- 1936-2018 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
15.61 m of textual records
3 reels of microfilm
28 audio cassettes
Name of creator
The Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference was formed on July 1, 1959 from the Rudnerweider Mennonite Church, which had been organized in 1937 as a result of division from the Sommerfeld Mennonite church over its desire for renewal. The Rudnerweider Mennonite Church was led by four ministers, William H. Falk (1892-1976), Peter S. Zacharias (1893-1957), Gerhard J. Froese (1901-1947), and Isaac A. Hoeppner (1884-1955). These four had been inspired by the revival meetings held by Isaac P. Friesen in Reinfeld, Manitoba in 1934.
In total 1100 adult members left the Sommerfeld Mennonite church to become a part of the Rudnerweider Mennonite Church. William Falk was elected as Bishop on January 8, 1937. Between February and May of 1937 seven ministers were elected. They included: Cornelius G. Stoesz from Rudnerweide, Peter D. Berg from Schoenthal, Jacob H. Friesen from Neubergthal, Isaac P. F. Friesen from Rosenbach, Isaac J. Fehr from Waldheim, Jacob E. Nickel from Reinland, and Jacob P. Bergen from Kronsweide.
The church spread to western Manitoba, to the Interlake region of Manitoba, to Saskatchewan, Ontario, Texas, Belize, Bolivia, and Mexico.
A shift to more decentralized leadership and more local congregational autonomy led to the formation of the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference (EMMC) in 1959 with annual conventions and various boards which would continue to tie the various local congregations together. This was led by the new bishop J.H. Friesen who was ordained in 1955.
The church / conference kept its members informed through publications such as the Jugendtag, Der Leitstern, and the EMMC Recorder. The church also supported schools in Manitoba such as Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) in Gretna, Elim Bible School in Altona and Steinbach Bible Institute (SBI). The Aylmer Bible School in Ontario was established in 1976 by the church. In 1957 a radio ministry was begun and later the conference also ran a summer daily vacation Bible School (DVBS) for its youth. Missions to Northern Manitoba and Latin America were undertaken by the conference in addition to sending its people to serve under other Mennonite agencies.
The Rudnerweider church was concerned with the secular influence of radio broadcasts and therefore was an early supporter of Radio CFAM which was founded in Altona, Manitoba in 1957. It was seen as an alternative radio station that promoted wholesome values. The radio station offered air time to the church. I.P.F. Friesen, Edwin Klippenstein, and G.H. Penner served as the radio committee and on March 1957, the High German program Die Evangelishe Botshaft was aired with Bishop Wilhelm H. Falk as speaker. In 2008 the program was still on the air in the Low German language.
In 1990 the adult church membership was 3,470 in 24 independent congregations and nine mission stations. The denominational offices are in Winnipeg.
The conference pastors that have given leadership were Henry Dueck (1986-), Jack Heppner and Allen Kehler.
The material has come to the Centre through individuals and the EMMC church office. The church registers were in the hands of Peter S. Zacharias who made entries until the mid 1950s. They were deposited to the Mennonite Heritage Centre on January 3, 1980 likely by Frank Zacharias, who was at the time the EMMC designated contact person for the History-Archives Committee which governed the Centre. In 1999 the EMMC office asked one of its members, Martha Martens, to select material to be deposited in the archives. The Mennonite Heritage Centre is the official depository for the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference of Canada since October 27, 1979. In 2002 Martha Martens deposited 12 boxes of records consisting of financial records, mission workers records and convention reports. Under direction of the conference she culled the mission workers files. In 2007 another 18 boxes were deposited consisting primarily of mission board, executive and financial records. In 2008 The Gospel Message radio program, Reinland, Rosefarm, and Bergfeld congregational materials were delivered.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
EMMC denominational office, Winnipeg
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This fonds consists of a series of record transfers from the conference office. Each deposit has files or material that is grouped under various headings that were used for administrative purposes. Some of the materials were accumulated by specific church leaders. Included were records of conference conventions, ministers meetings, and board meetings of various program areas such as Christian Education and Publication Board and the Mission Board. The conference office also acquired records of the Alymer Bible School which they founded and supported since 1976 and records from congregations that were closed. The research files of Jack Hoeppner who wrote the conference history in 1987 were also deposited in one of these transfers. Each deposit has been treated as a separate series with sub-series.
SERIES 1: Rudnerweide Mennonitengemeinde Bücher =EMMC Church registers. -- 1937-1963.
