Hunta Mennonite Church (Hunta, Ontario, Canada)
Hunta, Ontario is a small hamlet in Northern Ontario located about 25 km west of Cochrane, Ontario, north of the Trans-Canada highway on Hunta Road. At one time a thriving community with a railway station, general store and sawmill, Hunta now includes a small cluster of homes and a large transformer station.
In the 1960s Eli and Mary Landis and their sons from Berks County, Pennsylvania, came to the Hunta area to hunt moose and bear. In the late 1960s Eli purchased some land and some livestock near Hunta. The Jerry Miller family moved to the area in 1969 to look after the livestock. The Landis family, including their married sons, moved to the area in 1970.
A first worship service was held 21 June 1970 with visiting friend and minister Robert Miller, with a total of 39 in attendance. The Millers returned for visits in fall 1970 and again in March 1971 and helped to establish a Summer Bible School in 1971. During these years pastoral leadership came from visiting ministers. Hunta Mennonite's first communion service was held 24 October 1971, officiated by Bishop Raymond Charles of the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church. The Lancaster Conference asked Raymond Charles to give formal oversight to the developing congregation on 20 November 1973.
The distance from the Lancaster Conference became an increasing issue, especially when the small congregation went through some difficult times at the end of the 1970s. The Mennonite Conference of Ontario agreed to take over denominational responsibility for the congregation, and in May 1980 welcomed Hunta as a congregation in the conference. They provided financial and administrative assistance in provision of pastoral leadership at that time. A number of pastors from southern Ontario have served the congregation since that time. Sam Shantz's ten years of service is the longest. Glen Carney, a lay leader in the congregation for many years, frequently helped with pulpit supply as needed.
The first church building was constructed in 1974; prior to that time services were held in the Hunta Community Centre and other local buildings. This building served until 1999 when it was renovated and expanded, with a dedication service on 25 June 2000.
As the only Protestant church in the local area, Hunta Mennonite Church has always played an important spiritual role in the local Hunta/Frederickhouse community. This has included use of the church building by local groups, a community youth club, summer picnics and Bible school, Christmas sing-alongs, and assistance to persons in need within the community. Hunta's mission statement commits itself to "respond to God's love through Christ centered worship, Bible based nurture, and Spirit led outreach."
Mennonite Reporter (4 February 1980): 9; (20 April 1992): 13; (31 July 1995): 12.
Archival records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Table 1: Hunta Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|J. Harold Sherk||1980-1984|
|Polly Johnson||Nov. 2002-Present|
(Interim Lay Pastoral Leader )
Table 2: Hunta Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||December 2003|
Cite This Article
Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. "Hunta Mennonite Church (Hunta, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2003. Web. 22 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hunta_Mennonite_Church_(Hunta,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105080.
Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. (December 2003). Hunta Mennonite Church (Hunta, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hunta_Mennonite_Church_(Hunta,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105080.
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