Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada)

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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. (accessed 8 January 2014).

Zurich Mennonite Church: Seventy-five Years 1908-1983. 1983.

Church records at church and Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Address: 37818 Zurich Hensall Rd, Box 131, Zurich, Ontario N0M 2T0

Phone: (519) 236-4933


Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec, 1908-1988

Mennonite Church (MC), 1908-1999

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 1988-2020

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada, 1999-2020

Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 2020-

Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 2020-

Zurich Mennonite Church Pastors

Name Years
of Service
John Gascho 1908-1916
Christian Schrag 1911-1939
Stephen M. Peachey 1935-1952
Cyril Gingerich 1951/1952
Albert Martin 1949-1961
Orval Jantzi 1961-1966
Ephraim Gingerich 1966-1970
Cyril Gingerich (Interim) 1971
Clayton Kuepfer 1972-1990
Paul Brunner
Grace Brunner
Winston Martin
Phil Bender 1993-1997
Julie Bender 1993-1997
Reynold Kipfer
Harold Shantz 2000-2003
Judy Shantz 2000-2003
Doug Schade (Youth) 2000-2002
Virgil Gingerich
Phil Wagler 2003-2010
Tim Doherty
Tom Roes
Ken Gazley (Intentional interim) 2012-2014
Dennis Estep (Pastoral Care) 2012-2021
Ryan Jantzi 2016-2021
April Zehr (Associate) 2021-present

Zurich Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1950 143
1965 140
1975 185
1985 233
1995 268
2000 276
2015 235

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.


Map:Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada)

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published March 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2020. Web. 16 Aug 2022.,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172697.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (March 2020). Kingsfield-Zurich Mennonite Church (Zurich, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 August 2022, from,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=172697.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.