and conference 1954
  • Photos from 1952 trip, many with E.J. Swalm
  • Israel trip, 1952 – Ship lists, postcards from World Conference part of trip
  • Israel trip, 1954 – Scrapbook of clippings, etc.

2. Israel trips

  • Photographs – Scenes in the old city of Jerusalem
  • Photographs – The Garden Tomb, Damascus Gate, Jerusalem
  • Israel Trip notes
  • Karnenu, Jerusalem, Israel: Harvest in the Hills /by Jewish National Fund, August 1953
  • Karnenu, Jerusalem, Israel: On Guard in Galilee / by Jewish National Fund, October 1953
  • Karnenu, Jerusalem, Israel: Stairway to the Sky /by Jewish National Fund, November 1953
  • Karnenu, Jerusalem, Israel: Torch of Freedom /by Jewish National Fund, December 1953
  • Israel and Middle East: Special Issue /by ”Israel and Middle East”, 1953
  • Shalom!: New Tourist Era in Israel, 1953
  • The State of Israel /by New York Herald Tribune, Paris, November 1953
  • The Good News: The Gospel of Saint Luke
  • From Dan to Elath: Focus on Israel’s Agricultural Settlements /by Keren Hayesod, United Israel Appeal (2 copies, English and Dutch)
  • Israel: Land of the Bible /by Israel Government Tourist Centre, Jerusalem
  • Watchmen on the Walls: A Diary from Jerusalem /by Hannah R. Hurnard
  • What is the American Colony? /by Bertha Spafford Vester, Jerusalem (2 Copies)
  • A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem /Published by Supreme Moslem Council, Jerusalem 1950
  • Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi Al-Khalil: A Brief Guide /by the Supreme Moslem Council, Jerusalem 1928
  • A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem / Published by Supreme Awqaf Council, Jerusalem 1953
  • Bulletin – The Jerusalem Y.M.C.A Xmas Eve Service, at the Field of the Shepherds, Bethlehem December 24, 1953
  • The Church of the Dormition Abbey:  Mt. Sion,  Jerusalem, April 1952
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: 1948-1953
  • Zionist Newsletter /by Information Department of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation, Jerusalem November 1953
  • Government Year-Book: 5714 (1953-4) /by State of Israel
  • Israel in your pocket: ramblers’ guide /by Theodor F. Meysels
  • Steimatsky’s Guide  to Jerusalem and Bethlehem: In one, two or three days /by Zew Wilnay
  • A Talk at the Garden Tomb: Jerusalem /by The Warden, R.S.W. May, July 1951 (Includes 2 plant samples)
  • Jerusalem: The Garden Tomb Golgotha and The Garden of the Resurrection (Illustrated) /by The Committee of the Garden Tomb (Jerusalem) Association, 1946
  • Illustrated Bible Geography and Atlas /by Major C.R. Conder
  • “Ben Ezra Syagogue” Old Cairo: Short Note about the Oldest Synagogue in Egypt /by The Shamash Clement J. Cohen with Israelite Festivals and Ethics
  • Trip to Israel – Postcards and Pamphlets

3. Europe

  • Comment Visiter/How to See Paris /by Cook’s World Travel Service
  • The Pictorial History of St. Paul’s Cathedral: “The Parish Church of the British Commonwealth” /by the Reverend W. M. Atkins, M. A.
  • “Rainbow” Collection: Versailles /by Michel Déon
  • John Wesley’s Chapel /by Percy J. Boyling, 1951
  • Wesley’s Chapel Magazine, July 1953
  • Fresh Fields and Polders New: The story of the Zuiderzee works /by The Netherlands Abroad, February 1953
  • Palace of Westminster:  Illustrated Guide to the Houses of Parliament /by Permission of the Lord Great Chamberlain
  • Guide of the Panorama and the Battlefield of Waterloo
  • Programme of Conducted Sight-Seeing Tours /by Evan Evans’ Tours, 1953
  • The Reign of George VI: A News Chronicle Publication, 1952
  • metal rods and beads
  • Magazine - Moody Monthly, (pressed flowers are found within)
  • The Best Guide Book of the Ancient monument of Athens and the Acropolis: with 38 phototype illustrations and 3 plans /by Niko Mavraki, Athens 1953

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Series 6: Sermons

  1. Sermons
  • Salvation Sermons – Grace, Victory, Assurance
  • This life has manager on the CHURCH, General Conference at Christopher Dock High School, Landsdale, PA,  Aug 21-24, 1967, Conference at Amsterdam – 2 Sermons
  • Senior Citizens Lectures, Bible Character Lectures

2. Sermons

  • 1970-1971, Listowel
  • Escatology, Second Coming, Israel Ishmael
  • New Testament Books, Tabernacle Lectures
  • Christian Life – Experience, Victory, Joy, Happiness,  Prayer

