Calvary Church (Ayr, Ontario, Canada)

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The Mennonite work in Ayr began in 1954 as a Sunday school outreach by the Mannheim Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Conference of Ontario in the community of Reidsville, just north of the village of Ayr.

The group purchased a property in Ayr in 1960, and soon erected a church building. In 1970 they built an adjacent parsonage. In 1978 a portable was placed behind the church building, and eventually became part of the original building. In 1990, by selling the parsonage, selling the existing church building to Kipp’s Funeral Home of Paris, and fundraising, enough money was raised to construct the present facility.

The founding pastor was Osiah Horst, who was also the pastor at the Mannheim Mennonite Church. When Horst accepted a call to Toronto, Howard Schmitt became the pastor. The congregation has served as a community church in the Ayr community. One of the congregation's unique ministry has been a "skate park" built at the rear of the property in 2005 for young Ayr skateboarders. Numerous mission projects in Canada and abroad have also been supported.

Calvary Church left Mennonite Church Eastern Canada on 30 June 2019. It became a campus of the Calvary Pentecostal Assembly based in Cambridge, Ontario. Calvary Church had limited participation in Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, and had considered other denominational options for several years. The merger began with a "soft launch" in September 2019; the official public launch was scheduled for Easter 2020.


Bauman, Janet. "Mourning and blessing: three congregations part ways with Mennonite Church Eastern Canada." Canadian Mennonite 24, no. 2 (20 January 2020): 14.

Canadian Mennonite (12 January 1962): 1.

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. Discernment Documents (25 April 2020): 27.

Mennonite Reporter (17 September 1990): 18.

"History of Calvary." Calvary Church. Web. 5 December 2016.

Additional Information

Address: 173 Northumberland Street, Ayr, Ontario

Phone: 519-632-7110


Denominational affiliations:

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1954-2019)

Mennonite Church Canada (1999-2019)

Calvary Pastors

Osiah Horst 1961-1964 
Howard Schmitt  1964-August 1969 
Darrel Jantzi  Sept. 1969-July 1974
Dan Burkholder  July 1974-1977 
Tom Warner  1977-1980 
James Sider 1981-1985
Reynold Kipfer  1985-1994 
Bruce Sawatsky (Interim)  1995-1996
Phil Wagler  1997-2001 
Dennis Bells (Interim) 2002
Pat Murphy 2003-2005 
Ardith Frey (Interim) 2006 
Lloyd Oakey  July 2006-September 2019

Calvary Membership

1965 35 
1975  75 
1985  52 
1995 48 
2000  86 
2006  95 
2015  30 


Map:Calvary Church (Ayr, Ontario)

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Calvary Church (Ayr, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2020. Web. 26 Sep 2020.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=167988.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2020). Calvary Church (Ayr, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 September 2020, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=167988.

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