Orland S. Gingerich (1920-2002)

Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.207

Title: Orland S. Gingerich fonds

Dates of creation: 1988-2002

Physical description: 1.5m of textual records

Biographical sketch: Orland (Steinmann) Gingerich (12 Nov 1920 - 23 Jan 2002) was the oldest child of four born to John Z. Gingerich and Annie Steinmann. He grew up on a farm in Wilmot township in an Amish Mennonite home. As was typical for the Amish Mennonites at the time, he dropped out of school at age 14 in order to work on the family farm -- which he continued to do until age 24. He was baptized into the Amish Mennonite Church at the age of 17 or 18.

He served for four months in Alternative Service at Montreal River in 1943. With Nelson Litwiller's encouragement he attended Eastern Mennonite College in 1945. He took special entrance examinations that allowed him to attend without a high school diploma. He graduated from EMC in 1950.

He married Agnes Irene Roth on 3 July 1948; they had ten children. In the fall of 1950 he attended Goshen Biblical Seminary in Goshen. It was during this time he began research on Ontario Amish Mennonite history.

Orland Gingerich became a minister in 1951 at his home congregation of Steinmann Mennonite Church without going through the lot. He was the first trained minister in the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference. Orland and Agnes continued to farm near his parents until 1962 when they purchased a farm in North Easthope Township in Perth County. Gingerich was ordained by lot as a bishop in 1954 -- the last bishop ordained in the conference.

His year's of leadership in the church entered their fulness at this time -- he was on the founding board of Conrad Grebel College, on the board at Rockway Mennonite School and taught at Ontario Mennonite Bible School. When the Amish-Mennonite conference restructured in 1963, he became the ministerial superintendent (conference minister). He served as chair of the conference's mission board for twelve years. He also served on the executive of the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario from its founding in 1964 until 1980. He also worked for numerous Mennonite Central Committee projects, including the Agricultural Concerns Committee. All this while pastoring at Steinmann, Pioneer ParkSt. JacobsBloomingdale, Wilmot, East Zorra, Present and Rainham until his retirement.

In 1970 the Gingerichs moved to Baden. He was very involved in historical projects by this time, including his book,The Amish of Canada that was published in 1972 and the Amish sesquicentennial in Canada that was celebrated the same year. In 1980 the family moved to Kitchener where they continued the cook cheese business they had taken over from Agnes' parents years before. The company expanded over time, but encountered financial difficulties in its later years. This meant that Orland continued to work until the age of 79.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by the family in 2002.

Note: Archival description originally created 18 June 2004 by Sam Steiner.
The description of this fonds is not complete.

The following published materials were withdrawn from the fonds. Copies are located in the Milton Good library:

Jubilee issue of the Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church, 1924-1974. / Enns, Herbert P.; Fast, Jacob, 1901-1988.; Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church.
Waterloo, Ont. : The Church 1974

Pilgerleben, pilgrims, peregrinos : sixty years of vision and ministry : Amos and Edna Schwartzentruber, Nelson and Ada Litwiller / Bender, John.; Mennonite Church. Western Ontario Conference.
Waterloo : Western Ontario Mennonite Conference c1984

MCEC reflections.
Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada.
Kitchener, Ont. : Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada = Conférence des Mennonites de l'est du Canada 1988

"When your children shall ask" ... Joshua 4:6 : a history of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1957-1982 / Boldt, Edward Dietrich.; Mennonite Brethren Church of North America. Ontario Conference.
Ontario : s.n. 1982

Photocopied excerpts from: 
The Steinmans of Lancaster : a family and its enterprises / Brubaker, John H.
Lancaster, Penn. : Steinman Enterprises, 1985

Congregational history of Steinmann Mennonite Church / Steinmann, Pauline F., 1957-
Winnipeg : s.n. 1977

The Letters of the Amish division of 1693-1711 / Mast, John B.
Oregon City, Or. : C.J. Schlabach c1950

Canadian Mennonite urbanism : ethnic villagers or metropolitan remnant? / Leo Driedger 
[Articles and papers]
Driedger, Leo, 1928- Peters, Jacob, 1941-
Waterloo, Ont. : Conrad Grebel College Library 1979

Mennonite life. October 1957
Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.)
North Newton, Kan. : Bethel College 1946

Mennonite family history. Jan-Jul 1982
Elverson, PA : Mennonite Family History c1982

Sesquicentennial of the Amish Mennonites of Ontario : programme [and] 150 years
Sauder, Dorothy.; Roth, Lorraine, 1930-; Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario.; Mennonite Church. Western Ontario Conference.
New Hamburg, Ont. : Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario : Western Ontario Mennonite Conference 1972

A manual in stewardship education / Nelson Kauffman
Scottdale, Penn. ; Mennonite Publishing House n.d.

File list:

Series 1: Teaching Papers (1988-2000)


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Last modified 09-Jun-2011 by Laureen Harder-Gissing


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