Straffordville Evangelical Mennonite Church (Straffordville, Ontario, Canada)
|Straffordville EMC building, 2003. Photo: Terry Smith, Editor, The Messenger
The Straffordville Evangelical Mennonite Church, an Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC) congregation, began holding services in 1996 as a church plant of Mount Salem EMC in Aylmer, Ontario. Part of the motivation was to provide a church whose service was in Low German. Mount Salem’s service was in English.
Talk of a church plant started about 1990. Ten couples were commissioned in 1996 and the first service was held on 3 November 1996 in Strafford Public School. The congregation held its chartering service on 16 March 1997, and in July 1997 the Straffordville EMC was officially received as a congregation within the EMC.
In fall 1997 the church began to meet in MacGregor Public School in Aylmer, Ontario. It then rented a Reinlander Mennonite church that was originally a Kingdom Hall, located two kilometres south of Straffordville. Two adjoining partial lots and the building were then purchased, and two major additions have since been made.
John and Lorna Wall were the church’s first lead pastoral couple (1996-2005). Then Richard and Kathy Klassen began serving as pastoral couple (2005-present).
The congregation is largely composed of Low German-speaking Mennonites with roots in Mexico. While services started in Low German, the language used quickly shifted to English. Much of the shift had happened by 2005. In 2012, most of the service, including the message, was in English, though some singing and remarks occurred in German.
In 2003 Straffordville Evangelical Mennonite Church averaged 130 in service attendance. In 2012, it had a membership of 89 and an average service attendance of 165.
EMC Yearbook for 2012: Including a Record of the Proceedings of the 62nd Annual Sessions of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference July 6-8, 2012. Steinbach: Evangelical Mennonite Conference, 2012.
Phone interview with Richard Klassen by Terry Smith (25 January 2013).
Smith, Terry M. "Straffordville EMC: A Congregation on the Move." The Messenger 50, no. 4 (8 October 2003): 8-13.
Address: 8277 Plank Road, Straffordville, Ontario
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Smith, Terry. "Straffordville Evangelical Mennonite Church (Straffordville, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2013. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/straffordville_evangelical_mennonite_church_straffordville_ontario.
APA style: Smith, Terry. (January 2013). Straffordville Evangelical Mennonite Church (Straffordville, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/straffordville_evangelical_mennonite_church_straffordville_ontario.