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Laird Mennonite Brethren Church – Laird, SK

Proper Title

Laird Mennonite Brethren Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1897–1970

Physical Description

23 cm of textual records and one microfilm

Administrative History

The Laird (Ebenfeld) Mennonite Brethren Church, located in northern Saskatchewan one mile south and three and one-half miles east of Laird, was a member of the Canadian Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches, Rosthern District. Elder David Dyck began visiting some of the first Mennonite immigrants to Saskatchewan between 1896 and 1897. Through his efforts and instruction the first Saskatchewan MB Church was organized at Laird in 1899. Until churches were established in other areas, members came (not every Sunday) by horse and wagon from as far away as the Hague and Brotherfield districts. Worship services were held in the forenoon and Sunday School in the afternoon. Isaak Neufeld, a deacon from Russia, and C.K. Gloeckler were the first leaders. A church building was erected in 1899 at a cost of $583.00 and dedicated in December of that year. In 1900 Jacob B. Wiens, a minister from Kansas, became the leader of the church.

In the winter of 1911 to 1912, a short course Bible school lasting six weeks was conducted in March and April by John F. Harms and C.N. Hiebert. At that time the Christian Endeavor was also initiated with John B. Fischer as the first chairman. The church building was moved into town in 1911. The English language came into use in one Sunday school class in 1931 and after that the German language gradually changed to English. Worship services in 1949 were in both the German and English languages.

Church leaders and ministers of the Laird MB Church were Jacob B. Wiens, J.K. Janzen, E.H. Nikkel, J.B. Fischer (1926–1949), H.H. Nikkel, Jacob K. Janzen, David B. Wiens (1949–1950), Jacob Speiser (1950–1951), Nick Janz (1952–1953 and 1956–1958)), Henry Speiser (1954–1955), Walter Wiebe, Ben L. Heppner, Cornie Braun, Reuben Willems, David Martens (1959–1963) and Rudy Heidebrecht (1963–1970). On November 5 1970 the Laird MB Church officially closed because the active membership had become too small to function effectively as a church. Laird members joined the Waldheim MB Church.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of the following series: Membership records, church business meetings and church council minutes.

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 done in 1978.

Notes

  • Volume 638.
  • Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory BF534.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R12, pp. 1023–1538.
  • Microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.

Series Descriptions

I. Laird Mennonite Brethren Church minutes of business meetings.
1900–1970.
5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of two bound volumes of minutes of membership meetings. Book I, pp. 350–559 contains a record of the first meetings of the North Saskatchewan District June 8, 1899 to October 20 1906. Book I is in the German Gothic script and Book II is primarily in the English language. Included are Church Council minutes (1960–1967) and the final congregational meetings (1967–1970).
  • Finding aid: Laird Mennonite Brethren Church list 1–5.

II. Laird Mennonite Brethren Church membership records.
1899–1967.
5 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of two bound volumes of family registers (labelled books IV and V) including birth, baptism, marriage, and death dates. Book IV is in the German Gothic script.
  • Finding aid: Laird Mennonite Brethren Church list 6–7.

III. Laird Mennonite Brethren Church financial records.
1961–1968.
3 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of one book of records of offerings and donations.
  • Finding aid: Laird Mennonite Brethren Church list 8.

IV. Laird Mennonite Brethren Church Christian Endeavour Program minutes.
1912–1970.
10 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of seven volumes. It documents the transition from the German language to the English language. Program minutes from 1912 to 1934 were in German Gothic script, from 1934 to 1948 they were in German language Latin script, and after 1948 they were in English language.
  • Finding aid: Laird Mennonite Brethren Church list 9–15.

File List

Volume 638

Series I: Minutes of church meetings
1. Historical notes. – 1970.
Membership transfers. – 1895.
Sunday School record book of Class III by teacher P.P. Wiens. – 1938.
2. Book I: Minutes of congregational meetings. – 1899–1944.
3. Book II: Minutes of congregational meetings. – 1945–1970.
4. Book III: Minutes of Church Council. – November 1960–February 1967.
5. Minutes concluding meetings of the congregation. – December 1967–September 1970.

Series II: Membership and family registers

6. Book IV: Membership and family register. – 1899–1940.
7. Book V: Membership and family register. – 1940–1967.

Series III: Financial records.
8. Financial records. – 1961–1968.

Series IV: Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs
9. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1912–1919.
10. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1920–1927.
11. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1927–1934.
12. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1934–1943.
13. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1944–1951.
14. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1952–1968.
15. Minutes of Christian Endeavour programs. – 1968–1970.

Microfilm file list

Reel 12

  • Membership Records (Book IV). – [189-]–1937. – p.1350–1478 (+10).
  • Membership Records (Book V). – [189-]–1957. – p.1479–1538 (+40).
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes (Book I). – 1899–1944. – p.1023–1218 (+95).
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes (Book II). – 1914–1970. – p.1219–1329 (+100).
  • Church Council Meeting Minutes (Book III). – Nov.1960–Feb.1967. – p.1330–1349 (+15).
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