The formation of a body that could speak with authority for all Canadian Mennonites and represent a wide variety of Mennonite groups was an ideal that was never attained during World War II. Those Mennonites that envisioned such a body believed that its purpose would be to make joint representations to the Canadian federal government whenever it was felt necessary and to deal with issues such as alternative service, the peace witness and disaster service.
As Cold War tensions heightened, J. B. Martin of the Military Problems Committee of the Conference of Historic Peace Churches raised the idea of forming such a body again in January 1957. David P. Neufeld, chair of the Board of Christian Service of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, agreed with this proposal, as did Frank H. Epp, the Board’s secretary, and editor of The Canadian Mennonite.
The Conference of Historic Peace Churches called a meeting of interested parties for May 1957. Fifty delegates from 11 Mennonite groups met, along with three Hutterite observers. Agreement was reached on a number of issues, including the creation of a counseling body that would represent all Mennonites before the Canadian federal government. Denominational groups approved the creation of this body over the next year and a half. The Historic Peace Church Council of Canada was formed on 16 February 1959 by eight Mennonite groups.
The executive of the Council included J. B. Martin from the (Old) Mennonite Church, chair, David P. Neufeld from the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, vice-chair, and Cornelius J. Rempel, from the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, secretary.
In December of 1963, the Council was one of nine inter-Mennonite service agencies that united to form Mennonite Central Committee (Canada).
Epp, Esther Ruth. "The Origins of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada)." M.A. thesis, University of Manitoba, 1980.
|Author(s)||Richard D Thiessen|
|Date Published||September 2011|
 Cite This Article
Thiessen, Richard D. "Historic Peace Church Council of Canada." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2011. Web. 20 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Historic_Peace_Church_Council_of_Canada&oldid=95265.
Thiessen, Richard D. (September 2011). Historic Peace Church Council of Canada. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Historic_Peace_Church_Council_of_Canada&oldid=95265.
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