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Living Hope Bible Church – Port Rowan, ON

Proper Title

Living Hope Bible Church fonds

Dates of Creation

1927–2020

Physical Description

75 cm of textual records, 1 microfilm reel, and digital bulletins

Administrative History

Russian Mennonite immigrants came to the Selkirk area on the shores of Lake Erie in 1925 to be hosted by the Mennonites who had been there since the late 18th century. In 1926, they took up land in the Port Rowan area. These Mennonite families were from the Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonite backgrounds, but they worshiped together in the Messiah Church building that became available to them.

In 1927, the Mennonite Brethren families formed their own congregation, with 11 charter members. This MB group met in private homes periodically to discuss their own business, but they continued to worship together with all the Mennonite families in the Messiah Church building. In 1940, the two groups separated. The Mennonite Brethren families purchased the Messiah Church building. The General Conference group purchased the Erie View Baptist Church building.

The Messiah Church building was expanded in 1946 when more space was needed when more families moved into the area to join the Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church. Renovations were completed in 1949. The language transition from German to English began in the 1950s. In 1958, a new meeting house was constructed. The original Messiah Church building, built in 1883 was finally dismantled in 1977 after having been moved one last time. In 1970, an education wing was added to the 1958-built meeting house. In 1976, a foyer was added. In 1976, they helped establish another congregation in Simcoe.

The leaders of the congregation were: Dietrich Doerksen (1927–1928), Johann Baese, Gerhard Derksen, and Alexander Suderman led the congregation jointly (1928–1933), Peter Reimer (1933–1934, 1956–1962, 1965–1966), Jacob Penner Sr. (1934–1956), Willie Baerg (1962–1965), Abram Block (1966–1971), Jacob Penner Jr. (1971–1973), Walter Janzen (1973–1978), Ralph Teigrob (1978–1979, 1999), Cornelius Braun (1979–1990), Arnie Neufeld (1991–1993), John Unger (1993), Bill Lehman (1994–1998), Randy Dueck (1999), Sandy Young (2000–2006), Ralph Teigrob (2007), Paul Robinson (2008–2012), Steve Savage (2012–2016), Mark Hunt (2017– ).

In 2019, the Port Rowan MB Church changed its name to Living Hope Bible Church.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of an historical sketch of the congregation (1979), a brief congregational history (1985), a summary history in the MB Herald (1986), a congregational directory (1992), 50th anniversary book (1977), congregational bulletins (1968–2016), membership and family registers (1927–1987), membership transfers (1952–1970, 1976–1990), congregational baptismal register (1920–1949, 1972–1989), proof of birth certificates (1970–1976), marriage register (1937–1977), congregational meeting minutes (1931–1991), Sunday School financial records (1930–1955), Sunday School documents – Port Royal (1952–1959), Sunday School documents – Unger School (1955–1962), Sunday School teachers’ register (1964–1978), Sunday School teachers’ meeting minutes (1967–1978), congregational annual reports (1962–1977).

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 557–561; 1336.
  • 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-510.
  • Finding aid for microfilm: R39, pp.1–1726.
  • Described by Bert Friesen 16 October 2001; updated by Yvonne Snider-Nighswander October 31, 2011. Updated by Kate Woltmann July 16, 2013.  Updated by Emma Sorensen June 1, 2018.
  • Microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.
  • No restrictions on access.
  • Language of worship English; was German until 1960.

Series Descriptions

I. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church history.
1979, 1985–1986.
0.3 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a brief congregational history (1985), a summary history published in the MB Herald (1986), and an historical sketch of the congregation (1979).

II. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church directory.
1992.
0.2 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a congregational address and telephone directory (1992).

III. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book.
1977.
1 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of a 50th anniversary book of the congregation (1977).

IV. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins.
1968–2016.
40 cm of textual records.

  • This series consists of congregational bulletins (1968–2016).

V. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church registers.
1927–1990.
9.5 cm of textual records and 330 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of membership and family registers (1927–1987), membership transfers (1952–1970, 1976–1990), congregational baptismal register (1920–1949, 1972–1989), proof of birth certificates (1970–1976), and marriage register (1937–1977).

