Mennonite history

Carwash

A 1978 car wash at Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Man. Pictured, Don Wiens, right, soaks Adrienne Wiebe, left. Car washes, bake sales, quilt raffles, pie auctions, coffee houses, work days, cookbooks, and chocolate and cookie drives are methods that churches and church-related institutions have used to raise funds. There are so many good causes to financially support.

Henry Neufeld

Henry Neufeld, right, spent a lifetime building positive relationships among Mennonite and indigenous peoples. He is pictured standing beside Pastor Jeremiah Ross from Cross Lake, Man., at a Conference of Mennonites in Canada (now Mennonite Church Canada) conference in Vancouver in 1981. In 1968, Neufeld was given permission to build a house and to live with the people of Little Grand Rapids.

A potluck plate full of Mennonite cultures

During his internship, Andrew Brown, centre, happened to meet John Redekop, left, and Peter Redekop, right, who were part of a group of Mennonites Brown researched. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Brown)

Andrew Brown, left, stands with members of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Brown)

This spring I was awarded an archival internship with the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission that allowed me to travel to various Mennonite Brethren archives in North America to learn how they work, as well as to do some of my own research.

Irene Klassen

Photo by John Klassen, Mennonite Archives of Alberta

Irene Klassen is pictured touring a sawmill at LaCrete, Alta., in September 2003, when the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta meeting was held in the northern Alberta town. The trip was almost a thousand kilometres, so it took a long day to get there. Participants were provided with a tour of the LaCrete Mennonite Heritage Village, the Heimstaed Lodge for seniors, and the sawmill.

Naomi Martin

Naomi Martin holds a book belonging to her late husband, Bishop J.B. Martin, at the family home in 1975. Archivists Lorna Bergey and Sam Steiner look on as she prepares to donate his books and papers to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. J.B.

Mennonite ‘routes’ go deep

Photo by Dave Rogalsky

Photo by Dave Rogalsky

Building of a light-rail transit system along the spine of Waterloo and Kitchener had to change focus in March 2016, when excavations in uptown Waterloo exposed the remains of a corduroy road. Archeologists are dating the road to the late 1700s or early 1800s. It was probably built by Mennonites, the original settlers in the area.

Funk family goes to church

This is a photo of Mennonite writer Katie Funk Wiebe and her family driving to church circa 1940. Katie’s father, Jacob J. Funk, took the picture in front of Eigenheim Mennonite Church in Saskatchewan. Pictured from left to right: Jakie, Katie, mother Anna with her Sunday hat, Frieda, Annie and Susie. The Eigenheim church began services in 1892 and formally organized in 1894.

Film-maker Allan Kroeker

Do you enjoy the TV show Star Trek? If so, thank Allan Kroeker, who directed 39 episodes between 1996 and 2005. Kroeker continues to direct and this year is working on two projects. Kroeker began producing for Mennonite Brethren Communications in 1976, Mennonite Central Committee, and MBMSI. Kroeker grew up in Winnipeg, Man., and credits his grandfather A.A.

CO Bunkhouse

Second World War conscientious objectors (COs) were often sent to provincial parks for manual labour, as part of their alternative service assignments. This photo, taken between 1941-45, depicts Mennonite men getting dressed in their winter clothes around the warmth of a wood stove. Smoke from the stove, with laundry hanging from the rafters, can be seen in the background.

Mennonites, medicine, and the body

The poster for the conference, “Mennonites, Medicine and the Body: Health, Illness and Medical Research in the Past and Present,” held at Canadian Mennonite University in October 2015.

I had the privilege of participating in a conference this past weekend (Oct. 23, 24, 2015) at the University of Winnipeg hosted by Royden Loewen, the chair of Mennonite Studies. The theme was “Mennonites, Medicine, and the Body: Health, Illness and Medical Research in the Past and Present,” and it was a fascinating combination of medical, historical, literary, and theological perspectives.

Anna Thiessen, Winnipeg missionary

Photo from Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies/Mennonite Archival Image Database

Missionary to the city of Winnipeg, Anna Thiessen, is seated with some girls she worked with in 1919. Rural life has been an important part of Mennonite life and self-understanding. The city was seen as dangerous and unhealthy and therefore shunned. Mennonite Brethren missionary Anna Thiessen was one of the first Canadian Mennonites who chose to work in the city, beginning in 1915.

Sunday School in 1980

Photo provided by the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.

A group of children from Orchard Park Bible Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., carry signs celebrating the 200th birthday of Sunday school as Kathy and Alfred Guenther present keepsakes to the children. In 1780, Robert Raikes started Sunday school in Gloucester, England, as a way to teach lower-class children morals and religion.

Lenore Mendes at Mennonite World Conference, 1990

Photo: Mennonite Heritage Centre/Mennonite Archival Image Database

Lenore Mendes of Guatemala addresses Mennonite World Conference 12 in Winnipeg in 1990. She thought she would be speaking to a few hundred people, but was surprised to see thousands. The Winnipeg gathering was the biggest to date with 13,000 registrants.  Her sermon in Winnipeg was an important stepping stone to her election to the Executive Committee of MWC.

On the way to Sängerfest, 1934

Photo: Mennonite Heritage Centre/Mennonite Archival Image Database

A group of 18 young men and women travel in the back of a truck on their way a Sängerfest or song festival in the Didsbury, Alberta, area in 1934. No seatbelts used here! Song festivals were popular in Mennonite circles as a way of gathering to see old friends, enjoy singing four-part harmony music, and a way for young men and women to meet in controlled environments.

Landscapes of war, a people of peace

Jonathan Seiling, right, consults with Carol Penner, pastor of The First Mennonite Church, Vineland, Ont. on a recent historic tour. (Photo by Melissa Seiling)

The War of 1812 is important to commemorate for many reasons. As the only defensive war fought on Canadian soil in the last two centuries, it was also the first testing of the historic peace churches' position of conscientious objection in Canadian history.

Never Again

Fred Ritchie reads a peace book to great-grandson, Simon Clark. (Photo courtesy of Jake Buhler)

Charlie Clark, who grew up in the United Church tradition, listened carefully to the stories of his beloved Grandpa Ritchie on his fruit orchard in Naramata, B.C. The stories came from a gentle man who had seen war up close and who believed there was a better way to solving problems.

Meet me at the Grand!

A 1797 Conestoga wagon, refitted with rubber tires, travels from Lancaster, Pa., to Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., in 1952 to mark the centennial of Waterloo County. (File photo by David Hunsberger, Mennonite Archives of Ontario)

A cairn erected at The First Mennonite Church in Vineland in 1986 marks the bicentennial celebrations of the Mennonites’ arrival in Canada. (www.gameo.org photo)

The homestead of Daniel and Veronica (Schneider) Martin (married April 8, 1823) at Wagner's Corners (on the west side of Weber St.) in what is now the north end of Waterloo, Ont. (Mennonite Archives of Ontario photo)

Russian Mennonite immigrants walking up Erb St. in Waterloo, Ont., from the railway siding in downtown Waterloo toward Erb St. Mennonite Church, in 1924. (Mennonite Archives of Ontario photo)

It is 1786. The first Swiss Mennonites have just arrived in Ontario, having travelled from Pennsylvania in Conestoga wagons. They crossed the mighty Niagara River by taking the wheels off their wagons, sealing the wagon boxes to make boats, and then floating across. Cattle and horses swam.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mennonite history