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1972–2000.
28.5 cm of textual records, 58 photographs, 9 cassette tapes, and 3 VHS cassettes.

Administrative history

The Mennonite Brethren church in Dartmouth began as an initiative of Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Service workers in the Dartmouth area. In 1962, John and Agnes Esau began a Christian Service term in the area, and helped set up service units of teachers and nurses. At the same time, the Canadian Inland Mission (Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches) was interested in planting new churches in the Maritimes. Thus, in 1967 the conference joined efforts with the service workers; the workers were invited to become the nucleus for a new Mennonite Brethren congregation, and Walter and Selma Epp were invited to serve a pastoral/outreach role. The new congregation was called the Mouth Edward Bible Fellowship.

In 1973, the congregation officially joined the Mennonite Brethren Conference, and two years later changed its name to the Dartmouth Mennonite Brethren Church. At this time, the congregation met at the Penhorn Seventh Day Adventist Church, a building that eventually it purchased in 1976. Now the church hired a pastor from the Atlantic provinces and began operating a preschool with paid staff. Despite these local connections, however, the congregation’s stability was still significantly affected by the transient nature of its Christian Service members.

In 1986, the congregation became known as Cornerstone Community Church. The new name was to be inclusive, and reflected the way the congregation was to “serve as a guiding light” in the Mennonite Brethren mission to the East. The congregation developed a variety of outreach efforts, ranging from morning programs for mothers, to children’s events, gymn nights, and cell groups, and as the 1990s moved on, the congregation took on a much more local flavour.

In 1996, the conference made a concerted four-year effort to renew the mission and vision of the congregation, providing a subsidy to offset operation and staff costs. When the four-year period ended, the church still lacked a core group of members to sustain the financial needs of the church. Loss of energy and vision, coupled with leadership tensions, added to the problem. Eventually, the remaining ten members decided that the church was no longer sustainable. On 26 November 2000, past and present members and attendees came together one last time to remember and celebrate the life of Cornerstone Community Church.

Sources: Christian Leader (9 May 1967); Canadian Mennonite (9 May 1967): 1; (6 February 1968): 3B; Mennonite Reporter (21 December 1987): 21; Mennonite Brethren Herald (27 May 1988): 72, (1 December 2000): 19; CMBS Volume 648:1, & volume 688:12.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of nine series:
  1. Historical sketches (1975, 1985, 2000)
  2. Church register and guestbook (1973–2000)
  3. Church Council minutes (1976–1989)
  4. Church business minutes (1972–1993)
  5. Financial reports (1974–1990)
  6. Correspondence and reports (1983–1990)
  7. Bulletins (1976–1995)
  8. Photographs (1978–1992)
  9. Audio–Visual (1987–1991)

Custodial history

It is unclear when most of the contents of volume 648 arrived at CMBS. The bulletins were probably sent in gradually, and the historical sketches were likely acquired in 1978, when CMBS collected a wide range of church histories. The contents in volume 688, along with the photographs, videos, and cassettes, were deposited by Ewald Unruh in 2002.

Notes
Series descriptions

1.  Historical sketches. – 1975, 1985, 2000, 2006.
0.5 cm of textual records.

This series consists of a one-page historical sketch written by church moderator Rudy Hamm (1975), a lengthier historical essay entitled “A Brief History of Dartmouth MB Church,” written by moderator Peter Penner, and a point-form historical overview highlighting important events from 1967–2000. It also includes a file of correspondence and reports concerning the closure of church.
2.  Church register and guestbook. – 1973–2000.
5 cm of textual records.

This series includes a church register recording dates of baptisms, dedications, weddings, membership transfers, etc. It also includes a description and photograph of the first Mennonite Brethren church meeting in Dartmouth, held 10 September 1967. The series also includes two guest books.
3.  Church Council minutes. – 1976–1989.
5 cm of textual records.

This series consists of a well-organized file of Church Council and Elder’s meeting minutes.
4.  Church business minutes. – 1972–1993.
7 cm of textual records.

This series consist of minutes from Church business meetings, sometimes called congregational meetings. These meetings were open to all members.
5.  Financial reports. – 1974–1990.
3 cm of textual records.

