On 5 December 1974, fifty people committed to the formation of a new Mennonite congregation in the village of Wellesley, Ontario. This emerging group provided a Mennonite experience for interested villagers and geographical convenience for those attending a Mennonite church elsewhere. From the beginning ninety percent of the attendees have been from the village of Wellesley. The first planning meeting for the new congregation was held at the home of Newton Gingrich on 17 March 1975.
Wellesley Mennonite held its first service 5 September 1975 at the Fellowship Hall in Wellesley. On 2 May 1976 forty six people signed the membership covenant. In June1976 the congregation purchased a property holding an egg grading station and immediately began renovations. Gerald Schwartzentruber, who was part of the emerging group, accepted an invitation to provide pastoral leadership in February 1977. An opening celebration in the new facility was held June 1977.
Wellesley Mennonite joined the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference, which through integration become part of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. English is spoken exclusively and while the worship style has been traditional, contemporary aspects such as a worship band, intergenerational participation and scripture through drama have been introduced. The congregation has given major focus to missions, including refugee and missionary sponsorship, youth service ventures and work projects under leadership of groups such as Mennonite Disaster Service. The sanctuary is a multi-purpose room with stackable chairs, allowing large meetings, wedding and funeral meals and youth games nights to be held in the same area as the worship service.
Sanctuary and classroom space were added in 1985; the enlarged space and the congregation's tenth anniversary were celebrated on 8 September 1985. A twenty fifth anniversary held 9-10 September 2000 included a invitation to the village to join in a free barbecue in the church parking lot, complete with music by Lamplight and congratulatory words from guest speakers. In anticipation of additional pastoral leadership, further renovations were completed during the summer of 2001, including increased kitchen space, upgraded heating/ventilation and additional office space.
Mennonite Reporter (4 August 1975): 12; (30 May 1977): 4; (11 July 1977): 9.
"A Profile of Wellesley Mennonite Church, May/1990"
Archival records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario and the church
Table 1: Wellesley Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|Julie Ellison White||2001-|
Table 2: Wellesley Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||September 2003|
Cite This Article
Roes, Larry. "Wellesley Mennonite Church (Wellesley, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2003. Web. 19 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wellesley_Mennonite_Church_(Wellesley,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=93890.
Roes, Larry. (September 2003). Wellesley Mennonite Church (Wellesley, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wellesley_Mennonite_Church_(Wellesley,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=93890.
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