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(Harrow Mennonite Church Membership)
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R.R. 2, 3167 Walker Rd., Harrow, ON, N0R 1G0. (519) 738-2148. Located Lot 9, Concession 3, Colchester South Township. Pastor Greg Yantzi served in 2002 as congregational leader. In 1965 there were 59 members; in 1975, 47; in 1985, 70; in 1995, 56; in 2000, 81. The congregation affiliated with the Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario (1953-1988), the [[Conference of Mennonites in Canada|Conference of Mennonites in Canada]] / [[Mennonite Church Canada|Mennonite Church Canada]] (1953-), the [[General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM)|General Conference Mennonite Church]] (1953-1999) and [[Mennonite Church Eastern Canada|Mennonite Church Eastern Canada]] (1988-). The language of worship is English; language transition from German occurred in the 1960s.
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[[File:Harrow-Mennonite.jpg|400px|thumbnail|''Harrow Mennonite Church<br />
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Source: [http://www.ekmha.ca/harrow-mennonite-church/ Essex Kent Mennonite Historical Association website]''.]]
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The roots of the Harrow Mennonite Church go back to a 200 acre tract of land northwest of Harrow purchase by 12 families and 2 single Mennonite immigrants in the fall of 1928. The first families took possession in March 1929 and began to hold services in the original farm house living room. Gerhard Papke is considered the founding leader of the group.  
  
The congregation began services ca. 1929, and formally organized in 1953. The first building was occupied in 1951 with a subsequent building program in 1996. Gerhard Papke is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through a division from the [[Leamington United Mennonite Church (Leamington, Ontario, Canada)|Leamington United Mennonite]] church due to distance of travel for Harrow area members. In the 1980s the congregation maintained a small amount of German in services, mostly songs.
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Most of the Harrow Mennonites affiliated with the [[Leamington United Mennonite Church (Leamington, Ontario, Canada)|Leamington United Mennonite Church]]. This arrangement worked for some 20 years. In 1951 the Harrow group began construction of its own church on Walker Road just north of the town of Harrow. This new church was dedicated in November 1951. Inevitably ties with the Leamington Church were severed. The congregation applied for a charter in 1953 as the Harrow United Mennonite Church and in 1955 this was granted.
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Herman Lepp Sr. served as the congregation’s minister from its beginning; in fact, he had acted as the local minister since coming to the area from Reesor in 1944. He was ordained an Elder in 1955, and continued in service as leader of the congregation until his death in 1966. He was followed by Herman Lepp Jr., who pastored the congregation until the spring of 1978.
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Henry and Leonora Paetkau came to Harrow in the fall of 1978. Henry began as pastor, at first on a half time basis, then later as the church’s first full-time paid minister. During this time, Henry was much involved in the beginnings of the [[Windsor Mennonite Fellowship (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)|Windsor Mennonite Fellowship]], an effort to establish a Mennonite church presence in Windsor. On 6 January 1985, Windsor Mennonite Fellowship began holding Sunday morning worship services. Henry served until the summer of 1985. These years in Harrow were blessed with fruitful outreach into the local community which broadened the membership base of the congregation and gave it new impetus.
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In January 1980 the Harrow congregation took on an outreach project to sponsor six Vietnamese refugees. There were two young sisters along with a brother and three single males. It was quite a challenge for a small congregation to house, feed, and look after the needs of these new Canadians. After some time, they moved on and became self-sufficient.
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Audrey Mierau came early in 1986. She was the first woman minister in the community, and one of the first in the Mennonite churches of Ontario; her warm and very caring leadership came during the time of the amalgamation of the [[Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec]], the [[Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario|Conference of United Mennonite Churches of Ontario]] and the [[Western Ontario Mennonite Conference]] to form a new conference now known as [[Mennonite Church Eastern Canada]] (MCEC). In the summer of 1988 Audrey married Ken Bechtel and moved to Toronto.
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For a year, Calvin Laur served the congregation with an eloquent preaching ministry. Calvin brought an amazing level of learning and interests in art to the ministry. Henry Dueck from Leamington then served on Sunday mornings for a year while the church carried out a search for a new pastor. Jim Brown began as pastor in the fall of 1990. Jim had high conference visibility, being the assistant moderator of MCEC. For a small congregation, the Harrow Church has contributed leadership to the larger Mennonite community through Conference and broader Mennonite board and committee participation.
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The original church building on Walker Road needed repair or replacement. But the congregation wondered if it could take on the costs of construction, so a series of fundraising efforts were undertaken. On 11 June 1995 the building planning committee completed its work and a building committee was elected. Many volunteer hours were given to fundraising efforts and to the building of the new church.
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The first Sunday morning service in the church building was held on 13 September 1996 with a memorable processional from the old building to the new building. A special Dedication Service and Open House was held 6 October 1996. The total cost of the new building was around $240,000.00 which was totally paid for within the year.
 
