Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada)

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The 1857 building. Photo by Edwin Byer.Interior of the 1857 building. Photo by Edwin Byer.
The 1857 building. Photo by Edwin Byer.Interior of the 1857 building. Photo by Edwin Byer.

The Wideman Mennonite congregation in Markham, Ontario is named after its first minister, Henry Wideman (d. 1810), who immigrated from Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1803. The first meetinghouse was located across from his homestead.

The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in the 1880s. The congregation began services in 1803, and formally organized in 1816. The first building was occupied in 1817 with subsequent building programs in 1857 and 1928. Henry Wideman is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through immigration from Pennsylvania.

The second minister, Martin Hoover, arrived in 1804. Bishop Abraham Grove (d. 1836), who had been ordained in Pennsylvania, arrived in 1808. Jacob Grove (d. 1863), son of Abraham, was ordained minister in 1836 and bishop in 1837. Christian Reesor (d. 1915) was ordained bishop in 1887; he withdrew with the Old Order division of 1889. Other ministers prior to 1960 included Joseph Barkley (ordained 1864), S. R. Hoover (1888), L. W. Hoover (1914), A. L. Fretz (1920), A. D. Grove (1932) and Elmer Burkholder.

Sunday school began about 1876, closed in the 1880s, and reopened in 1892. Wideman's was the largest of the early Mennonite churches in the Markham area. A substantial portion of the congregation followed its bishop, Christian Reesor, into the Old Order Mennonite movement. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ also attracted a number of members.

In 1905 there were 80 members; in 1925, 107; in 1950, 115; in 1965, 139; in 1975, 136; in 1985, 104; in 1995, 94; in 2000, 99. The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Conference of Ontario (1820-1988), the Mennonite Church (1898-1999), Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1988-    ) and Mennonite Church Canada (1995-    ).

The congregation's address is 10530 Hwy. 48, Markham, ON, L3P 3J3. (905) 640-6219. Located on the west side of Highway 48, south of 18th Ave. Pastors Kenneth Wellington and Heather Gallian served in 2005 as congregational leaders.


Burkholder, L. J. A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, ON: Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935: 114-117.

Mennonite Reporter (26 July 1976): 4; (21 January 1985): 12.

Wideman, Janice. "A History of the Wideman Mennonite Church, 1816-1928." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1983, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Archival Records

Records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Wideman Mennonite Church website

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Marlene Epp
Date Published April 1986

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Marlene Epp. "Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 1986. Web. 24 Jun 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wideman_Mennonite_Church_(Markham,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=93914.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Marlene Epp. (April 1986). Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wideman_Mennonite_Church_(Markham,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=93914.

©1996-2018 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.