This series consists of financial reports and a copy of the indenture for land transfer (1976).
6.  Correspondence and reports. – 1980–1990.
3 cm of textual records.

This series consists of correspondence between Church Council, pastoral and conference staff, and church members. It also includes reports concerning job descriptions and goals and objectives.
7.  Bulletins. – 1976–1980, 1994–1995.
5 cm of textual records.

This series consists of church bulletins used in the weekly Sunday services.
8.  Photographs. – 1978–1992.
58 photographs.

These photographs depict the special events in the life of the church. These include baptisms, Christmas banquets, church retreats, children’s programs, and commissioning and farewell events.
9.  Audio–Visual. – 1987–1991.
3 VHS cassettes, 9 cassette tapes.

This series records several sermon series, and special events held at the church, including a dedication and farewell service.

Textual file list

Volume 648 Date
1. Historical sketches. 1975, 1985
2. Correspondence, reports, minutes, and a directory. 1980
3. Correspondence, reports, and financial statements. 1980–1983
4. Church Council minutes. 1976–1989
5. Bulletins. 1976–1980
6. Bulletins. 1993
7. Bulletins. 1994
8. Bulletins. 1995
9. Church Register. 1973–2000

Volume 688 Date
1. Guestbooks. 1981–1995
2. Church business minutes. 1972–1976
3. Church business minutes. 1977–1981
4. Church business minutes. 1982–1985
5. Church business minutes. 1986–1988
6. Church business minutes. 1989–1993
7. Goals and objectives report. 1990
8. Job descriptions. 1988
9. Indenture for land transfer. 1976
10. Financial reports. 1974–1986
11. Financial reports. 1987–1990
12. Correspondence and reports concerning the closure of Cornerstone Community Church. 2000, 2006

Audio–visual file list

Video collection (VHS) Date
NMV-67 Cornerstone Community Church (Dartmouth, NS)
NMV-67-01 “Dedication.” Cornerstone Community Church, Dartmouth, NS.
VHS. Mar 3, 1991
NMV-67-02 “Kerry and Sandy [Dyck]’s Last Sunday.” Cornerstone Community Church, Dartmouth, NS.
VHS. Jun 7, 1992
NMV-67-03 “Weekend Enrichment Retreat, [led by] Ike and Shirley Bergen.” Cornerstone Community Church, Dartmouth, N.S.
VHS. May 15, 1987

Audio collection (cassette) Date

NA-17-68 Overcoming Obstacles #1: Depression.
Dyck, Kerry. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 6, 1991
NA-17-69 Overcoming Obstacles #2: Stress.
Dyck, Kerry. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 13, 1991
NA-17-70 Overcoming Obstacles #3: Impossibilities.
Dyck, Kerry. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 13, 1991
NA-17-71 Life in a New Community 1: Supernatural Community.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 27, 1991
NA-17-72 Life in a New Community 2; Unity, Power, Fellowship.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 27, 1991
NA-17-73 Life in a New Community 3: Courage to Face.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series. Sermon series. Jan 27, 1991
NA-17-74 Fit to be Married #2; Keys to Compatibility.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series (1 sermon series missing). Jan 27, 1991
NA-17-75 Fit to be Married #3: I Think I Married the Wrong Person.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS.
3 cassettes in the series (1 sermon series missing). Dec 2, 1990
NA-17-76 Nothing Beats Knowing Christ.
Unruh, Ewald. Dartmouth, NS. May 19, 1991
NA-17-77 Worship Service Tape for King’s Courts.
Dartmouth, NS.
Worship service. [ca. 1991]