3. Sermons/Diary

  • Miscellaneous sermons and Ten Commandments, Mission Diary – Israel, England, Europe, Quebec, Mission Sermons
  • Sermon Series – “I Believe”, Bible= Trinity Redemption, Christian Home, Second Coming of Christ, Hell and Heaven, Series- Christian Faith Johan 3:16, The Blood, The Epistler

4. Sermons

  • 1936-1951
  • Miscellaneous Sermons
  • The Kind of Men and Women the Grace of God is Intended to Produce
  • Danger of Worldly Alliances
  • Life Insurance

5. Sermons

  • Inquiry Communion 1931-1969
  • Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, Thanksgiving
  • Christmas, New Year, Lent, Palm Sunday, Advent

6. Sermons

  • Evangelistic renewal
  • Christian Education – Training Youth Vocations, Bible and Youth, Boys and Girls, Converts, Cradle Role, Dedication, Stewardship, Money, Grace etc. , Sunday School Dedication, Recreation, Devine Healing
  • Devotional messages – Radio, KW Hospital chapel, Peace Conferences, Prayer Messages, written prayers, character bible, The Bible, Old Age, Retirement
  •  “How to Walk with Jesus”
  • Loose papers, Instruction Class, Procedure for Baptism

7. Sermons

  • In individual binders, handwritten by J.B. Martin:Sermons – Wanner, Bethel, Glen Allan, Listowel, Vineland, Clarence Center, Senior Citizens
  • Evangelistic Sermons
  • God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Trinity

8. Sermons

  • Funerals, Ministers, Bishops, Deacons 1940-1968
  • Funerals, 1958-1971-1972
  • Funerals, 1932-1967

9. Sermons

  • Bible Survey
  • O.M.B.I, Systematic Theology Doctrine
  • Old Testament, Joshua- Esther, Isaiah – Daniel
  • Old Testament

10. Sermons

  • Missionary Sermons
  • 1961-1962
  • Sermons – Floradale Apr. 1947, Biblical Mutual Helpfulness
  • September Theology – Redemption
  • Galatians – Hebrews

11. Sermons

  • Mennonite History (III year 1965)
  • Pastoral Theology – loose papers, 1957
  • Pamphlets of Mennonite General Conference :
    • The Way of Christian Love in Race Relations, August 24, 1955
    • The Christian View of Marriage, August 27, 1959
    • Declaration of Commitment in Respect to Christian Separation and Nonconformity to the World, August 27, 1959
  • Booklet - Learning to know the Bible by David Schroeder, 1966
  • Handwritten notes Learning to know the Bible, Vineland, 1967
  • Sermon-“Learning about Him”
  • Book - Learning to Teach by Paul M. Lederach, 1964, including handwritten notes by J. B. Martin
  • Biblical Reference Index – Hell, Darkness, Fire, Believe, Faith, Saved (loose papers)
  • The Book of Genesis  (loose papers)
  • Pastoral Theology, 2nd year (loose paper)
  • Fri, June 2_,1953 – 44 handwritten pages of notes on ?
  • Booklet – Mennonite General Conference – A Declaration of Christian Faith and Commitment with Respect to Peace, War, and Nonresistance, August 23, 1951 – Accompanied with handwritten notes by J. B. Martin
  • Notes-The Symbolic Role of the Pastor, includes a youth rally notice in Kitchener, November 30, 1958
  • Notes re: The Book of Psalms, Institute 1965-1966, also includes:
    • Bulletin from Vineland, January 15, 1967 stating J.B. Martin Sermon “ Healing in the Scriptures”
    • 2 loose pages re: Psalms
  • Bible Doctrine, 1957, Doctrine of Sin Salvation OMBS I year, OMBS II year Doctrines on God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Men, and OMBS Doctrine III year on Church, Angels, Devil and Demons, Heaven and Hell
  • Miscellaneous Sermons: Christ and Christian, Healing, Non-Conformity, Ascension, Matthew, Recreation, Stewardship, Devil, Worship, Waterloo Farewell

12. Sermons

  • Sermons about Alternative Service and Work Camps 1940-1949
  • Miscellaneous sermons and talks by Martin in transcribed form
  • Sermons on home, mother, marriage, Christian (country, business, industry, government), Labour Day, C.O. War I and II, Old Testament war, peace, war, love.
  • Sermons (untitled)

Series 7: File lists

Note: Martin saved numerous published materials of personal interest. Clippings he made of individual articles have been retained within the fonds. Entire issues of periodicals and various published reports were withdrawn from the fonds during processing, and are listed here. Copies are located in the Milton Good Library. Also included here is a file list for the fonds compiled in 2011 (before the re-arrangement of the fonds in 2013) and a file list compiled by Martin.

1. List of withdrawn monographs and periodicals

2. File list, 2011

3. Index to filing cabinet, 1972

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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