= Bibliography =
 
= Bibliography =
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Mennonite Reporter</em> (27 May 1985): 15; (4 September 1995): 11; (3 February 1997): 18.
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Goerzen, Sue. "A History of the Harrow Mennonite Church." Web. 14 November 2013. http://www.harrowmennonite.on.ca/aboutUs/AboutUs.htm.
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<em>Mennonite Reporter</em> (27 May 1985): 15; (4 September 1995): 11; (3 February 1997): 18.
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<em>Memories: Sixty Years of Mennonite Life in Essex and Kent Counties, 1925-1985.</em> Leamington, 1985, 78 pp.
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= Additional Information =
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'''Address''': R.R. #2, 3167 Walker Road, Harrow, ON  N0R 1G0
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'''Phone''': 519-738-2148
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'''Website''': [http://www.harrowmennonite.on.ca/ Harrow Mennonite Church]
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'''Denominational Affiliations''':
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Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario (1953-1988)
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[[Mennonite Church Eastern Canada|Mennonite Church Eastern Canada]] (1988-present)
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[[Conference of Mennonites in Canada|Conference of Mennonites in Canada]] / [[Mennonite Church Canada|Mennonite Church Canada]] (1953-present)
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[[General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM)|General Conference Mennonite Church]] (1953-1999)
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=== Harrow Mennonite Church Pastors===
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{| class="wikitable"
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|-
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! Name !! Years<br />of Service
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|-
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| Herman Lepp || 1955-1966
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|-
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| Herman Lepp, Jr. || 1966-1978
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|-
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| Henry Paetkau || 1978-1985
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|-
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| Audrey Mierau || 1986-1988
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|-
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| Calvin Laur (Interim) || 1988/89
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|-
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| Henry Dueck (Interim) || 1989/90
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|-
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| Jim Brown || 1990-1998
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|-
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| Greg Yantzi || 1999-2012
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|-
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| Gary Knarr<br />(Intentional Interim) || 2012/13
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|-
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| Karen Sheil|| 2014-Present
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|}
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=== Harrow Mennonite Church Membership===
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{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: right;"
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|-
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! Year !! Members
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|-
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| 1965 || 59
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|-
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| 1975 || 47
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|-
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| 1985 || 70
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|-
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| 1995 || 56
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|-
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| 2000 || 81
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|-
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| 2011 || 73
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|}
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{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=January 2014|a1_last=Epp|a1_first=Marlene|a2_last=Steiner|a2_first=Sam}}
  
<em class="gameo_bibliography">Memories: Sixty Years of Mennonite Life in Essex and Kent Counties, 1925-1985.</em> Leamington, 1985, 78 pp.
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[[Category:Churches]]
{{GAMEO_footer|hp=|date=January 1989|a1_last=Epp|a1_first=Marlene|a2_last= |a2_first= }}
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Revision as of 19:21, 13 January 2014

Contents

The roots of the Harrow Mennonite Church go back to a 200 acre tract of land northwest of Harrow purchase by 12 families and 2 single Mennonite immigrants in the fall of 1928. The first families took possession in March 1929 and began to hold services in the original farm house living room. Gerhard Papke is considered the founding leader of the group.

Most of the Harrow Mennonites affiliated with the Leamington United Mennonite Church. This arrangement worked for some 20 years. In 1951 the Harrow group began construction of its own church on Walker Road just north of the town of Harrow. This new church was dedicated in November 1951. Inevitably ties with the Leamington Church were severed. The congregation applied for a charter in 1953 as the Harrow United Mennonite Church and in 1955 this was granted.

