← Back to Personal Papers

Block, Isaac I. (1935–2002)

Proper Title

Isaac I. Block fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

142 cm of textual material

Biographical Sketch

Isaac I. Block was born on February 2, 1935, the fourth of thirteen children, at Borden Saskatchewan.  His parents were Isaac H. Block (1905–1997) and Ella Derksen (1909–1997).  He married Alvina Jantzen of Waldheim Saskatchewan on June 21, 1957.  Block worked as an attendant and an occupational therapist at the Bethesda Home from 1957 to 1964.  After attending Tabor College from 1964 to 1966, he became the chaplain of the Bethesda Home.

From 1965 to 1973, in his capacity as Bethesda chaplain, he was active in the Association of Mennonite Hospitals and Homes, the Ontario Hospital Association, and the Ontario Christian Association for Exceptional Children.  From 1973 to 1981, he was the pastor of the Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church, and, from 1981 to 1992, he held various positions at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg.

Between 1973 and 1992, Block was active in the Mennonite Brethren Conference, both at the provincial and the Canadian level.  From 1982 to 1989, Block was associated with the Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns (the name of the Board changed to Board of Faith and Life in 1987).  In 1991, he received a Doctor of Ministries degree.  His thesis was based on his findings about sexual abuse among Mennonites in Winnipeg.

From 1992 to 1995, he was the pastor of the Sargent Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. Isaac passed away in 2002 at the age of 67 years.

Custodial History

This fonds was donated on July 27 1992 by Isaac and Alvina Block.  Upon donation, this fonds contained 3.5 cm of minutes, correspondence, papers and statements associated with the Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns.  Block's papers relating to the BSSC are now located in the BSSC (after 1987 Board of Faith and Life) fonds.  His papers relating to conference agencies can be found in the institutional fonds of those agencies.  Also donated were 8 cassettes of keynote addresses at various events by speakers other than Block, which are now located in the audio collection.  More textual documents were donated by Alvina Block following the death of Isaac, and added to this collection in the year 2003.

Scope and Content

This fonds consists of textual material created by Block or sent to Block in the form of presentations, correspondence, minutes, reports, agenda, and a panel discussion in which he participated.  Some papers are included that are not created by Block but that relate to the agencies in which he functioned.  Other materials include educational reports, essay papers, course outline, correspondences, sermons, committee minutes and a thesis.


  • Accession numbers: 1992-28 and 2003-13.
  • Location: Volume 918, 1163-1166.
  • Related material: Board of Faith and Life, Mennonite Central Committee, and MB Herald.
  • Language: English and some German.
  • No restriction on access.
  • Described by Janelle Hume July 13, 2006.
  • More detailed finding aid found inside each box.

File List

Volume 918

1. Presentations by Block to deacons retreats, congregational special events, etc. -- 1990–1991.
2. Papers presented by H. Clair Anstutz, Ronald Lofthouse, David Schroeder, and Bernie Wiebe at the Canadian Mennnonite Health Care Assembly, Jan. 21, 1982, Winnipeg, Manitoba, including some correspondence by Block regarding arrangements for this Assembly.
3. Correspondence regarding a Conference sponsored by Canadian Mennnonite Health Care Assembly. -- 1989.
4. Correspondence, reports, and papers relating to a consultation between Provincial Conference Moderators and Secretaries, and MCC Canada. --”€ 1977–1979.
5. MCC Canada Domestic Violence Task Force records relating to Block's M Div thesis. -- 1990–1991.
6. Minutes, reports, papers and correspondence related to the Association of Mennonite Hospitals and Homes. --”€ 1965–1973.
7. Correspondence of Ontario Hospital Association.
8. Personal correspondence with Ontario Christian Association for Exceptional Children. --”€ 1969–1971.
9. The Church's involvement in its welfare institutions. -- March, 1968.
10. A self-study conference on Christian ministries to the handicapped. -- September, 1969.
11. Rehabilitation at the Bethesda Home. -- 1970.
12. Correspondence re. Social work requirements. -- 1965.