Photograph file list

Collection Number: NP169-01 Cornerstone Community Church Collection Date
1. Pre-teen leaders.
This photo is of the Darthmouth MB Church pre-teen leaders; pictured are (back, l–r) Keith and Susie Brooks, Bev Baxter, (front) and Reg and Marg Dunville.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1978
2. Children’s Christmas program.
This photo is of the Darthmouth MB Church pre-teen children on stage ready to perform a Christmas program at Ocean View Manor.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1978
3. Children at the Ice Cream Factory.
This photo is of Paul Jamieson at the Ice Cream Factory with his grade two and three Sunday school children.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. [ca. 1978]
4. Summer ministry team.
This photo is of a summer ministry team from Dartmouth MB Church. The ministry team is singing a song together.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1979
5. Tables set, candles lit.
This photo is of the Dartmouth MB Church dining hall, decorated for a Christmas banquet.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1979
6. The band plays.
This photo is of a guitar band playing at the Dartmouth MB Church Christmas banquet.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1979
7. Sunrise Easter breakfast.
This photo is of people seated around a table at a Dartmouth MB Church sunrise Easter breakfast.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. 1979
8. Moses musical.
This photo is of the Dartmouth MB Church Sunday school children performing a musical.
10 x 8 cm [col.]. [ca. 1979]
9. The Dartmouth MB Church building.
This photo is of the Dartmouth MB Church building.
8 x 8 cm [b&w]. [ca. 1979]
10. March for Jesus.
This photo is of the March for Jesus in Dartmouth, NS. Cornerstone Community Church was involved in the movement.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Jun 1994
11. The Mission Bridge outreach renovation.
This photo is of an old house [at Grove Farm?] that was renovated [into a church building?] as a part of Cornerstone Community Church’s Mission Bridge outreach.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Jun 1994
12. Anne Kverne working a mitre saw.
This photo is of Anne Kverne working a mitre saw. Kverne was helping with a renovation project that was a part of the Cornerstone Community Church’s Mission Bridge outreach.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Jun 1994
13. Puppet show.
This photo is of a group of children enjoying a puppet show in the Cornerstone Community Church sanctuary. The puppet show was a part of the church’s Vacation Bible School program.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Aug 1992
14. Children perform at Christmas.
This photo is of a group of children performing at a Cornerstone Community Church Christmas . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1993
15. Children’s story.
This photo is of a children gathered at the front of the Cornerstone Community Church for the children’s story. The story was a part of the Sunday school closing.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1993
16. Ed Willms birthday party.
This photo is of Ed Willms standing in front of a birthday cake. The party was held at Cornerstone Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1993
17. Linda and Wally Unruh say farewell.
This photo is of Linda and Ewald Unruh behind the mic at their farewell service at Cornerstone Community Church.
10 x 15 cm [col.]. Jul 1992
18. The children say farewell.
This photo is of the children at Cornerstone Community Church holding up farewell signs at a service for Linda and Ewald Unruh.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Jul 1992
19. Kerry and Sandy Dyck farewell.
This photo is of Kerry and Sandy Dyck holding a plaid blanket. The blanket was a farewell gift to the Dycks. The photograph was taken at the Cornerstone Community Church farewell service for the . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. May 1992
20. Baseball game.
This photo is of a baseball game played at a Cornerstone Community Church retreat. The retreat was held at Mount Tabor Bible College.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Aug 1992
21. Ed and Karin Willms installation.
This photo is of those involved in Ed and Karin Willms’ installation service. Pictured are (back, l–r) Leon Wegner, Harv Remple, Karin and Ed Willms, Robert Kruse, (front) Michael Young, Dr. Andrew McKay, and Paul and Kathy Francis.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Sep 13, 1992
22. [Baptism?] candidates.
This photo is of a group [of baptism candidates?] at Cornerstone Community Church. Pictured are (back, l–r) Kostar Chantzrantonior, James Bekkers, Ewald Unruh (pastor), (front) Connie Chantzrantonior, Cindy Unruh, and Karen Tufto.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1992
23. Ewald Unruh speaking.
This photo is of Ewald Unruh speaking at Gateway Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1992]
24. Worship group.
This photo is of a worship band performing at Gateway Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1992]
25. Chartering service.
