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Cornerstone Community Church – Virgil, ON

Proper Title

Cornerstone Community Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1937–2001

Physical Description

39.2 cm of textual records and 3 microfilm reels

Administrative History

Russian Mennonite descendants began moving in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area in 1935 when Peter Wall began selling land from a large estate that he had purchased. These Mennonite families worshiped together in rented facilities and homes from both the Mennonite Brethren and General Conference backgrounds.

In 1937, the Mennonite Brethren organized their own congregation with 26 charter members as the Niagara Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1941, they completed their own meeting house. This building was expanded in 1952 to accommodate the influx of postwar immigration from Europe and South America. That year, 1952, the name of the congregation changed to Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1957, an outreach effort resulted in the Niagara Christian Fellowship Chapel being founded. In 1961, an education wing was added. In 1971, their was an outgrowth of the congregation to form a new congregation, namely the Orchard Park Bible Church. In 1973, the building was again expanded. Over the years this congregation has been involved in a radio ministry, vacation Bible schools, and a German school. In 1993, the congregation merged with the congregation it had help found in 1957 to form the Cornerstone Community Church.

The leaders of the congregation were: Johann Dick (1937–1940), a leadership group of Isaak Ewert, Johann Penner, Abram Block, Johann Derksen, and Gerhard Epp (1940–1943), Dietrich Klassen (1943–1945), Johann Penner (1946–1951), Jacob Dyck (1952–1958), John Baerg (1958–1976), Abe Quiring (1976–1980), David Nightingale (1980–1982), Rudy Bartel (1982–1986), Leonard Reiss (1987–1988), George Wichert (1989–1991), Peter Klassen (1992–1999), Victor Loewen (2000–2003), Stephan Sheane (2003–2005), Ed Heinrichs (2005–2010), Kevin Bayne (2010– ).

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of an historical sketch of the congregation (1980), a brief congregational history (1974, 1985), congregational annual reports (1959, 1962, 1996–1997), a congregational members handbook ([197–?]), an historical drama script (1987), an amalgamation proposal (1993), congregational member list (1994), Niagara regional MB Churches directory (1984–1997), 50th anniversary book (1987), congregational bulletins (1958, 1968–1995, 1998–2001), congregational membership and family register (1937–1978), congregational meeting minutes (1937–1978), church council meeting minutes (1937–1971), congregational financial records (1939–1965), youth meeting documents (1939–1964).

Custodial History

Records were transferred to the Centre for MB Studies archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba on a regular basis to 2001. Some records were microfilmed in 1978 through the work of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference.

Notes

  • Volume 568.
  • Finding aid consists of a series description and a file list is available.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of MB Churches inventory BD-518.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R27, pp.1072–1742; R28, pp.1–1580; R30, pp.1–1298.
  • Described by Bert Friesen 18 October 2001; microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe, June 2003; updated by Jon Isaak, February 2018.
  • Acc. No. 2018-05.
  • No restrictions.

Series Descriptions

I. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church historical sketch.
1980.
0.1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of an historical sketch of the congregation (1980) and a photograph of the interior of the meeting house (1979).

II. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church history.
1974, 1985.
0.1 cm of textual records and 7 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of a brief congregational history (1974) which was updated (1985).

III. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church annual reports.
1959, 1962.
0.3 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational annual reports (1959, 1962).

IV. Cornerstone Community Church annual reports.
1996–1997.
0.3 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational annual reports (1996–1997).

V. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church membership handbook.
[197–?].
0.5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a church membership handbook and some doctrinal position papers ([197–?]).

VI. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary drama.
1987.
0.2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a 50th anniversary drama script describing the early years of the congregation (1987).

VII. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church amalgamation proposal.
1993.
0.1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of an amalgamation proposal for Virgil MB Church, Niagara Christian Fellowship Chapel, and Orchard Park Bible Church to become one congregation (1993).

