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Steinmann Mennonite Church, Baden, Ontario
Source: Church website

In 1822 Christian Nafziger, an Amish layman from Bavaria, Germany, appeared in the pioneer Mennonite settlement in Waterloo. Living conditions in Bavaria were very difficult. He left his family, set out with little more than his walking stick, faith and hope to find something better in North America. The Dutch Mennonites answered his plea for help. He left Amsterdam Christmas Day 1821 on a sailing vessel bound for Philadelphia. For some unknown reason he arrived in New Orleans on 2 March 1822. With further Dutch assistance he continued his journey up the Mississippi River to Ohio and overland to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The leaders there advised him to go to Canada for cheap land, and supplied him with a horse and provision for the trip. With the help of the Mennonites in Waterloo (who had earlier immigrated from Pennsylvania) he contacted the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in August 1822 and asked for land for 70-80 Amish families from Europe. The Lieutenant-Governor offered 50 acres of free land for every immigrant family. Waterloo Mennonites set up a committee to help plan for a new settlement immediately to the west in a "German Block."

Probably because of their family involvement in land purchase in Canada in 1807, Bishop John Stoltzfus and Minister Christian Koenig were sent to Waterloo by horse drawn carriage to organize the new immigrants into an Amish Mennonite congregation in 1824. Two ministers and a deacon were ordained to meet the spiritual needs of a pioneer settlement. For sixty years the Amish met in their homes for regular worship and became known as the Wilmot Amish Mennonite Congregation. In 1884 they built their first "Mennonite style" meeting house at Steinmann's corner where the church is still located. The next year an identical meeting house was built on Erb's Rd. west of St. Agatha. Sunday services alternated between the two meeting houses for many years but in 1957 St. Agatha Mennonite and Steinmann's became separate congregations.

In 1946 the first meeting house was replaced by a new structure with an addition in 1975. The Amish Mennonite Conference was organized in 1923. Forty years later it was renamed Western Ontario Mennonite Conference. The language of worship gradually changed from German to English by mid century although many members are still bilingual. The three area Mennonite conferences merged in 1988 into Mennonite Church Eastern Canada which affiliated with Mennonite Church Canada in 1995.

Bibliography

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.

Mennonite Reporter (13 November 1989): 12.

Roth, Lorraine. The Amish and Their Neighbours: the German Block, Wilmot Township, 1822-1860. Waterloo, ON: Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario, 1998.

Steinmann, Pauline. "Congregational History of Steinmann Mennonite Church." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1977, 33 pp.

Archival Records

Archival records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Additional Information

Address: 1316 Snyder's Road West, Baden, ON N3A 3K8

Telephone: 519-634-8311

Website: Steinmann Mennonite Church

Steinmann Mennonite Church Ministers and Bishops

Minister/Bishop Years
Joseph Goldschmidt (1798-1876) 1824-1831
John Brenneman (1766-1848) 1824-1848
Peter Nafziger (b. 1789) 1826-1831
Christian Steinman (1792-1865) 1826-1831
John Oesch (1792-1850) 1829-1848/9
Christian Fahrni 1829-1831
Rudolph Roth (1798-1853) 1835-1850
Jacob Gardner 1845-1850
Peter Litwiller (1809-1878) 1845-1878
Christian Miller (1806-1850) 1829-1847
Christian Wagler (1775-1851) 1848-1851
Christian Wagler (1810-1887) 1848-1887
John Gascho (1830-1909) 1872-1909
Michael Kennel (1834-1898) 1877-1898
Christian Litwiller (1848-1924) 1877-1924
Daniel H. Steinman (1857-1935) 1894-1935
Christian Gascho (1857-1943) 1894-1943
Peter Boshart (1870-1942) 1927-1942
Peter Nafziger (1886-1969) 1936-1969
Menno Wagler (1884-1958) 1932-1958
Benjamin Gingerich (1883-1958) 1932-1958
Moses O. Jantzi (1884-1965) 1936-1965
Elmer Schwartzentruber (1909- 1951-
Orland Gingerich (1920-2002) 1951-1972
Albert Zehr (1938-    ) 1965-1971
Ephraim Gingerich (1917-   ) (interim) 1972-1973
Vernon Zehr (1920-1999) 1973-1984
Mark Erb (1948-    ) 1973-1976
Fred Lichti (1954-    ) 1979-1993
Jeff Steckley 1987-1989
Jan Steckley 1987-1989
Ingrid Loepp Thiessen 1991-1997
Gordon Bauman (interim) 1993-1994
Herb Schultz (1935-    ) 1994-2001
Scott Brubaker-Zehr 1995-2000
Gail Roth 1998-2001
Ken Bechtel (interim) 2001-2003
Phyllis Kramer (interim) 2001-2003
Laurence Martin (interim) 2003
Steve Drudge 2003-

Steinmann Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1925 450
1965 377
1975 421
1985 422
2000 436


Author(s) Orland Gingerich
Alvin Gingerich
Date Published July 2003


Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Orland and Alvin Gingerich. "Steinmann Mennonite Church (Baden, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2003. Web. 10 Jul 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Steinmann_Mennonite_Church_(Baden,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=103366.

APA style

Gingerich, Orland and Alvin Gingerich. (July 2003). Steinmann Mennonite Church (Baden, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 July 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Steinmann_Mennonite_Church_(Baden,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=103366.




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