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Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church – Aberdeen, SK

Proper Title

Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1905–1960

Physical Description

27 cm of textual records and one microfilm reel

Administrative History

The Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church, located in northern Saskatchewan, was a member of the Canadian Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, Rosthern District. The first settlers, consisting of seven families, came to the Aberdeen area in May of 1903. They gave their membership certificates from Russia to Jacob Wiens of Ebenfeld (Laird).

At first, the Aberdeen settlers gathered in the home of G.J. Sawatzky, a deacon from Russia, for regular church services. In 1904, when more settlers came from Russia, local services were organized, Sunday School was begun, and a choir was formed under the leadership of A.G. Sawatzky. From 1904–1909, services were held in the Neu Steinbach School. In 1905, Jacob Wiens (Ebenfeld) served six candidates with baptism. Gerhard Siemens from Russia visited Aberdeen in 1906 and under his direction G.J. Sawatzky began the leadership of the church. Minutes and financial records were kept, starting in 1906. The congregation erected a church building in 1909 which was paid for by the following year. Pastors in the church were:

G.J. Sawatzky (1906–1909), John P. Siemens (1909–1921), H.G. Sawatzky (1921–1931), Ben L. Sawatzky (1932–1941), Johann Kruger (1942), H.W. Niessen (1943–1944), G.K. Sawatzky (1945–1952), and Archie Kruger (1953–1960). In the 1930s, membership in Aberdeen MB Church was over one hundred, but by 1960, only eighteen members were left. The church closed and the remaining members joined the Saskatoon Mennonite Brethren churches.

The language of worship is English.  The transition from German occurred in the 1940s.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of the following series: Membership and family records including a history of the church (in the German Gothic script), baptisms, births, and deaths; financial records including church land transaction records, records of missions contributions, church offerings, and contributions of the church and individuals; congregational minutes and library records; Jugendverein (young peoples) records. Most of these documents are in bound form and are also available on microfilm except for the young peoples’ materials.

Custodial History

Many of the records were microfilmed in 1978 through the work of the Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference. The textual records came to the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies in 1996 from the Bethany Bible School in Saskatchewan, where they had been housed, probably since the microfilming was done in 1978. In 2002 the Jugendverein records were donated to the archives.

Notes

  • Volumes 597, 598, 600.
  • Description updated October 17, 2002 by Conrad Stoesz; microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory BF508.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R15, pp. 841–1155; R47, pp. 960–1248.

Series Descriptions

I. Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family records.
[192-?]–1960.
4 cm of textual records.

  • Book I membership and family register includes an index, a church history, birth, marriage, baptism, and death dates, and, in some cases, names of parents. Birth dates go back as far as 1837 and end at 1936. Book II membership and family register birth dates go back to 1872. The marriage register includes births of children from 1937–1960.
  • Finding aid: Volume 597, file list 1–3.

II. Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church financial records.
1905–1960.
7 cm of textual records.

  • Books in this series include records of mission contributions, records of offerings, financial records of individual members, as well as annual church receipts and expenditures. Also included are documents regarding land transaction for the church property.
  • Finding aid: Volume 597, file list 4–8; Volume 600, file list 9.

III. Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church congregational records.
1906–1952.
4 cm of textual records.

  • This series includes records of congregational minutes and library records.
  • Finding aid: Volume 597, file list 10–12.

IV. Jugendverein (young peoples) records.
1910–1956.
12 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of statutes and minutes of the meetings of the Jugendverein, also known as the young peoples group or Christian Endeavor.
  • Finding aid: Volume 598, file list 13–19.

File List

Volumes 597
1.  Index to Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church register. – 1907.
2.  Missing.
3.  Register Book II: church membership and family register. – 1937–1960.
4.  Purchase of church property land records. – 1911–1914.
5.  Book III: records of mission contributions. – 1905–1915.
6.  Book IV: records of offerings. – 1906–1945.
7.  Book V: financial records. – 1951–1957.
8.  Book VI: financial records of individual members. – 1908–1933.
Annual church receipts and expenditures. – 1955–1957, 1908–1925, 1945–1954.
9.  Financial records. Oversized, located on shelf as Volume 600. – 1957–1960.
10  Library records of the Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church. – 1916–1952.
11.  Book VII: Congregational minutes. – September 1906–December 1935.
12.  Historical notes of the Aberdeen Mennonite Brethren Church.

Volume 598
13.  Jugendverein membership register. – 1942–1952.
14.  Christlicher Jugenverein Programm und Protokoll (minutes) #1. – 1910–1919.
15.  Protokoll (minutes) #2. – 1918–1930.
16.  Protokollbuch des Jugendvereins der Mennonit Br. Gem. Zu Aberdeen (minutes) #3. – 1930–1933.
17.  Protokoll (minutes) #4. – 1933–1947.
18.  Minutes of the Young Peoples Christian Endeavor. – 1947–1956.
19.  Statuten für den Christlichen Jugendverein der MB Gemeinde zu Aberdeen, Sask. – 1932.

Microfilm file list

Reel 15

  • History of the Church; marriages, baptisms, births, deaths (Book I). – 1906–1936. – p.841–896 (+50).
  • History of the Church; marriages, baptisms, births, deaths (Book II). – 1937–1960. – p.897–933 (+33).
  • Record of Mission Contributions (Book III). – 1905–1915. – p.934–950 (+12).
  • Record of Church Offerings (Book IV). – 1906–1945. – p.951–1016 (+50).
  • Financial Contributions of the Church and Individuals (Book VI). – 1908–1954. – p.1045–1155 (+40).
  • Financial Records (Book V). – 1951–1957. – p.1017–1044 (+20).

Reel 47

  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Sept.1906–Dec.1935. – pp 960–1248.
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