Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference

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The Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference (popularly known as the Waterloo-Markham Conference) of Old Order Mennonites traces its beginnings back to 1931, when the Old Order (Wisler) Mennonites at Markham and Rainham, Ontario were disassociated from the Ontario Old Order Mennonite Conference for permitting car ownership, telephones, and English language church services. In 1939 a large group in the Waterloo County withdrew from the Ontario Old Order Mennonite Conference over the same issues and joined the Markham church to form the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference.

In the late 1950s they used the same meetinghouses as the Old Order at Martins (St. Jacobs), in North Woolwich (Floradale), and in West Woolwich (Elmira). They had purchased the Goshen church in Peel Township and had built a new church in East Woolwich near West Montrose. Their bishop was Amsey M. Martin for the Waterloo section, with ministers Urias Martin, Noah B. Martin, Ira S. Brubacher, and George Brubacher. In the Markham section they worshiped at Altona, Almira, and the Reesor church, with Bishop Abram Smith and ministers Fred Nighswander and Cecil Reesor. They had a few members at Rainham and at Zurich. This conference took an active part in the relief program and the peace testimony and had an awakening interest in evangelism and in missions.

In 1957 there were 638 members, of whom 530 were in Waterloo County in two major congregations, 105 in Markham in two major congregations, and three at Rainham. In 1993 the total number of members was 1,106 with 11 congregations.


Scott, Stephen. An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups. People's Place Book #12. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1996: 72-73.

Author(s) Joseph C Fretz
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published October 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Fretz, Joseph C and Richard D. Thiessen. "Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2010. Web. 16 Jan 2019.

APA style

Fretz, Joseph C and Richard D. Thiessen. (October 2010). Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Conference. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 January 2019, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 899. All rights reserved.

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