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The Vineland United Mennonite congregation in Vineland, Ontario was formed by Mennonites who arrived from the Soviet Union in 1924-1926 and later, who at first worshiped in an old abandoned sawmill. Initially Vineland United Mennonite Church worshiped with the Mennonite Brethren. In 1927 they joined the United Mennonite Church in Ontario under the leadership of Bishop Jacob H. Janzen of Waterloo. Prior to the election of the first leaders (beginning with Wichert in 1927) sermons were read from books by someone in the congregation. The first ministers to serve this group were John Wichert, elected by the group in 1927, and Cornelius Neufeld and Nicholas Fransen, elected in 1929. Until that time sermons were read from books by someone in the congregation. On 24 December 1935, a new meetinghouse was ready for occupation, built mostly by voluntary labor. On 13 April 1936, the congregation resolved to separate from the Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite and organize as an independent congregation under the leadership of Bishop Dietrich H. Koop. By 1942 the congregation had grown to such an extent that the church had to be enlarged. In 1944 Koop died and John J. Wichert was elected to this office. Other ministers serving the congregation are Nicholas Fransen, Abram H. Harder, and John W. Neufeld (ordained 1954). In 1957 a larger church was built of brick.

The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in 1971. German services ended in December 2003.


Canadian Mennonite (3 January 1958): 7; (12 July 1966): 16.

Fransen, Harold. "The History of the Vineland Mennonite Church." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1977, 25 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Fuenfundzwanzig Jahre Vineland Mennoniten Gemeinde 1936-1961. Vineland, Ontario: Vineland Vereinigte Mennonitengemeinde, 1961, 58 pp.

Highlights of the Vineland United Mennonite Church 1936-1986: Reflect, Rejoice, Renew. Vineland, Ontario: Vineland United Mennonite Church, 1986, 92 pp.

Neufeld, Peter J. "Vineland UM Church History with Ministerial and Mission Outreach Data." Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario Yearbook (1987).

Stobbe, Bernard. "Ein Geschichtlicher Ueberblick ueber die drei Gemeinden der Vereinigten Mennoniten in der Niagara Halbinsel." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1956, 20 pp. Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Church records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Address: 3327 Menno St., Box 305, Vineland, ON, L0R 2C0

Phone: 905-562-4422

Web site: Vineland United Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Conference of United Mennonite Churches of Ontario (1936-1988)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1988-    )

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1937-    )

General Conference Mennonite Church (1938-1999)

Vineland United Mennonite Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years
John J. Wichert 1927-1966; Bishop, 1944-1966
Cornelius K. Neufeld 1929-1938
Nicholai N. Fransen 1929-2000
Dietrich H. Koop Bishop, 1931-1944
Jacob K. Klassen 1965-1973
Henry H. Epp 1974-1976
Jacob Fransen (interim) 1977-1978
John W. Neufeld 1978-1984
Jacob Fransen (interim) 1984-1985
Peter Ratzlaff 1985-1991
David Brubacher 1991-1999
Marvin Friesen 1999-2004
Randy Dueck 2005-2007
Jim Sutton (interim) 2008-2009
Ross Penner 2009-2013
Corney Klassen (Associate) 2009-Present

Vineland United Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1950 258
1965  368
1975  423
1985  423
1995  359
2000  351
2011  337

Author(s) John J. Wichert
Marlene Epp
Date Published November 2012

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wichert, John J. and Marlene Epp. "Vineland United Mennonite Church (Vineland, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2012. Web. 27 Jun 2017.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105322.

APA style

Wichert, John J. and Marlene Epp. (November 2012). Vineland United Mennonite Church (Vineland, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 June 2017, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105322.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 829. All rights reserved.

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