Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada)
The Zurich Mennonite Church in Zurich, Ontario, Canada, began in spring 1908 when services began to be held in a former Baptist church on the main street in Zurich. The fledgling congregation was primarily composed of persons formerly affiliated with the nearby Blake Amish Mennonite congregation were revival meetings held by Peter Ropp of Berne, Michigan resulted in a number of converts. However these converts would not accept the dress restrictions required by the Amish Mennonites and were refused baptism. Jonas Snider, a Mennonite bishop of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario from Waterloo County, then performed the baptisms. Peter Ropp temporarily moved to Zurich to help organize the congregation in its first year. Elderly Minister John Gascho and about 50 other members transferred from the Blake congregation the summer of 2008.
A building was erected in 1910 at a cost of $3,600, with renovations and additions in 1948 and 1975. A new building was constructed outside of town in 1989 at a cost just under $1,000,000.
The congregation developed a full range of activities for its members and the community. A women's sewing circle began in 1937. Vacation Bible School began the same year, and later developed into a community effort. The congregation helped develop a coffee house in Grand Bend, Ontario in the 1960s, as well as a mission outreach in Exeter, Ontario known as the Thames Road Mission.
In the 1990s the congregation again talked about a church planting initiative. This finally resulted in the formation on 28 October 2007 of Kingsfield-Clinton. The Zurich congregation also began to use the prefix Kingsfield, and the two groups considered themselves part of a multiplying church. "Kingsfield" was derived from 1 Corinthians 3:9, which says "you are God's field," reflecting the congregation's desire to be part of a "multiplying movement of churches who bring the kingdom of Jesus Christ to relevant reality where we live and everywhere we go."
In March 2020 Kingsfield-Zurich withdrew from Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada and became an associate member of the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The withdrawal from MC Canada was rooted in disagreement with the theological directions taken by that conference.
An earlier Mennonite congregation in the area had been known as the Hay Mennonite Church.
Mennonite Reporter (21 August 1989): 10.
Burkholder, L. J. A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, Ontario: Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935: 101.
Schade, Jack. "Zurich Mennonite Church Centennial." Web. http://www.kingsfieldcommon.ca/zurich-mennonite-church-centennial/ (accessed 8 January 2014).
Zurich Mennonite Church: Seventy-five Years 1908-1983. 1983.
Church records at church and Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Address: 37818 Zurich Hensall Rd, Box 131, Zurich, Ontario N0M 2T0
Phone: (519) 236-4933
Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec, 1908-1988
Mennonite Church (MC), 1908-1999
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 1988-2020
Zurich Mennonite Church Pastors
|Stephen M. Peachey||1935-1952|
|Cyril Gingerich (Interim)||1971|
|Doug Schade (Youth)||2000-2002|
|Ken Gazley (Intentional interim)||2012-2014|
|Dennis Estep (Pastoral Care)||2012-2021|
|April Zehr (Associate)||2021-present|
Zurich Mennonite Church Membership
Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article
By Roy S. Koch. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1047. All rights reserved.
Zurich Mennonite Church (MC) located in the village of Zurich, Huron County, Ontario, about two miles east of Lake Huron, affiliated with the Ontario Conference, was organized on 26 March 1908 by former members of the Amish congregation nearby. Christian Schrag was ordained minister on 18 February 1911. Others ministers with date of ordination were Stephen M. Peachey 1935, Gordon Schrag 1937, Cyril Gingerich 1951, Albert Martin 1949, and Hubert Schwartzentruber 1958. Stanley Sauder was licensed to serve as pastor of the Thames Road congregation in Exeter, an outpost of the Zurich congregation. In 1959 the congregation had 148 members, with Albert Martin as bishop-pastor.
|Author(s)||Samuel J Steiner|
|Date Published||March 2020|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Samuel J. "Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2020. Web. 29 Jun 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kingsfield-Zurich_Mennonite_Church_(Zurich,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172697.
Steiner, Samuel J. (March 2020). Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 June 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kingsfield-Zurich_Mennonite_Church_(Zurich,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172697.
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