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1959 Article

Northern Light Gospel Mission (Mennonite Church) was begun as an independent mission in 1938 by Irwin G. Schantz (1907-1985) and Llewellyn Groff of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. They established missions in northern Minnesota beginning in 1939. Funds are collected for the mission by a bimonthly newsletter, mostly from Eastern Pennsylvania and the Conservative Mennonite Church. In 1951 the mission churches established in the area either were organized as congregations of the North Central Mennonite District Conference, or were placed under the jurisdiction of an organized congregation, under the North Central Mennonite Mission Board, or, as in the case of Kitichi Pines and Cloverdale, under the sponsorship of Conservative Mennonite churches in Iowa. With the nine stations no longer under his responsibility, Schantz turned his attention to northern Ontario and established a home base at Red Lake, Ontario, the northernmost point of the highway. In the 1950s mission activity was carried on in the Indian reservations in the Lake of the Woods area. In 1957 the staff of workers numbered about fifteen. -- Melvin Gingerich

1990 Update

The Northern Light Gospel Mission Conference (NLGMC), based in Red Lake, Ontario was originally formed in 1965 by U.S. Mennonites as an outreach and church-planting program to reach Natives on northern reserves in Ontario and Minnesota. A growing staff of more than 100 people, spread over 19 mission outposts of the Northern Light Gospel Missions, resulted in the need for a conference structure. The conference was intended to provide ordinations of both staff members and Native brethren, to be the official organ for recognition with government offices etc., and to provide an annual gathering of missionaries in a conference setting.

With the emergence of the Christian Anishinabec Fellowship (known as the Native Mennonite Conference from 1990 to 1996) and the reorganization of the mission, the original mandate of NLGMC was met. By 1997, all of the former NLGMC churches had either become member congregations of the Christian Anishinabec Fellowship, or continued as unaffiliated Mennonite churches. -- Henry Hostetler

See also Christian Anishinabec Fellowship; Indian Ministries, North America.


Horst, Mary. A brief history of Northern Light Gospel Mission. Northern Light Gospel Mission, 1977.

Mennonite Yearbook & Directory, 1988-89, ed. James E. Horsch. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Publishing House, 1989: 96.

Mennonite Yearbook & Directory, 1997, ed. James E. Horsch. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Publishing House, 1997: 111.

Author(s) Melvin Gingerich
Henry Hostetler
Date Published 1990

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Melvin and Henry Hostetler. "Northern Light Gospel Mission Conference (NLGMC)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 29 Mar 2017.

APA style

Gingerich, Melvin and Henry Hostetler. (1990). Northern Light Gospel Mission Conference (NLGMC). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 March 2017, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1112; vol. 5, p. 639. All rights reserved.

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