St. Agatha Mennonite Church (St. Agatha, Ontario, Canada)
The St. Agatha Mennonite Church was originally one of two meeting places for the Wilmot Amish Mennonite Church. Prior to the 1880s, as was the Amish custom, worship services were held in homes or barns every other Sunday. In 1885 the Wilmot Amish built a meetinghouse across from its cemetery just west of Baden. In 1886 a second meetinghouse was built just west of St. Agatha on land that had been part of the Nicholas Lichty farm. On occasion this place was known as Lichty's Church.
The St. Agatha building was rearranged in 1948 when the pulpit was moved to the west end and the benches turned to make a more "Protestant" layout. A furnace was also installed at the same time. More renovations took place in 1953, when the building was turned, with a basement constructed under the church and a vestibule added.
Membership and pastoral staff of the two locations of the Wilmot Church were combined until 1957 when the Steinmann Amish Mennonite Church and the St. Agatha Amish Mennonite Church began to operate as separate congregations. "Amish" was dropped from their names after the Ontario Amish Mennonite Conference changed its name to Western Ontario Mennonite Conference in 1963.
The two meetinghouses each held services on every Sunday morning beginning in 1939. The St. Agatha congregation was always smaller because it was located on the eastern edge of the traditional Wilmot Amish settlement. As a rural congregation its membership has tended to decline.
The St. Agatha congregation was the first of the rural Ontario Amish Mennonite congregations to purchase an organ; this took place in 1968.
Bender, Kenneth. "A History of the Wilmot Congregation." Research paper, Eastern Mennonite College, 1958.
Kennel, Lillian. History of the Wilmot Amish Mennonite congregation: Steinmann and St. Agatha Mennonite Churches, 1824-1984. Baden: Steinmann Mennonite Church, 1984, 56 pp.
Address: Box 5149, Baden, ON N3A 3M3; located 1 km west of St. Agatha at 1967 Erb's Road.
Denominational Affiliations: Mennonite Church Eastern Canada Conference
Pastoral Leaders at St. Agatha Mennonite Church since 1957
|Peter Nafziger (1886-1969)||1938-1960|
|Gerald Schwartzentruber (1933-2019)||1960-1974|
|Nelson Martin (1928-1996)||1975-1985|
|Steve Gerber (1918-2017)||1991-1993|
|Doug Snyder (1941-2019)||2001-2016|
|Len Rempel||2016-April 2021|
St. Agatha Mennonite Church Membership
Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article
By Orland Gingerich. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 400-401. All rights reserved.
St. Agatha Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church) is located one-half mile west of the village of St. Agatha in Wilmot Township, Waterloo County, Ontario. The meetinghouse, seating capacity 350, was built in 1885. Services were originally held alternately in this church and the Steinmann church at Baden. Since services are now held regularly at each place the two have actually become two separate congregations except for the fact that the same ministers serve both churches. The original building at St. Agatha was also of frame structure but was completely rebuilt in 1953 with a basement.
|Author(s)||Samuel J Steiner|
|Date Published||January 2017|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Samuel J. "St. Agatha Mennonite Church (St. Agatha, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2017. Web. 14 May 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=St._Agatha_Mennonite_Church_(St._Agatha,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=169912.
Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2017). St. Agatha Mennonite Church (St. Agatha, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=St._Agatha_Mennonite_Church_(St._Agatha,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=169912.
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