Nonresistant Relief Organization (NRRO)
The Nonresistant Relief Organization (NRRO) was a fundraising organization created in 1917 by the several Mennonite and Brethren in Christ bodies in Ontario. A preliminary meeting of ten persons representing four groups of nonresistant churches was held in Wideman Mennonite Church (MC) near Markham, Ontario on 17 November 1917. The meeting was held to consider the status of non-resistants under the Canadian Military Service Act of 1917, and to devise a practical expression of appreciation to the government for past exemptions from military service. L. J. Burkholder of Markham was chairman of the meeting and David W. Heise of Gormley, Ontario was secretary. The permanent organization was effected in Kitchener, Ontario on 16 January 1918, by representatives of the following bodies: Ontario Conference (MC), Markham district of the Old Order Mennonites (OOM), North Waterloo district (OOM), United Missionary Church (Mennonite Brethren in Christ at that time), Brethren in Christ (Tunker), Amish Mennonite, United Mennonite (General Conference Mennonite Church), Mennonite Brethren, and Stirling Avenue (General Conference Mennonite, at that time independent). Each group was entitled to three representatives. A fund of $70,000 was contributed and presented to the government in appreciation for exemption privileges, and at government request was distributed to various relief organizations for war sufferers in Europe. Contacts were maintained with the government in the interpretation and application of the Military Service Act as it affected members of the churches and as NRRO sought to maintain exemption privileges. The organization was active in raising funds for China famine relief in 1920, Russian famine relief in 1921, support of Russian immigrants to Canada in 1923, Spanish relief in 1937, drought relief in the Canadian Northwest in 1937-38, evacuees' relief in England in 1939, and European relief through the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in 1939. NRRO also worked in co-operation with Western Canada relief organizations in support of relief homes in England in 1941 and food and clothing shipments for MCC relief during the years after the second world war. For the sake of better efficiency and organization the NRRO was coordinated with the Conference of Historic Peace Churches (CHPC) in 1946. Later, in 1963, CHPC came under the consolidating umbrella of the newly founded Mennonite Central Committee Canada.
Epp, Esther Ruth. "The Origins of Mennonite Central Committee (Canada)." M.A. thesis, University of Manitoba, 1980: 218.
Regehr, T. D. Mennonites in Canada, 1939-1970: a People Transformed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996: 393.
Executive Officers of the Nonresistant Relief Organization
|L. J. Burkholder
||D. W. Heise (secretary-treasurer)
||S. F. Coffman (secretary-treasurer)
|D. W. Heise
||S. F. Coffman||1939-1950
||N. M. Bearinger
|L. J. Burkholder
||P. G. Lehman
||1950-1955||J. C. Hallman
|S. Goudie||1941-1944||Fred Nighswander
||1955-1963||M. R. Good
||1944-1955||C. J. Rempel
||1961-1962||Gordon S. Weber
|P. G. Lehman
|Henry H. Epp
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 907-908. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Coffman, S. F. "Nonresistant Relief Organization (NRRO)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N6677ME.html.
APA style: Coffman, S. F. (1953). Nonresistant Relief Organization (NRRO). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N6677ME.html.