History

Shantz Mennonite Church celebrated its 175th Anniversary on
Saturday Oct. 3 to Sunday October 4, 2015
Here is a part of our history:

Shantz Mennonite Church Almsbox

Shantz Mennonite congregation,  was established in 1840. The Almsbox, was to collect money for those in need. It was used in the stone church, built in 1853, and used until 1929. Following the building of the red brick church in 1929, the Almsbox had been in private homes. We’re thrilled to have it back at Shantz Mennonite Church for our upcoming 175th Anniversary in 2015.

The Shantz Mennonite congregation near Baden, Ontario began services in 1840. The first building, a stone structure, was occupied in 1853 and remodeled in 1900. It was replaced by a brick building in 1929, with another addition in 1988. The community was settled in the 1830s; the first settlers were George R. Schmitt and John Schmitt from the Alsace. The congregation originated primarily through immigration from Pennsylvania. At one time the congregation was known as the Upper Street Church. On 13 July 1956 a tornado ripped off the roof of the church.

In 1925 there were 54 members; in 1950, 111; in 1965, 105; in 1975, 102; in 1985, 124; in 2000, 159; in 2005, 146. It was affiliated with the Mennonite Conference of Ontario until 1988 and currently is part of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada (MCEC). Shantz Mennonite is part of the Mennonite Church segment of the Mennonite “family.” The language of worship is English; language transition from German occurred in the early 1900’s.

Pastoral leaders have included George Schmitt (1845-1882), Tobias Bowman (1882-1898), Orphen H. Wismer (1898-1937), Leslie Witmer (1937-1967), Lester Kehl (1967-1976), Ed Kauffman (1976-1984), Vernon Zehr (1985-1989), Doris Gascho (1987-1994), Jim Loepp Thiessen (1991-2003), Interim Maurice Martin (2003-2006), Ellie Huebner (2006-2011), Interim Nancy Brubaker (2011-2012), Don Penner (2012-

The church is located 3 km north of Baden, 13 km west of Waterloo on Erb’s Road.