Faith Mennonite Church (Wellesley, Ontario, Canada)
The Faith Mennonite congregation began meeting in 1986 for Sunday evening Bible study and prayer at the New Prussia school south of Wellesley, Ontario. The group originated from Maple View Mennonite and other area Mennonite churches over a desire for stricter congregational discipline in matters of alcohol use and women's dress regulations. On 6 September 1987 the first worship service was held with an attendance of 43. With no ordained minister, early preaching was done by lay members or area Mennonite ministers. The group organized committees for Sewing Circle and Sunday evening programs. In February 1988 the group asked Bishop Raymond Harnish of Pennsylvania to give oversight to the congregation in areas of communion, baptism, marriages and funerals, as well as minister ordinations.
In Spring 1988 Oetzel's United Church invited the congregation to rent its building northwest of New Hamburg. The first worship service was held there on 3 July 1988 with an attendance of 55. Glenn Lichti was ordained minister on 21 August 1988. The first baptism occured on 4 March 1989. Faith Mennonite purchased the church building on 1 December 1989.
As the church grew, further programs were added -- a youth group in 1991, and an Expansion Committee by 1993. A portable classroom for the growing Sunday school was added in 1994. Vacation Bible School began in 1996. In 2003 the congregation had 115 members with Sunday morning attendance of approximately 170.
In 2003 property was purchased in the hamlet of Kingwood for the proposed new church building. In January 2005 the congregation made the decision to forge forward with the building project. The first service was held in the new building on April of 2006. The new facility enabled the church to make use of a larger sanctuary, a fellowship hall/gym and more rooms for Sunday school classes.
In 2009, an advisory committee was established to facilitate the effective working of the congregation as an independent congregation, in order to facilitate the wish of Raymond Harnish to end his oversight responsibilities. Initial committee members were Paul Emerson, Lorne Steckley and Todd Neuschwander.
In 2015 Sunday morning services included Christian education from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the worship service at 11:00 a.m. The worship service from 11 to 12 a.m. included congregational singing, testimonies and prayer, and preaching in English. A telephone call-in service was provided for those who were unable to attend. Sunday evening services were scheduled for three Sundays per month that might include a song service, visiting choirs, guest speakers, topic nights, mission reports or library book reports. The congregation actively supported local and foreign missions. It also had members participating in foreign missions, native ministries and prison ministry as well as local community outreach programs. Home based small group Bible Studies were also instrumental in assisting members in spiritual growth as well as the growth of the fellowship.
As with any church, its story is not so much that of the physical building and its changes over time, but rather the stories of the hearts and hands of those who make up the church and are dedicated to the expansion of God’s kingdom. The real story of our congregation is the combination of everyone’s testimony about the work of the Lord in each of our lives as we are called to share it with those that we meet on a daily basis.
Archives of the congregation maintained by the leadership.
Address: 1533 Forrest-Chalmers Road, Wellesley, Ontario N0B 2T0
Table 1: Faith Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|Raymond Harnish (Bishop)||1988-2009|
Table 2: Faith Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||February 2015|
Cite This Article
Yantzi, Arnold. "Faith Mennonite Church (Wellesley, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2015. Web. 20 Sep 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Faith_Mennonite_Church_(Wellesley,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=131058.
Yantzi, Arnold. (February 2015). Faith Mennonite Church (Wellesley, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Faith_Mennonite_Church_(Wellesley,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=131058.
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