VI. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church minutes.
1931–1991.
10.5 cm of textual records and 831 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of congregational meeting minutes (1931–1991).

VII. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church annual reports.
1962–1977.
337 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of annual congregational reports (1962–1977).

VIII. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Sunday School Documents.
1930–1970.
228 pp.; microfilm.

  • This series consists of Sunday School financial records (1930–1955), Sunday School documents – Port Royal (1952–1959), Sunday School documents – Unger School (1955–1962), Sunday School teachers’ register (1964–1978), Sunday School teachers’ meeting minutes (1967–1978).

File List

Volume 557

  1. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church proof of birth certificates. -- 1970–1976.
  2. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church baptismal register. -- 1920–1949, 1972–1989.
  3. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership transfers. -- 1952–1968.
  4. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership transfers. -- 1968–1970, 1976–1990.
  5. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family register. -- 1927–1951.
  6. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family register. -- 1975–1981.
  7. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family register. -- 1982–1987.
  8. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1938–1946.
  9. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1947–1958.
  10. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1958–1967.
  11. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1968–1978.
  12. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church congregational meeting minutes. -- 1978–1991.

Volume 558

  • Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family register. -- 1952–1974.

Volume 559

  1. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church historical sketch. -- 1979.
  2. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church history. -- 1985–1986.
  3. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church directories. -- 1987, 1992.
  4. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church 50th anniversary book. -- 1977.
  5. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1968.
  6. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1969–1970.
  7. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1971.
  8. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1972.
  9. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1973.
  10. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1974.
  11. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1975.
  12. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1976.
  13. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1977.
  14. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1978.
  15. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1979.
  16. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1980.
  17. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1981.
  18. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1982.

Volume 560–561

  1. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1983.
  2. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1984.
  3. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1985.
  4. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1986.
  5. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1987.
  6. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1988.
  7. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1989.
  8. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1990.
  9. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1991.
  10. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1992.
  11. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1993.
  12. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1994.
  13. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1995.
  14. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1996.
  15. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1997.
  16. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1998.
  17. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 1999.
  18. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2000.
  19. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2001.
  20. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2002.
  21. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2003–2004.
  22. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2005.
  23. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2006.
  24. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2007.

Volume 1336

  1. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2008.
  2. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2009.
  3. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2010.
  4. Port Rowan Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins. -- 2011–2012.
  5. Bulletins. -- 2013.
  6. Bulletins. -- 2014.
  7. Bulletins. -- 2015.
  8. Bulletins. -- 2016.

Microfilm file list

Reel 39

  • Membership and Family Register (Book I–German). – ca.1927–1932. – pp. 1349–1403.
  • Membership and Family Register (Book II–German). – ca.1933–1974. – pp. 1404–1533.
  • Membership and Family Register (Book III–English). – ca.1974–1978. – pp. 1534–1588.
  • Marriage Record. – 1937–1977. – pp. 1590–1678.
  • Annual Reports. – 1962–1977. – pp. 832–1168.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1931–Aug.1937. – pp. 1–35.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1938–Oct.1946. – pp. 36–139.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1947–May 1958. – pp. 140–328.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – June 1958–Dec.1967. – pp. 329–523.
  • Congregational Meeting Minutes. – Jan.1968–Mar.1978. – pp. 524–831.
  • Sunday School Offerings and Distribution. – 1930–1955. – pp. 1679–1726.
  • Mission Sunday School at Port Royal. – 1952–1959. – pp. 1282–1316.
  • Mission S. School In Unger School at St. Williams. – 1955–1962. – pp. 1316–1348.
  • S. School Student teacher register. – 1964–1978. – pp. 1207–1281.
  • S. School Teacher’s meeting Minutes. – 1967–1970. – pp. 1169–1206.

Digital Files

  • Bulletins. -- 2016.
  • Bulletins. -- 2017.
  • Bulletins. -- 2018.
  • Bulletins. -- 2019.
  • Bulletins. -- 2020
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