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[[File:NarinMennoniteChurch.jpg|300px|thumb|right|''Nairn Mennonite Church, Ailsa Craig, Ontario
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[[File:NarinMennoniteChurch.jpg|300px|thumb|right|''Nairn Mennonite Church, Ailsa Craig, Ontario<br />
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Source: [http://www.brianlshantz.com/documents/listing_image_99.jpg Brian L. Shantz Ltd. website]'']]   
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The Nairn Mennonite Church, Ailsa Craig, [[Ontario (Canada)|Ontario]], [[Canada]], began in the winter of 1948 when several families from the Wellesley, Wilmot and East Zorra area with roots in the [[Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church)|Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference]] bought farms in the Ailsa Craig area with the goal of establishing a mission church. They purchased the 1881 St. Andrew's Presbyterian church in Nairn, which had closed in 1947, with the assistance of the conference's mission board, and began worshipping there in 1948. Pastoral services were provided by the mission board until Wilfred Schlegel (1910-1978) was ordained as the first minister on 6 March 1949.
  
Source: [http://www.brianlshantz.com/documents/listing_image_99.jpg Brian L. Shantz Ltd. website]'']]    The Nairn Mennonite congregation near Ailsa Craig, [[Ontario (Canada)|Ontario]], began services in 1948. The church's first building was constructed in 1881 as part of the Presbyterian Church. A new building was erected in 1996. Wilfred Schlegel is regarded as the founder of the congregation. Culturally the congregation's roots are Amish Mennonite. The settlement was the result of colonization by Amish Mennonites from Wilmot and Wellesley Townships in [[Waterloo County (Ontario, Canada)|Waterloo County]], and East Zorra Township in Oxford County. The language of worship services has always been English.
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The entreprenuerial spirit of Wilfred Schlegel led the church to help innovate many programs, including: Craigwiel Gardens, a multi-level facility for seniors in Ailsa Craig, the London Rescue Mission and [[Valleyview Mennonite Church (London, Ontario, Canada)|Valleyview Mennonite Church]] in London, Ontario, and the [[Craigwood Youth Services (Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada)|Ailsa Craig Boys' Farm]] (now Craigwood Youth Services).
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In the 1980s it became evident the old church facility was no longer adequate. Because of the many levels of the building, ramping or elevators were not practical for providing barrier-free access. Then an invasion of bats became a concern, and inquiry about extermination revealed that it would be a major undertaking. Regretfully, tearing down the old church and building a new one became necessary. A new facility was dedicated on 1 December 1996.
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 +
In 2017 the congregation's vision statement read:
 +
 
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The Nairn  congregation is being called by God to be a place where all people:
 +
:​are listened to and accepted   
 +
:build relationships with Christ and one another;
 +
:have opportunities for meaningful worship and biblical teaching;
 +
:have opportunities for transformational growth.
 
= Bibliography =
 
= Bibliography =
"40-Nairn," Mennonites in Canada collection, [http://grebel.uwaterloo.ca/mao/ Mennonite Archives of Ontario].
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"40-Nairn," Mennonites in Canada collection, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
  
Arnel, Ruth. <em class="gameo_bibliography">A Time of Change: Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Nairn Mennonite Church.</em> Nairn, Ont.: Nairn Mennonite Church, 1973, 48 pp.
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Arnel, Ruth. ''A Time of Change: Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Nairn Mennonite Church.'' Nairn, Ont.: Nairn Mennonite Church, 1973, 48 pp.
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Gospel Herald</em> (13 April 1948): 355; (7 September 1948): 845; (22 March 1949): 283; (21 February 1950): 184; (24July 1956): 705.
+
''Gospel Herald'' (13 April 1948): 355; (7 September 1948): 845; (22 March 1949): 283; (21 February 1950): 184; (24 July 1956): 705.
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Mennonite Reporter</em> (10 July 1989): 9; (30 May 1994): 15; (17 October 1994): 15; (4 March 1996): 14; (3 February 1997): 17.
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''Mennonite Reporter'' (10 July 1989): 9; (30 May 1994): 15; (17 October 1994): 15; (4 March 1996): 14; (3 February 1997): 17.
  
<h3>Archival Records</h3> Church archival records at [http://grebel.uwaterloo.ca/mao/ Mennonite Archives of Ontario].
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Meyer, Ruth Smith. "Nairn Mennonite turns 60." ''Canadian Mennonite'' 12, no. 16 (18 August 2008): 16.
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 +
"Our history." Nairn Mennonite Church. 2016. Web. 31 December 2016. http://nairnmennonite.weebly.com/about.html.
 +
===Archival Records===
 +
Church archival records at [https://uwaterloo.ca/mennonite-archives-ontario/ Mennonite Archives of Ontario].
 
