Grace Mennonite Fellowship (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada)
Grace Mennonite Church began services on 5 September 1976, when some members withdrew from the New Hamburg Conservative Mennonite Church through a desire for more congregational autonomy, less focus on rules and regulations, and more open association and fellowship with other conservative-minded groups. The congregation's formal organization took place on 21 November 1976 with 17 charter members. Earl D. Koch was the pastor and Leighton Martin from the Heidelberg Church served as bishop.
In 1977 Grace, together with Heidelberg and Zion, and about fifteen congregations in the United States formed Mid-West Mennonite Fellowship and established Maranatha Bible School. In 2003 there were nine Ontario congregations affiliated with the Mid-West Mennonite Fellowship. Member congregations hold joint meetings, but retain congregational autonomy.
The congregation has met in the former Bethel United Church building, which had been closed for five years. In 1984 Grace purchased the building, and completed major renovations in 1985. Howard Bean was ordained on 9 April 1978 to assist minister Earl Koch. On 27 November 1983 Howard Bean was ordained bishop for both Grace and Zion. Both men continued to serve as non-salaried pastors in 2003. Services are conducted in English, with Bible study classes for all ages. The congregation sings in four-part harmony without instrumental accompaniment. In 2003 the congregation also held monthly evening song services, a two-week morning Vacation Bible School in mid-July, and an outdoor community hymn-sing on the Sunday evening following the August Civic Holiday.
The membership increased when the nearby Maple Grove Mennonite Church closed, and most of its members joined with Grace Mennonite. The congregation has been active in supporting missions, particularly in Northern Ontario and in Guatemala.
In 2014 the church had 80 members and was a member of the Midwest Mennonite Fellowship. The ministerial team included Bishop Howard G. Bean and Ministers Earl D. Koch and Richard Bean.
Information may be found in Mid-West Mennonite focus.
Mennonite Church Directory 2014. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2014: 97.
Records with pastor and church.
Address: 2111 Bean Road, New Hamburg, ON
Midwest Mennonite Fellowship (1977-present)
Grace Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|Earl Koch (Minister)||1976-|
|Leighton Martin (Bishop)||1976-1988|
|Howard Bean (Bishop, 1983-)||1978-|
|Richard Bean (Minister)||2010-|
Grace Mennonite Church Membership
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||February 2015|
Cite This Article
Epp, Marlene and Richard D. Thiessen. "Grace Mennonite Fellowship (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2015. Web. 26 Sep 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grace_Mennonite_Fellowship_(New_Hamburg,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=138850.
Epp, Marlene and Richard D. Thiessen. (February 2015). Grace Mennonite Fellowship (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grace_Mennonite_Fellowship_(New_Hamburg,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=138850.
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