Fonds PP - George Groening fonds

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George Groening fonds


  • 1938-2010 (Creation)

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1.2 m of textual records

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Biographical history

George Groening was a pastor and church leader in the Conference of Mennonites in Canada and in the provincial conferences of Manitoba and BC. He was born to Heinrich Groening and Maria Penner in 1918 in the Lowe farm area of Manitoba. During the Second World War he served as a conscientious objector (CO), working at Riding Mountain National Park, B.C. forestry service, a BC dairy farm, and teaching in Norway House, Manitoba. In 1944 he married Aganetha Heinrichs and they had three daughters.

After His CO service he attended normal school in Winnipeg to become a teacher. His CO service helped prepare him for church leadership, which started in his home congregation of the Lowe Farm Bergthaler Mennonite Church in 1947. Because of his CO experience in aboriginal communities, he was elected to serve on the board of the Mennonite Pioneer Mission. He pastored Bethel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg (1954-1966), member of the General Conference Mennonite Church Board of Missions (ca. 1965-1967), pastor at Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary (1966-1971), Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack, B.C. (1971-1984), and Clearbrook Mennonite Church (1989). He was the chairman of the Mennonite Pioneer Mission in the 1950s, chairman of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada Board of Missions in the 1960s, Member of the Conference of Mennonites in BC Missions committee (ca. 1971-1974), moderator of Mennonite Church British Columbia (1975-1979), and chair of Columbia Bible College in the 1980s.

Groening was invited to speak at a variety of churches and events including Young United Church in Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, graduation ceremony at Canadian Bible College in Regina, at the dedication of a Men’s Dormitory, at funerals, weddings and wedding ann­­­­­­­­­iversaries.

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Scope and content

This fonds consists of sermons preached by Groening 1938-2010, cassette tapes of church services where he preached that cover 3 years when he was the pastor at Eden Mennonite Church, and a record of marriages and funerals he officiated at. Groening was an exceptionally organized person. The vast sermon collection of some 3800 sermons with an index covers a wide time frame and geography. With his donation of sermons are 83 cassette tapes recording the church services at the Eden Mennonite Church in Chilliwack, BC while he was pastor. Some of the tapes have lines drawn in pen on the cassettes showing where his sermon begins.

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Groening used an indexing system for his sermons arranged by book of the Bible. Each sermon was carefully recorded including title, date, and location.

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Related materials:
For the cassette tapes, see Eden Mennonite Church fonds cassette numbers 5165-5247. Groening deposited his materials collected while serving with conference bodies (1966, and July 13, 1990. See Conference of Mennonites in Canada fonds (volume 755-774), Mennonite Pioneer Mission (volume 343b), Mennonite Church Manitoba (volume 2838—2844). For other related materials see Mennonite Pioneer Mission Quarterly and Bethel Mennonite Church fonds, Foothills Mennonite Church (volume 2421).

Associated Material:
Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, George Groening fonds. George
Groening, Alternative Service for Peace. Edited by A.J. Klassen. Abbotsford: Mennonite Central Committee (B.C.) Seniors for Peace, 95-99.

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Described by Conrad Stoesz 2018.


  • English
  • German



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