Farewell Mennonite Meetinghouse (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada)
The Farewell Old Order Mennonite meetinghouse is located in Wellington North Township, Wellington County, on the east side of Concession 11, 5 km. west of Highway 6, and midway between Kenilworth and Mount Forest, Ontario.
The Mount Forest area was first settled by Old Order Mennonites from Waterloo County, Ontario in 1967, several years after the first farms were purchased in 1964. This movement to the Mount Forest area resulted from the expansion of urban areas of Waterloo County into the Old Order community, and the rising cost of agricultural land in Waterloo County.
The first worship serves in Mount Forest were held in homes. The St. John's Anglican Church in Farewell closed in 1968, and was purchased for $300 by Enos Brubacher. The interior was rearranged in an Old Order Mennonite fashion in the winter of 1968/69. The group also removed the steeple. The first service was held there on 18 May 1969. Despite the alterations, the use of this facility remained controversial. The building was used until the (Spring Creek) meetinghouse was built in 1972 on Concession 6 of what was then Arthur Township. At that time 19 families lived in the surrounding community. The former Anglican church was then demolished, and in 1974 a parochial school was built on the property.
On 29 November 1972 Melvin Sauder was ordained as the first deacon; on 23 October 1973 Elam Weber was ordained as the minister. As is the practice in Old Order churches, they were ordained by lot from within the congregation. Ordained persons are not paid for their church service.
In 1978 the church purchased a parcel of land from Urias Weber for the Farewell meetinghouse which was erected in 1979. Minister Elam Weber and Deacon Melvin Sauder then were transferred to serve the new Farewell congregation.
The first burial in the Farewell cemetery took place after the accidental death on 28 December 1979 of Henry M. Martin, a 23 year old man who had been married only a few months.
From 1993 to 1997 the Farewell congregation was split in to East and West districts, as the number of families had reached 60, with a wide distance between the eastern and western boundaries. Another meetinghouse (Westdale) was then built to address this growth.
In 2004 the number of families in the Farewell district was slightly over 40. No accurate count of "members" is available because Old Order Mennonites think of themselves as members of the church at large not just the immediate congregation. When a person moves from one geographical area to another, he automatically "belongs" to the congregation whose meetinghouse is closest to his home. No membership transfer takes place from the former location.
Archival records are located in the home of the current deacon.
Records of Amsey W. Martin, Wallenstein, ON.
Horst, Elizabeth and Esther Horst. The Mount Forest Mennonite community. Mount Forest, Ont.: [E. & E. Horst], 1979.
Weber, Urias. New beginnings: a history of the Old Order Mennonites of Ontario. Wallenstein, Ont.: Vineyard Publications, 2018: 105-107.
Address: 9103 Concession Road 11, Kenilworth, ON
Farewell Meetinghouse Ordained Leaders
|Ministers||Years of Service||Deacons||Years of Service|
|Services at Spring Creek||1972-1979|
|Elam F. Weber
|Melvin B. Sauder||1979-|
|Paul M. Weber||1992-||Anson M. Martin||2 June 2009-|
|Author(s)||Samuel J Steiner|
|Date Published||October 2019|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Samuel J. "Farewell Mennonite Meetinghouse (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2019. Web. 24 Jan 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Farewell_Mennonite_Meetinghouse_(Mount_Forest,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=165171.
Steiner, Samuel J. (October 2019). Farewell Mennonite Meetinghouse (Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 January 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Farewell_Mennonite_Meetinghouse_(Mount_Forest,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=165171.
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