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Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church – St. Catharines, ON

Proper Title

Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1943–2014

Physical Description

14.2 cm of textual records, 2 microfilm reels, and digital bulletins and newsletters

Administrative History

Russian Mennonites arrived in Ontario in the 1920s. Originally they were hosted by Swiss Mennonites residing in the Waterloo County area. From these beginnings, they spread out from there, mostly to the west and south-east. In the Niagara peninsula area, they formed the Virgil and Vineland congregations in the 1930s. Some of these families moved to St. Catharines and formed the St. Catharines MB Church with 66 charter members in 1943.

These early Ontario Mennonite Brethren met in rented facilities for worship. Then in 1949, they completed their own meeting house. In 1954, they built another meeting house at a new location to meet the increasing need for more space with a membership of 378. In 1964, they had again outgrown the space of this meeting house on Scott Street with a membership of 578 and so decided to form a daughter congregation that became the Fairview MB Church. The name of the remaining congregation was changed from St. Catharines MB Church to the Scott Street MB Church.

In 1965, the Scott Street MB building was expanded. In 1966, the Tabor Home was founded next door for senior citizens. In 1973, with a membership of 632, a third congregation was formed that became the Grantham MB Church. The congregation had only German worship until 1970 and then had an English and German worship service until the 1980s. In 1980, the membership stood at 493. This was necessitated mainly by the large influx of members from South America. Later both the South and Gateway congregations were founded in the St. Catharines area. In 2000, the membership was 455.

Leaders of the congregations were: Gerhard Epp (1943–1945, 1949–1953), Heinrich H. Janzen (1946–1949), Henry Penner (1953–1973, 1977–1985, 1989), Abram Block (1973–1977), John Letkemann (1985–1988), John Unrau (1990–1994), Victor Loewen (1995), Rudie Willms (1996–2000), Paul Fast (2001– 2002), Patrick Bartley (2002–2011), Jim Cobler (2011–2013), Jurgen Rausch (2013– ).

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of a congregational historical sketch [ca.1979], a brief congregational history (1985), a 50th congregational anniversary book (1993), Gateway Christian Fellowship newsletter (2001), congregational directory ([197–?]), congregational bulletins (1981, 1985–1989, 1998–2001), another brief congregational history (1956), congregational membership and family register (1943–1978), congregational minutes and reports (1943–1977), congregational annual financial reports (1949–1961), financial records of meeting house construction (1954).

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

  • Volumes 543–544; Digital records located on the CMBS server "Electronic collections/Provinces/Ontario/Scott Street."
  • 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-504.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R26, pp.1–2520, R27, pp.1–1071.
  • Described by Bert Friesen 10 October 2001, microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003. Updated by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander October 11, 2011. Updated by Kate Woltmann July 17, 2013. Updated by Emma Sorensen June 1, 2018.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language: German and English.

Series Descriptions

I. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church history.
1956–1985.
0.3 cm of textual records and 18 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of a brief congregational history (1985), and some notes on the 25th anniversary of the congregation ([ca.1968]), a congregational historical sketch ([ca.1979]), and an early congregational history (1956).

II. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book.
1993.
0.3 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a congregational 50th anniversary book (1993).

III. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church directory.
[197–?].
0.4 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a congregational address and telephone directory with officers and committee members information ([197–?]).

IV. Gateway Christian Fellowship newsletters.
2001.
0.2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a newsletters of Gateway Christian Fellowship (2001).

V. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins.
1981, 1985–1989, 1998–2012.
13 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins (1981, 1985–1989, 1998–2001).

VI. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church registers.
1943–1978.
1359 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational membership and family registers (1943–1978).

VII. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church minutes.
1943–1977.
3523 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational meeting minutes and reports (1943–1977) with a topical index (1974–1971) and church council meeting minutes (1943–1977).

VIII. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church Financial records.
1949–1961.
47 pp.; microfilm.
This series consists of congregational annual financial reports (1949–1961) and financial records for building the meeting house (1954).

File List

Volumes 543–544

  1. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church historical sketch. -- [ca.1979].
  2. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church history. -- [ca.1968]-1985.
    2a. Annual report-book of congregational ministries (1975) and treasurer's reports for 1975 and 1977. -- 1975, 1977.
  3. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book. -- 1993.
  4. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church directory. -- [197–?].
  5. Gateway Christian Fellowship newsletter. -- 2001.
  6. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1981.
  7. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1985–1986.
    7a. Telephone and address directory for the "Maria Martha" group. -- 1986.
  8. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1987.
  9. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1988–1989.
  10. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1998.
  11. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1999.
  12. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2000.
  13. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2001.
  14. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2003.
  15. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2004.
  16. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2005.
  17. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2005.
  18. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2006.
  19. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2007.
  20. Mennonite Brethren Church of St. Catharines, 25 Years In Retrospect, 1943--1968. -- 1968.
  21. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2008.
  22. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2009.
  23. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2010.
  24. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2011.
  25. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2012.
  26. Scott Street Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2013.

Microfilm file list

Reel 26

  • Congregational Minutes. – Oct.1943–Oct.1950. – pp. 1–195.
  • Records and Reports. – 1943–1955. – pp. 1824–2087.
  • Congregational Minutes. – Oct.1950–Feb.1961. – pp. 196–396.
  • Records and Reports. – 1956–1960. – pp. 2088–2304.
  • Records and Reports. – 1961–1964. – pp. 2305–2520.
  • Congregational Minutes. – May 1961–Feb.1970. – pp. 397–580.
  • Congregational Minutes. – Mar.3, 1970–June 1971. – pp. 915–1036.
  • Congregational Minutes. – July 1971–Apr.1973. – pp. 1037–1225.
  • Congregational Minutes. – Apr.1973–1977. – pp. 1226–1615.
  • Church Council Minutes. – Oct.1943–Apr.1947. – pp. 581–638.
  • Church Council Minutes. – June 1947–Jan.1953. – pp. 639–710.
  • Church Council Minutes. – Feb.1953–Nov.1958. – pp. 711–815.
  • Church Council Minutes. – May 1967–Jan.1970. – pp. 816–914.
  • Church Council Minutes. – Jan.1973–Dec.1977. – pp. 1616–1823.

Reel 27

  • A brief history of the Church. – 1943–1956. – pp. 318–335.
  • Membership and Family Records. – 1943–ca.1973. – pp. 368–391.
  • Membership Records (Book II). – ca.1963–1978. – pp. 392–415.
  • Family Records of Members whose affiliation was discontinued. – pp. 416–800 (+384). – Note: It is unclear what this number represents, but is included because it was in a previous finding aid.
  • Family Records of Members. – 1978. – pp. 801–1071 (+271).
  • Content Index of all Congregational Church Council Minutes. – 1943–1971. – pp. 281–302.
  • Records and Reports. – 1965–1969. – pp. 1–280.
  • Annual Financial Reports. – 1949–1961. – pp. 336–367.
  • Financial Agreements for Church Construction. – 1954. – pp. 303–317.

Digital Files

  • Bulletins and Newsletters. -- 2014. Incomplete.
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