= Additional Information =
 
= Additional Information =
<strong>Address</strong>: R.R. 1, Box 9, 26459 Bear Creek Side Rd., Ailsa Craig, ON N0M 1A0
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'''Address''': R.R. 1, Box 9, 26459 Bear Creek Side Rd., Ailsa Craig, ON N0M 1A0
 
 
<strong>Location</strong>: 4 km south of the town of Ailsa Craig
 
  
<strong>Telephone</strong>: 519-232-4425
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'''Location''': 4 km south of the town of Ailsa Craig
  
<strong>Denominational Affiliations</strong>:
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'''Phone''': 519-232-4425
  
Western Ontario Mennonite Conference (1948-1988)
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'''Website''': http://nairnmennonite.weebly.com/
  
Mennonite Church (1959-1999)
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'''Denominational Affiliations''':
  
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1988-present)
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[https://www.mcec.ca/ Mennonite Church Eastern Canada]
  
[[Conference of Mennonites in Canada|Conference of Mennonites in Canada]] / [[Mennonite Church Canada|Mennonite Church Canada]] (1995-present)
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[http://home.mennonitechurch.ca/ Mennonite Church Canada]
  
<h3>Nairn Mennonite Church Membership</h3> <table class="vertical listing"> <tr> <th>Year
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==Nairn Mennonite Church Membership==
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{|  class="wikitable"
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! Year !! Members
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|-
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| 1950 || align="right" | 20
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|-
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| 1965 || align="right" | 83
 +
|-
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| 1985 || align="right" | 61
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|-
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| 1995 || align="right" | 59
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|-
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| 2000 || align="right" | 61
 +
|-
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| 2011 || align="right" | 59
 +
|-
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| 2015 || align="right" | 49
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|}
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== Pastoral Leaders at Nairn Mennonite Church ==
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{| class="wikitable"
 +
|-
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! Name !! Years<br/>of Service
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|-
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| Wilfred Schlegel || 1949-1972
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|-
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| Dan Zehr || 1962-1965
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|-
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| Myron Schrag || 1966-1967
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|-
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| Melvin Otterbein || 1967-1969
 +
|-
 +
| John Brubacher || 1970-1972
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|-
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| Ministry Team<br/>(Wilfred Schlegel<br/>Jim Helmuth<br/>Nelson Scheifele) || 1972-1976
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|-
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| David Brunner || 1976-1983
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|-
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| Ephraim Gingerich || 1983-1985
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|-
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| Karen James-Abra || 1985-1990
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|-
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| Doris Gascho<br/>(Interim) || 1986-1987
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|-
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| Ephraim Gingerich<br/>(Interim) || 1990-1991
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|-
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| Mary Mae Schwartzentruber || 1991-1997
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|-
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| Gordon Martin<br/>(Interim) || 1997
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|-
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| Dennis Watts || 1998-1999
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|-
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| Waldemar Regier<br/>(Interim) || 2000
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|-
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| Paul Furseth<br/>(Interim) || 2000
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|-
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| Gerry Vanderworp<br/>(Interim) || 2001
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|-
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| David Friesen Waldner || 2001-2008
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|-
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| Art Sheil || 2008-present
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|-
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| Ernie Harris || 2017-present
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|}
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= Map =
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[[Map:Nairn Mennonite Church (Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada)]]
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= Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article =
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By Wilfred Schlegel. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from ''Mennonite Encyclopedia'', Vol. 3, p. 807. All rights reserved.
  
</th> <th>Members
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Nairn Amish Mennonite Church, located three miles south of Ailsa Craig, and about 20 miles northwest of London, Middlesex County, Ontario, a member of the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference, was organized in 1949 with 20 members under the leadership of Wilfred Schlegel. In 1947 the congregation bought a well-built Presbyterian church, seating capacity 350. In 1955 the membership was 63 with Wilfred Schlegel still serving as pastor.
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{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=January 2017|a1_last=Steiner|a1_first=Sam|a2_last=|a2_first=}}
  
</th> </tr>  <tr> <td>1950</td> <td align="right">20</td> </tr> <tr> <td>1965</td> <td align="right">83</td> </tr> <tr> <td>1985</td> <td align="right">61</td> </tr> <tr> <td>1995</td> <td align="right">59</td> </tr> <tr> <td>2000</td> <td align="right">61</td> </tr>  </table>
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[[Category:Churches]]
{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=July 2000|a1_last=Schlegel|a1_first=Wilfred|a2_last=Steiner|a2_first=Sam}}
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[[Category:Mennonite Church (MC) Congregations]]
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[[‎Category:Western Ontario Mennonite Conference Congregations]]
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[[‎Category:Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Congregations]]
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[[Category:Mennonite Church Canada Congregations]]
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[[‎Category:Ontario Congregations]]
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[[Category:Canadian Congregations]]