Volume 1163

1. Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC) – Essays and papers, class lists, course syllabus and correspondences. -- 1978–1979, 1984–1992.
2. Communicating the Faith course at MBBC taught by Isaac I. Block. -- 1990.
3. Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) – Correspondences and files from the Leadership Training Internship program. -- 1980–1981, 1988–1989.
4. McMaster Divinity College – Correspondences, grades / reports, registration forms, student lists, essays and papers. -- 1967–1982.
5. University of Winnipeg – Correspondences, grades / reports, journal, papers and essays. -- 1982–1993.
6. Health Sciences Center (Supervised Pastoral Education) – evaluations, essays, learning goals, book review, graduation class, correspondences, brochures, registration and final grades. -- 1985.
7. Tabor College – essay papers “Guilt Feelings” Isaac Block, “Paranoid disorders” Isaac Block, “Dynamics of Suicide” Isaac Block, “Detachment- A defense mechanism,”  Isaac Block. --  1964–[196?].
8. Bethel Theological Seminary – Essay papers, reports, final transcripts, and a DMin thesis: “A Study of Domestic Abuse Among Mennonites in Winnipeg.” -- 1988–1992.
9. Bathesda Home, Vineland Ontario – Reports, Chapel services, proposals and correspondence. -- 1966–1968, 1971–1972.

Volume 1164

1. Correspondence – personal letters. -- 1965–2003.
2. Correspondence – Institute of Mennonite Studies. -- 1990–1991.
3. Correspondence – Other correspondence to various people and organizations not affiliated with the others mentioned. -- 1965–1991.
4. Church Leadership – papers, studies and seminars. -- 1982, 1985–1986.
5. Family Life Seminar. -- 1981.
6. Alberta Mennonite Brethren Convention – seminar notes and minutes. -- 1990.
7. Board of Faith and Life – Correspondence, minutes, reports, studies. – 1987—1988, 1988–1989.
8. Canadian Conference executive Board – correspondence, budget / financial reports, minutes, executive board member list. -- 1987–1988.
9. Mennonite Moderators Consultation – minutes and correspondence. -- 1992.
10. Mennonite Central Committee – studies, research / results and correspondence. -- 1995.
11.  Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church – newspaper articles, correspondence, bulletins. -- 1969, 1981–1990.
12.  History and meaning of Pastoral Care – papers and evaluations. -- 1984, 1988.
13.  Counseling and guidance – summary report, testing, reading reports. -- 1966.
14.  Several study papers by various authors: “Pastoral Care for the sexual offender,” Walter Wiens; “Rock Music – A study on Secular and Christian Rock,” Greg, Speiser; Church at Work Anthology,” “Pastoral Counseling,” “Anabaptist and the State,” “Mennonite Brethren and their mode of Baptism.” -- 1966, 1973, 1983, 1985, 1988.
15.  The church – various articles and study papers regarding issues within the church. -- 1975, 1983, 1985, [198?].
16.  Women in the Church – various articles, studies and papers regarding the issue of women in the church. -- 1972, [198?].
17.  Homosexuality – articles, suggestions and papers regarding the issue of homosexuality in the church. -- 1972, 1985, 1992.
18.  Poverty – letters, records and article regarding the issue of poverty. -- 1980–1981, 1985–1986.
19.  Conversion – Charts, questionnaires and papers regarding conversion. -- 1967.
20. Charismatic Movement – papers regarding the charismatic movement. -- 1974, 1978.
21.  Ethics – “Is Situation Ethics the Answer?”-- [198?].
22.  Ordination – “The Call and Ordination to Ministry” by Victor Adrian. -- [198?].
23.  "The Spiritual Formation of College Students” – Article in the MB Herald, September 6, 1985. -- 1985.

Volume 1165 and 1166

  • Sermons in German and in English. -- 1973–1999.
← Back to Personal Papers