Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada)
The Wideman Mennonite congregation in Markham, Ontario is named after its first minister, Henry Wideman (d. 1810), who emigrated from Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1803. The first meetinghouse was located across from his homestead.
The language of worship is English; the transition from German occurred in the 1880s. The congregation began services in 1803, and formally organized in 1816. The first building was occupied in 1817 with subsequent building programs in 1857 and 1928. Henry Wideman is considered the founding leader of the group. The congregation originated through immigration from Pennsylvania.
The second minister, Martin Hoover, arrived in 1804. Bishop Abraham Grove (d. 1836), who had been ordained in Pennsylvania, arrived in 1808. Jacob Grove (d. 1863), son of Abraham, was ordained minister in 1836 and bishop in 1837. Christian Reesor (d. 1915) was ordained bishop in 1887; he withdrew with the Old Order division of 1889.
Sunday school began about 1876 but was closed in the 1880s. Wideman's was the largest of the early Mennonite churches in the Markham area. A substantial portion of the congregation followed its bishop, Christian Reesor, into the Old Order Mennonite movement. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ also attracted a number of members.
Sunday school was re-established and English was used as the language for worship in the 1890s, making Wideman more accessible to the community.
The late 20th century brought massive changes to the community served by the congregation, as the Greater Toronto Area experienced unrelenting growth. Traditionally, most families in the church were farmers, and many moved away to other communities in Ontario where land and housing were more affordable. A smaller and more diverse congregation remained. Although some members could still trace their roots back to the original pioneers in the area, many came from other backgrounds.
Burkholder, L. J. A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, Ontario: Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935: 114-117.
Mennonite Reporter (26 July 1976): 4; (21 January 1985): 12.
Reesor-McDowell, Joanna. "Wideman Mennonite celebrates 200th anniversary." Canadian Mennonite 20, no. 16 (15 August 2016): 16-17.
Wideman, Janice. "A History of the Wideman Mennonite Church, 1816-1928." Research paper, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1983, Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Records at Mennonite Archives of Ontario.
Address: 10530 Highway 48, R.R. 2, Markham, Ontario L3P 3J3
Phone: (905) 640-6219
Website: Wideman Mennonite Church
Mennonite Church (MC), 1898-1999
Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec, 1810-1988
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, 1988-Present
Wideman Mennonite Church Pastors
|Abraham Grove (Bishop)||1808-1836|
|Jacob Grove (Bishop, 1837- )||1836-1863|
|Christian Reesor (Bishop)||1867-1889|
|Samuel R. Hoover||1888-1916|
|Isaac A. Wambold||1912-1954|
|Leonard W. Hoover||1914-1945|
|A. Lewis Fretz||1920-1931|
|Aaron D. Grove||1932-1960|
|Gary Harder (Interim)||2008-2010|
|Lydia Harder (Interim)||2008-2010|
|Lois Unrau Bukar||2010-2013|
Wideman Mennonite Church Membership
|Author(s)||Harold S. Bender|
|Date Published||April 1986|
Cite This Article
Bender, Harold S., Marlene Epp and Joanna Reesor-McDowell. "Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 1986. Web. 21 Feb 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wideman_Mennonite_Church_(Markham,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=142348.
Bender, Harold S., Marlene Epp and Joanna Reesor-McDowell. (April 1986). Wideman Mennonite Church (Markham, Ontario, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 February 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wideman_Mennonite_Church_(Markham,_Ontario,_Canada)&oldid=142348.
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