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Yorkdale Community Church – Toronto, ON

Proper Title

Yorkdale Community Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1957–1996

Physical Description

39 cm of textual records and 1 microfilm reel

Administrative History

The Willowdale Christian Fellowship began in 1957 under the Ontario Mennonite Brethren Mission board. They met in rented facilities. They moved to a different meeting place in 1959 and were then sometimes referred to as the Toronto Christian Fellowship.

In 1961, the group was officially organized as the Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church with 16 charter members. In 1963, they completed their own meeting house. The membership was 72 in 1973. In 1978, a second Mennonite church was organized in Brampton and the Toronto MB Church was renamed the Yorkdale Community Church. In 1980, the membership was 38 and in 1990 it was 22.

In 1996, the Yorkdale Community Church was merged with the New Covenant Christian Fellowship in Scarborough and was now known by that name. At the same time, (1996) two other congregations were begun in the Toronto area: Erin Mills Community Bible Church in Mississauga and the Evangelical Asian Church in Toronto. In 1998, the New Covenant Christian Fellowship had 39 members, the Erin Mills Community Bible Church had 12 members, and the Evangelical Asian Church had 102 members.

The leaders of the congregation were: Henry Voth (1957–1959), Herbert Swartz (1959–1962), Peter Penner (1962–1964), Isaac Thiessen (1965–1971), Allan Guenther (1971–1974), Ron Friesen (1975–1980), Allan Epp (1980–1984), John Classey (1985, 1988–1996), Zahr Visram (1986–1987).

In 1996, when the three new congregations were formed the leaders were: Erin Mills – Jim Evans, Evangelical Asian – Sarwar & Pia Din, New Covenant – Vidya Narimalla. In 2000, these congregations were all still there but had relocated and changed names to some degree. Erin Mills became Meadow Community in Mississauga, New Covenant became New Life Christian Church in Scarborough when it merged with the Bridlewood Brethren in Christ Church pastored by Walter Kelly, and Evangelical Asian relocated to Weston but retained the name. All still had the same leaders, except New Life added, along with Vidya Narimalla, Walter Kelly as noted. Another group is emerging in 2001 as the Koinonia Worship Centre in Toronto with Dan Seleski as leader.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of an historical sketch of the congregation (1980), congregational annual reports (1960, 1964–1977), congregational constitution (1964, 1977), congregational bulletins (1968–1969, 1971, 1973–1983, 1985, 1987–1993), congregational leadership counsel meeting minutes (1990), congregational membership and family register (1961–1978), congregational minutes (1957–1978), congregational statistics (1988), church correspondence (1986-1996).

Custodial History

Records were transferred to the Centre for MB Studies archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1992 and earlier. Some records were microfilmed in 1978 through the work of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference.  In 2008, Gerry Doerksen brought in a box of minutes and reports from New Covenant Christian Fellowship, Yorkdale Community Church and New Life Christian Church.

Notes

  • Volume 565, 1262.
  • 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-516.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R38, pp.485–1772.
  • Described by Bert Friesen 17 October 2001, microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.  Updated by Tamara Dyck, July 2009. Updated by Kate Woltmann May 2014 & July 2014.
  • No restrictions.
  • The bulletins are kept in two series because the congregation changed name so one series is under the one name and the other under the new name. The same would hold true for congregational minutes.

Series Descriptions

I. Yorkdale Community Church historical sketch.
1980.
0.1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of an historical sketch of the congregation (1980).

II. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church Annual Reports.
1960, 1964–1977.
0.3 cm of textual records and 338 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational annual reports (1960, 1964–1977).

III. Yorkdale Community Church Leadership minutes.
1986-1991.
22.2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of leadership counsel meeting minutes, reports, correspondence and church closing documents.
  • Title based on contents of the series.
  • Finding aid: textual file list Vol. 565, no. 4; Vol. 1262, no. 5-12.

IV. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church constitution.
1964.
0.2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of the congregational constitution (1964).

V. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins.
1968–1969, 1971, 1973–1978.
7 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins to when the name changed (1968–1969, 1971, 1973–1978).

VI. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins.
1978–1983, 1985, 1987–1993.
8 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins after the name changed in September 1978 (1978–1983, 1985, 1987–1992).
  • Title based on contents of the seriex.
  • Finding aid: textual file list Vol. 565., no. 5-19; Vol. 1262, no. 13.

VII. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church registers.
1961–1978.
80 pp.; microfilm; and textual records.

  • This series consists of a membership register (1961–1977), and a family register (1961–1978).
  • Finding aid: textual file list Vol. 565, fld. no. 22.

VIII. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church minutes.
1957–1978.
870 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational meeting minutes (1957–1978) and church council meeting minutes (1963–1977).

File List

Volume 565

  1. Yorkdale Community Church historical sketch. -- 1980.
  2. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church constitution. -- 1964.
  3. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church annual reports. -- 1964, 1966/1967.
  4. Yorkdale Community Church leadership counsel meeting minutes. -- 1990.
  5. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1968.
  6. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1969.
  7. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1970.
  8. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1971.
  9. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1973.
  10. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1974.
  11. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1975.
  12. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1976.
  13. Toronto Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1977.
  14. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1978.
  15. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1979.
  16. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1980.
  17. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1981.
  18. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1982.
  19. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1983.
  20. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1985, 1987–1990.
  21. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. -- 1991–1992.
  22. Yorkdale Membership register. -- 1967–1990.

Volume 1262

5.  Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1986.
6.  Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1987
7.  Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1988
8.  Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1989
9.  Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1990.
10. Yorkdale Community Church minutes, reports and correspondence. – 1991.
11. Yorkdale Community Church closing documents. – 1992-1996.
12. Yorkdale Community Church new constitution documents. – ca. 1992.
13. Yorkdale Community Church bulletins. – 1990-1993.
17. Yorkdale Community Church contact lists. -- 1990, 1996.
18. Yorkdale Community Church financial reports. -- 1992-1996.
19. Yorkdale Community Church correspondence. -- 1988-1996.
20. Yorkdale Community Church statistics, minister evaluation, and offices & duties description. -- 1988, 1993-1994.

Microfilm file list

Reel 38

  • Membership Register. – 1961–1976. – pp. 1693–1711.
  • Family Register (Card System). – 1978. – pp. 1712–1772.
  • Annual Reports. – 1960, 1964–1977. – pp. 1355–1692.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Sept.1957–Dec.1963. – pp. 485–663.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Nov.1963–May 1978. – pp. 664–950.
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes. – Nov.1963–Dec.1977. – pp. 951–1354.
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