Nith Valley Mennonite Church (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada)
The Nith Valley congregation near New Hamburg, ON began services and formally organized in 1865. The first building was occupied in 1870 with a subsequent building program in 1964. Menno Cressman is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through colonization from the Doon area of Kitchener.
The Nith Valley Mennonite Church is located about four miles (6.5 km) from New Hamburg, Waterloo County, Ontario. This congregation of the Ontario Mennonite Conference took rise about 1865. Early family names found here were Biehn, Cassel, Bechtel, Cressman, Nahrgang, Stauffer, Christner, and others. At first the meetings were held in Green's schoolhouse south of the present site of the church. In 1870 John Biehn gave land for church purposes and a building was erected. In 1900 a plot of land was added to the grounds for cemetery purposes. A few years later the church was rebuilt. There was a subsequent building program in 1964.
Sunday school was first conducted in 1871 with some 40 in attendance. Young people’s Bible meetings were regular after 1911 and alternated with those of the neighboring Geiger congregation. This church was missionary in its interests and activity over the years. In 1924 with the coming of Mennonite refugees from Russia a considerable number of families were provided for in the homes of this congregation. Revival meetings, Bible conferences, and summer Bible schools became regular features among the activities of this church.
In 1925 there were 77 members; in 1950, 88; in 1965, 92; in 1975, 140; in 1985, 154; in 1995, 119; in 2000, 112. The congregation has been affiliated with the Mennonite Conference of Ontario (1865-1988), the Mennonite Church (1898-), Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (1988-) and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (1995-). The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in the first decade of the 20th century.
The congregation was known as Biehn Mennonite prior to 1975 when it merged with Blenheim Mennonite Church. Pastoral leaders since the merger have been Gordon Bauman, Amzie Brubacher, Harold Schilk, Sue C. Steiner (Interim), Bruce Keown, Henry Regehr and Hendrike & Matthew Isert-Bender.
P.O. Box 519, 355 Bean Rd., R.R. 1, New Hamburg, ON, N0B 2G0. (519) 662-3520. Located five km south of New Hamburg at the corner of Walker Rd. and Bean Red.
Canadian Mennonite (11 February 1964): 1; (4 December 1967): 4.
Mennonite Reporter (3 March 1975): 4; (2 September 1975): 4.
Burkholder, L. J. A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, ON: Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935: 62-64.
Koch, Alice. "History of the Biehn Mennonite Church." 1960, 4 pp. Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Waterloo Historical Society annual (1964): 61.
Church records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Fretz, J. C. and Marlene Epp. "Nith Valley Mennonite Church (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 1989. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N584.html.
APA style: Fretz, J. C. and Marlene Epp. (January 1989). Nith Valley Mennonite Church (New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N584.html.