The Cressman congregation probably began in 1815 when the Cressman family arrived from Pennsylvania. For a time they held worship services in their home or the local school house.
In 1834 the Benjamin Eby congregation in Berlin (now First Mennonite Church on King Street in Kitchener) outgrew its log meetinghouse built in 1813. The building was disassembled and moved to the Christian Snyder farm in Breslau and reassembled on an acre of land that was deeded in 1837 by Snyder to the congregation's first trustees. The selling price was one pound and it was stipulated that the property must be used solely for a meetinghouse, burying ground, and school for the Mennonites and all people in the area.
This log structure served the congregation's needs until 1856 when a brick building was erected. The log church was moved to the village of Breslau and became the residence of Fred Schaefer, a brick maker who bricked the log building at a later date. In 2008 the house still stood in good livable condition on Woolwich Street North.
In 1908 the congregation saw that its building was neither large enough or substantial enough to accommodate the people, so a new white brick church was built, using bricks from the Breslau brick yard and recycling bricks from the previous church building. This building in 2009 served as the Christian Education wing. In 1968 an addition was added to the front of the church, along with some renovations, and in July of that year the name was changed from Cressman Mennonite Church to Breslau Mennonite Church.
By 1989 plans for expansion envisioned a new church to be added on to the existing building. A cornerstone was laid in 1990 and by 1991 the congregation moved into the new addition that consisted of a beautiful sanctuary, gymnasium, library, nursery, three offices and a large sunlit foyer. It was attached to the original structure where Sunday School classes, a Parish Nurse office and smaller fellowship hall were housed. A bricked outdoor courtyard touched both the old and the new buildings.
Breslau Mennonite Church is as old as this community. As an early concrete instance of Christian hospitality, it is worthy to note when our German-speaking Catholic neighbors first settled in New Germany (now the Maryhill area), they found shelter and help in Mennonite homes until they could locate homes for themselves.
In addition to many children and youth, in 2008, 222 adult members representing approximately 100 households constituted a vibrant congregation. May the faith of our pioneer fathers and mothers continue to grow amongst many peoples.
Burkholder, Oscar. Cressman Mennonite Church. Breslau, ON: The Church, 1955, 24 pp.
Mennonite Reporter (9 July 1984): 11; (18 February 1991): 12.
Archival RecordsCongregational Records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Mennonites in Canada collection. "(1830-Cressman)." Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Address: 226 Woolwich St., Breslau, ON, N0B 1M0
Website: Breslau Mennonite Church
Breslau Mennonite Church Pastors
|Minister||Years of Service|
|Donovan Smucker (Interim)||1971-1973|
|Doug Snyder (Interim)||1979|
|Jan Steckley (Associate)||1989-1998|
|Susan Allison-Jones (Associate)||1999-2003|
|Ken Bechtel (Interim)||2002-2003|
|Tara Gingerich Hiebert (Part time)||2003-2006|
|Vicky Roeder Martin (Youth)||2011-2014|
Breslau Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||May 2008|
Cite This Article
Wiens, Erwin. "Breslau Mennonite Church (Breslau, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2008. Web. 16 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Breslau_Mennonite_Church_(Breslau,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105469.
Wiens, Erwin. (May 2008). Breslau Mennonite Church (Breslau, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Breslau_Mennonite_Church_(Breslau,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105469.
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