SERIES 2: Minutes and other material. -- 1937-1974
-1. EMMC Board of Christian Education and Publication 1963-1974; Ministers meetings 1939-1965 (Volume 4907:1-45, 62-63)
-2. EMMC Board of Christian Education and Publication 1963-1974; Ministers meetings 1939-1965 (Volume 4907:1-45, 62-63)
-3. Diary of Peter Buhler 1969-1983 (Volume 4907: 46-61)
-4. Kitchener EMMC (closed cong.) (Volume 4908)
-5. Minutes 1937-1959 (Volume 5076)
SERIES 3: Financial records, personnel records, convention reports, research files. – 1942-2001.
-1. Financial reports, ledgers, budgets 1951-1994 (Volume 5091-5094)
-2. Mission personnel files & correspondence 1967-2001 (Volume 5095-5098)
-3. Convention Reports 1942-2001 (Volume 5099)
-4. Jack Hoeppner research files & other materials (Volume 5100-5101)
SERIES 4: EMMC Mission Board. – 1965-2007.
-1. Bolivia Reports & correspondence 1965-2004 (Volume 5200)
-2. Bolivia Finances 1973-1998 (Volume 5201)
-3. Board dockets and correspondence 1976-1991 (Volume 5202-5203)
-4. Ontario churches started 1965-2000 (Volume 5204)
-5. Belize Churches started (1965-2007) (Volume 5205)
-6. Manitoba Churches (1967-2001) (Volume 5206)
-7. Aylmer Bible School (begun in 1976) administration, correspondence, staff minutes, finances (1984-1998) (Volume 5207-5209)
-8. John Bergman's papers 1980-1987 - administration, topics, correspondence (Volume 5210)
-9. EMMC [General administration] - mission board minutes 1957-1989), Christian Education 1959-1990 (Volume 5011-5013)
-10. EMMC Manitoba Churches (Volume 5214)
-11. EMMC Churches Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC, Mexico, USA (Volume 5215)
-12. General ledgers (1994-1998) (Volume 5216-5217)
SERIES 5: Closed congregations, Gospel Message, Ladies Auxiliary, EMMC Boards – 1943-1999.
-1. Bergfeld EMMC, Reinland EMMC, Rosefarm EMMC (Volume 5304-5305)
-2. Gospel Message (radio Program) (Volume 5306-5307) Audio Cassettes 2709-2736
-3. EMMC Ladies Executive minutes, correspondence 1964-1999 (Volume 5399)
-4. EMMC Ladies Auxiliary minutes, missionary letters, financial ledgers 1964-2005 (Volume 5400)
-5. The Gospel Message - John D. Friesen, Ernest Friesen 1965-1997 (Volume 5401)
-6. Ministers and Deacons policy study papers & minutes 1943-1998 (Volume 5402)
-7. Personnel files (Volume 5403-5406)
-8. EMMC Mission dockets, 1992-2006 (Volume 5407)
-9. EMMC Board minutes (Education and Publication, Executive, Radio and Evangelism, General counsel, 1964-1998 (Volume 5408)
-10. Various Mission Societies (Volume 5409)
-11. Missions Evangelism, etc. (Volume 5410)
SERIES 6: EMMC History, churches, Henry Dueck files, Missions and other office files. – 1937-2017.
-1. BMS and EMMC History 1937-2011 (Volume 6350)
-2. Manitoba Churches 1960-2017 (Volume 6351)
-3. Churches - Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta 1945-2013 (Volume 6352)
-4. Henry Dueck [files] 1962-1997 (Volume 6353)
-5. EMMC [General administration] 1970-2008 (Volume 6354)
-6. Missions and Miscellaneous 1940-2012 (Volume 6355)
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
More accruals expected
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Some restrictions apply to the Mission Board series personel files and correspondence.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
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Inventory file list
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Accession nos. 1987-107, 1999-139, 2001-022, 2002-073, 2007-020, 2008-005, 2009-007, 2018-018.
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Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
Described by Jake Peters in "Resources for Canadian Mennonite studies: an inventory guide to archival holdings at the Mennonite Heritage Centre" (1988: 105). Current description created by Conrad Stoesz January 15, 2001, updated by Conrad Stoesz June 27, 2005, April 23, 2007, February 13, 2008. Updated and edited by Alf Redekopp, March 2, 2008. Updated by Stoesz February 18, 2009, May 4, 2018. Edited and migrated to MAID, May 5, 2020 by Alf Redekopp.
The extent and medium does not include the "sub-series" which are described as separate fonds (i.e. Peter Buhler fonds, Kitchener EMMC fonds, etc.) -- AHR