Latest revision as of 12:00, 14 January 2017

Nairn Mennonite Church, Ailsa Craig, Ontario
Source: Brian L. Shantz Ltd. website

The Nairn Mennonite Church, Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada, began in the winter of 1948 when several families from the Wellesley, Wilmot and East Zorra area with roots in the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference bought farms in the Ailsa Craig area with the goal of establishing a mission church. They purchased the 1881 St. Andrew's Presbyterian church in Nairn, which had closed in 1947, with the assistance of the conference's mission board, and began worshipping there in 1948. Pastoral services were provided by the mission board until Wilfred Schlegel (1910-1978) was ordained as the first minister on 6 March 1949.

The entreprenuerial spirit of Wilfred Schlegel led the church to help innovate many programs, including: Craigwiel Gardens, a multi-level facility for seniors in Ailsa Craig, the London Rescue Mission and Valleyview Mennonite Church in London, Ontario, and the Ailsa Craig Boys' Farm (now Craigwood Youth Services).

In the 1980s it became evident the old church facility was no longer adequate. Because of the many levels of the building, ramping or elevators were not practical for providing barrier-free access. Then an invasion of bats became a concern, and inquiry about extermination revealed that it would be a major undertaking. Regretfully, tearing down the old church and building a new one became necessary. A new facility was dedicated on 1 December 1996.

In 2017 the congregation's vision statement read:

The Nairn congregation is being called by God to be a place where all people:

​are listened to and accepted
build relationships with Christ and one another;
have opportunities for meaningful worship and biblical teaching;
have opportunities for transformational growth.

Bibliography

"40-Nairn," Mennonites in Canada collection, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Arnel, Ruth. A Time of Change: Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Nairn Mennonite Church. Nairn, Ont.: Nairn Mennonite Church, 1973, 48 pp.

Gospel Herald (13 April 1948): 355; (7 September 1948): 845; (22 March 1949): 283; (21 February 1950): 184; (24 July 1956): 705.

Mennonite Reporter (10 July 1989): 9; (30 May 1994): 15; (17 October 1994): 15; (4 March 1996): 14; (3 February 1997): 17.

Meyer, Ruth Smith. "Nairn Mennonite turns 60." Canadian Mennonite 12, no. 16 (18 August 2008): 16.

"Our history." Nairn Mennonite Church. 2016. Web. 31 December 2016. http://nairnmennonite.weebly.com/about.html.

Archival Records

Church archival records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Address: R.R. 1, Box 9, 26459 Bear Creek Side Rd., Ailsa Craig, ON N0M 1A0

Location: 4 km south of the town of Ailsa Craig

Phone: 519-232-4425

Website: http://nairnmennonite.weebly.com/

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Mennonite Church Canada

Nairn Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1950 20
1965 83
1985 61
1995 59
2000 61
2011 59
2015 49

Pastoral Leaders at Nairn Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Wilfred Schlegel 1949-1972
Dan Zehr 1962-1965
Myron Schrag 1966-1967
Melvin Otterbein 1967-1969
John Brubacher 1970-1972
Ministry Team
(Wilfred Schlegel
Jim Helmuth
Nelson Scheifele)
1972-1976
David Brunner 1976-1983
Ephraim Gingerich 1983-1985
Karen James-Abra 1985-1990
Doris Gascho
(Interim)
1986-1987
Ephraim Gingerich
(Interim)
1990-1991
Mary Mae Schwartzentruber 1991-1997
Gordon Martin
(Interim)
1997
Dennis Watts 1998-1999
Waldemar Regier
(Interim)
2000
Paul Furseth
(Interim)
2000
Gerry Vanderworp
(Interim)
2001
David Friesen Waldner 2001-2008
Art Sheil 2008-present
Ernie Harris 2017-present

Map

Map:Nairn Mennonite Church (Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada)

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Wilfred Schlegel. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 807. All rights reserved.

Nairn Amish Mennonite Church, located three miles south of Ailsa Craig, and about 20 miles northwest of London, Middlesex County, Ontario, a member of the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference, was organized in 1949 with 20 members under the leadership of Wilfred Schlegel. In 1947 the congregation bought a well-built Presbyterian church, seating capacity 350. In 1955 the membership was 63 with Wilfred Schlegel still serving as pastor.


Author(s) Sam Steiner
Date Published January 2017


Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Sam. "Nairn Mennonite Church (Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2017. Web. 26 Sep 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nairn_Mennonite_Church_(Ailsa_Craig,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=143167.

APA style

Steiner, Sam. (January 2017). Nairn Mennonite Church (Ailsa Craig, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nairn_Mennonite_Church_(Ailsa_Craig,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=143167.




©1996-2017 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.