VIII. Cornerstone Community Church members list.
1994.
0.1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of the list of charter members of the renamed congregation that was formed out of the merger of the Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church and the Niagara Christian Fellowship Chapel (1994).

IX. Niagara Regional Mennonite Brethren Churches directories.
1984–1997.
6 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of Niagara Regional Mennonite Brethren Churches address and telephone directories (1984–1997).

X. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book.
1987.
1.5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a 50th anniversary book of the congregation (1987).

XI. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins.
1958, 1968–1994.
28 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins (1958, 1968–1994).

XII. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins.
1994–1995, 1998–2001.
2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins (1994–1995, 1998–2001).

XIII. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church register.
1937–1978.
709 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of a congregational membership and family register (1937–1978).

XIV. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church congregational minutes.
1937–1978.
671 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational meeting minutes (1937–1978).
  • See also Vol. 568, file no. 31 for a textual record.

XV. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church council minutes.
1937–1971.
1012 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of church council meeting minutes (1937–1971).

XVI. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church financial records.
1939–1965.
282 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational financial records (1939–1965).

XVII. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church Jugendverein documents.
1939–1964.
300 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational Jugendverein documents (1939–1964).

File List

Volume 568

  1. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church historical sketch. -- 1980.
  2. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church history. -- 1985.
  3. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church annual reports. -- 1959, 1962.
  4. Cornerstone Community Church annual reports. -- 1996–1997.
  5. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church membership handbook. -- [197–?].
  6. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary drama. -- 1987.
  7. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church amalgamation proposal. -- 1993.
  8. Cornerstone Community Church membership list. -- 1994.
  9. Niagara Regional MB Churches directories. -- 1984–1997.
  10. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book. -- 1987.
  11. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1958, 1968–1969.
  12. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1970–1971.
  13. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1972–1973.
  14. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. – 1974–1975.
  15. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. --1976–1977.
  16. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1978–1979.
  17. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1980–1981.
  18. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1982.
  19. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1983.
  20. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1984.
  21. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1985.
  22. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1986.
  23. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1987.
  24. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1988–1989.
  25. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1990–1991.
  26. Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1992–1993.
  27. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 1994.
  28. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 1995, 1998–1999.
  29. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 2000.
  30. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 2001.
  31. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 2002–2004.
  32. Cornerstone Community Church bulletins. -- 2005.
  33. Congregational meeting minutes (27 April 1945). -- 1945.


Microfilm file list


Reel 27

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – May 9, 1937–Dec.1939. – pp. 1072–1204.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Dec.1939–Dec.1942. – pp. 1205–1486.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1943–Aug.1946. – pp. 1487–1742.

Reel 28

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Oct.1946–Jan.1951. – pp. 1–120.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Mar.1951–Nov.1953. – pp. 121–203.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Dec.1953–Dec.1957. – pp. 204–277.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Dec.1954–Dec.1967. – pp. 278–425.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1968–Mar.1978. – pp. 426–566.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1937–1940. – pp. 567–701.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1940–1943. – pp. 702–816.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1943–1946. – pp. 819–933.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1947–1951. – pp. 934–1034.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1951–1956. – pp. 1035–1208.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – 1956–1971. – pp. 1209–1580.

Reel 30

  • Brief History. – manuscript. – pp. 1292–1298.
  • Membership Register (Book I). – ca.1937–1940. – pp. 583–671.
  • Membership and Family Records (Book II). – ca.1937–1947. – pp. 672–797.
  • Membership and Family Records (Book III). – 1948–1954. – pp. 798–867.
  • Membership and Family Records (Book IV). – 1937–1978. – pp. 868–915.
  • Family Register of former Members (Book V). – [194-]–[197-]. – pp. 916–1157.
  • Family Register of former Members (Book VI). – 1978. – pp. 1158–1291.
  • Financial Records. – 1939–1965. – pp. 301–582.
  • Christian Endeavor: Jugendverein. – Feb.1939–Sept.1964. – pp. 1–300.
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