Bloomingdale Mennonite Church (Bloomingdale, Ontario, Canada)

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The Bloomingdale, Ontario area was first settled by Jacob "Yoch" and Mary Erb Schneider and their eight children in 1806 -- the oldest child was 15, the youngest 2 and Mary was pregnant with their ninth child. Jacob was one of three Schneider brothers to migrate from Pennsylvania to Waterloo Township in 1806 and 1807. "Yoch" was in the second generation of his family in North America; his father, also Jacob, had immigrated to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania from Germany as a young boy.

Initially worship services in this little settlement east of the Grand River occurred in local homes. Henry Weber was first ordained for the local worshipping community in 1824. Jacob Schneider donated land for a meetinghouse and cemetery in about 1826; this first meetinghouse was erected close to the location of the present building. The earliest identifiable grave is for Mary Bauman, wife of Jacob Schneider, Jr., who died in 1826. Because of its location the congregation was known as the Schneider Meetinghouse, Snider's Meetinghouse and the Snyder Mennonite Church for many years. The name changed to Bloomingdale Mennonite Church in 1960.

The original building was apparently destroyed by fire. The core of the present building was erected in 1872 by Menno Bowman. A division in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario in 1874 had a major impact on the Schneider congregation. Minister Moses Erb and lay leader Menno Bowman sympathized with the new "Reforming Mennonite Church" that was established in May 1874. This group soon joined with the New Mennonites in 1875 to form the United Mennonites. While Moses Erb soon returned to fellowship with the the Mennonite Conference of Ontario, Menno Bowman went on to become a leading minister among the United Mennonites (later known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ after another 1883 merger). The building was used by the United Mennonites until 1879, when possession reverted to the more conservative group. In January 1879 descendants of Yoch Schneider conveyed the property to trustees representing the conservative faction when the earlier deed, which was never registered, could not be found.

This division devastated the congregation for many years. Services were held only monthly until 1906, and there was no resident minister until Jesse Martin was ordained in 1903. Martin was the last minister at Bloomingdale to be ordained by lot.

The 1870s buildings was initially built with two entrances -- one for men and one for women -- as was customary in the conference at the time. During the time the building was used by the United Mennonites the two doors were replaced by one door. When the conservative element regained the building in 1879 they again installed two entrances. Subsequent renovations in 1951 removed the separate entrances, as well as the partitions in pews. At that time families began to sit together. In 1985 there was a major expansion that included a new entrance, offices and Sunday school rooms.

Minister Bertha Landers was one of the early women ministers in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario in 1984. Foot-washing was omitted from communion for the first time in 1966.


Mennonite Reporter (2 October 1972): 4; (19 September 1994): 8.

Sauder, Dorothy. Trail's End, the Oxbow: History of the Bloomingdale Church, 1972. 1972, 18 pp.

Steiner, Sam. "Effects of the 1870s New Mennonite Division on Bloomingdale Mennonite Church." Ontario Mennonite History (April 1997): 28-31.

Archival Records

Mennonites in Canada collection (1870-Bloomingdale). Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Address: 1151 Snyder's Flats Rd. Bloomingdale, ON N0B 1K0

Phone: 519-745-2411

Website: Bloomingdale Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada

Mennonite Church Canada

Jesse Martin (1864-1933)

Bloomingdale Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders

Minister Years
of Service
Henry Weber 1824-1862
John Weber 1833-1854
Moses Erb 1854-1874?
Itinerant ministers 1874-1903
Jesse Martin (last minister chosen by lot) 1903-1933
Howard Stevanus 1920-1951
John W. Snyder 1951-1962
Harold Groh 1962-1966
Earl Meyers (Interim) 1966-1967
J. Laurence Martin 1967-1971
John Shearer 1971-1974
Orland Gingerich 1974-1984
Bertha Landers 1984-1992
Arthur Boers 1992-2002
Maurice Martin (Interim) 2002
Glenn Zehr (Interim) 2002-2003
Mary Mae Schwartzentruber 2003-2009
Sherri Martin-Carman (Interim) 2009
Barb Smith Morrison 2009-February 2020
David Rogalsky (Supply) February 2020-July 2021
Zac Klassen August 2021-present

Bloomingdale Mennonite Church Membership

Year Membership
1900 35
1925 45
1950 53
1965 57
1975 72
1985 83
2000 127
2015 128
2020 65


Map:Bloomingdale Mennonite Church (Bloomingdale, Ontario)

Author(s) Clare Cressman
Date Published August 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Cressman, Clare. "Bloomingdale Mennonite Church (Bloomingdale, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2009. Web. 3 Jul 2022.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172928.

APA style

Cressman, Clare. (August 2009). Bloomingdale Mennonite Church (Bloomingdale, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 July 2022, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172928.

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