Herman Lepp Sr. served as the congregation’s minister from its beginning; in fact, he had acted as the local minister since coming to the area from Reesor in 1944. He was ordained an Elder in 1955, and continued in service as leader of the congregation until his death in 1966. He was followed by Herman Lepp Jr., who pastored the congregation until the spring of 1978.

Henry and Leonora Paetkau came to Harrow in the fall of 1978. Henry began as pastor, at first on a half time basis, then later as the church’s first full-time paid minister. During this time, Henry was much involved in the beginnings of the Windsor Mennonite Fellowship, an effort to establish a Mennonite church presence in Windsor. On 6 January 1985, Windsor Mennonite Fellowship began holding Sunday morning worship services. Henry served until the summer of 1985. These years in Harrow were blessed with fruitful outreach into the local community which broadened the membership base of the congregation and gave it new impetus.

In January 1980 the Harrow congregation took on an outreach project to sponsor six Vietnamese refugees. There were two young sisters along with a brother and three single males. It was quite a challenge for a small congregation to house, feed, and look after the needs of these new Canadians. After some time, they moved on and became self-sufficient.

Audrey Mierau came early in 1986. She was the first woman minister in the community, and one of the first in the Mennonite churches of Ontario; her warm and very caring leadership came during the time of the amalgamation of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec, the Conference of United Mennonite Churches of Ontario and the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference to form a new conference now known as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC). In the summer of 1988 Audrey married Ken Bechtel and moved to Toronto.

For a year, Calvin Laur served the congregation with an eloquent preaching ministry. Calvin brought an amazing level of learning and interests in art to the ministry. Henry Dueck from Leamington then served on Sunday mornings for a year while the church carried out a search for a new pastor. Jim Brown began as pastor in the fall of 1990. Jim had high conference visibility, being the assistant moderator of MCEC. For a small congregation, the Harrow Church has contributed leadership to the larger Mennonite community through Conference and broader Mennonite board and committee participation.

The original church building on Walker Road needed repair or replacement. But the congregation wondered if it could take on the costs of construction, so a series of fundraising efforts were undertaken. On 11 June 1995 the building planning committee completed its work and a building committee was elected. Many volunteer hours were given to fundraising efforts and to the building of the new church.

The first Sunday morning service in the church building was held on 13 September 1996 with a memorable processional from the old building to the new building. A special Dedication Service and Open House was held 6 October 1996. The total cost of the new building was around $240,000.00 which was totally paid for within the year.

Bibliography

Goerzen, Sue. "A History of the Harrow Mennonite Church." Web. 14 November 2013. http://www.harrowmennonite.on.ca/aboutUs/AboutUs.htm.

Mennonite Reporter (27 May 1985): 15; (4 September 1995): 11; (3 February 1997): 18.

Memories: Sixty Years of Mennonite Life in Essex and Kent Counties, 1925-1985. Leamington, 1985, 78 pp.

Additional Information

Address: R.R. #2, 3167 Walker Road, Harrow, ON N0R 1G0

Phone: 519-738-2148

Website: Harrow Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Conference of United Mennonite Churches in Ontario (1953-1988)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (1988-present)

Conference of Mennonites in Canada / Mennonite Church Canada (1953-present)

General Conference Mennonite Church (1953-1999)

Harrow Mennonite Church Pastors

Name Years
of Service
Herman Lepp 1955-1966
Herman Lepp, Jr. 1966-1978
Henry Paetkau 1978-1985
Audrey Mierau 1986-1988
Calvin Laur (Interim) 1988/89
Henry Dueck (Interim) 1989/90
Jim Brown 1990-1998
Greg Yantzi 1999-2012
Gary Knarr
(Intentional Interim)
2012/13
Karen Sheil 2014-Present

Harrow Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1965 59
1975 47
1985 70
1995 56
2000 81
2011 73


Author(s) Marlene Epp
Sam Steiner
Date Published January 2014


Cite This Article

MLA style

Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. "Harrow Mennonite Church (Harrow, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2014. Web. 20 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harrow_Mennonite_Church_(Harrow,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105497.

APA style

Epp, Marlene and Sam Steiner. (January 2014). Harrow Mennonite Church (Harrow, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Harrow_Mennonite_Church_(Harrow,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=105497.




©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.