This photo is of those involved in the Gateway Community Church chartering service.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1991
26. Plumbing class.
This photo is of two women fixing a sink as a part of Cornerstone Community Church’s Morning Outlet, Jill of all Trades program.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1992
27. Morning Outlet playtime.
This photo is of toddlers playing in the church sanctuary as a part of Cornerstone Community Church’s Morning Outlet program.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1992
28. Christmas banquet.
This photo is a wide-angle view of a Cornerstone Community Church Christmas banquet. A music group performs at the front of the banquet hall.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1991
29. Church picnic.
This photo is of Ewald Unruh (left) and other adults playing a game with children at a Cornerstone Community Church picnic.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1991
30. Church retreat.
This photo is of a young girl riding a donkey at a Cornerstone Community Church retreat.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1992
31. Kid’s FunFest.
This photo is of a group of children playing with a parashoot at Cornerstone Community Church’s Kid’s FunFest.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1990
32. Yard work.
This photo is of two bareback men doing yard work at Cornerstone Community Church.
10 x 15 cm [col.]. 1990
33. Kerry and Sandy Dyck’s installment.
This photo is of a group of church leaders praying for Sandy and Kerry Dyck on stage at Cornerstone Community Church. The Dycks were installed as interim pastors.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1990
34. Ewald Unruh speaking.
This photo is a wide-angle view of Ewald Unruh speaking at a Cornerstone Community Church service.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1989]
35. Thankgiving children’s story.
This photo is of Sandy Dyck telling the Thanksgiving children story at Cornerstone Community Church. Kerry Dyck stands at the right.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. 1989
36. Baptism candidates.
This photo is of baptism candidates from Cornerstone Community Church. Pictured are (l–r, back) Charles Penner, Ewald Unruh (pastor), Peter Scovill, Ed Willms (pastor), (middle) Ruth Penner, Shery Scovill, Terry Osborne, Leon Wegner, (front) Jim and Janet Birkingham, and Harvey and Diane.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. 1989
37. Gym night.
This photo is of a volleyball game, played as a part of Cornerstone Community Church gymn night.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. Mar 1989
38. John and Judy Dyck’s farewell.
This photo is of John and Judy Dyck (left) opening gifts at a farewell party. The couple served as interim leaders at Cornerstone Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1989]
39. The Cornerstone Community Church parade float.
This photo is of the Cornerstone Community Church float presented in the Dartmouth Natal Way . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1988
40. Baptism candidates.
This photo is of a group of baptism candidates at Cornerstone Community Church. Pictured are (back, l–r) Ed Willms (pastor), Sandy and Kerry Dyck (pastors), Will Major, Ewald Unruh (pastor), Rich Schroeder, (front) Dirk Kelder, Connie Braun, Don and Shirley McKay, Judy Janto (Major), and Lynn . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1988
41. John Dyck, Rob Wolf, and Doug Rich.
This photo is a missions portrait of (l–r) John Dyck, Rob Wolf, and Doug Rich. The three men were serving with Inter-Varsity in Halifax.
11 x 11 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
42. The dining hall.
This photo is of the dining hall at Cornerstone Community Church.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
43. Siegfried Janzen speaking.
This photo is of Siegfried Janzen speaking at a Cornerstone Community Church service.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
44. Kerry Dyck leads singing.
This photo is of Kerry Dyck leading singing at Cornerstone Community Church.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
45. A duet performs.
This photo is of Judy Major and Dirk Kelder singing a guitar-led duet song at Cornerstone Community Church.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
46. Lobsters and leaders.
This photo is of (l–r) Merv Boschman, James Nickel, Ed Willms, and Ewald Unruh standing in a kitchen. Boschman and Nickel hold up live red lobsters [they were visiting the MB church in . . .
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
47. Dirk Kelder baptism.
This photo is of (l–r) Dirk Kelder and Ewald Unruh in the baptismal tank at Cornerstone Community Church. Kelder is soaking wet.
10 x 15 cm [col.]. [ca. 1988]
48. Thank you gifts for Len Janzen and Dave Friesen.
This photo is of [Ed Willms?] presenting gifts to Len Janzen and Dave Friesen at Cornerstone Community Church.
10 x 15 cm [col.]. [ca. 1987]
49. Cofffee time during work week.
This photo is of a group of men enjoying coffee together during work week at Cornerstone Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1987]
50. Rennovating the church building.
This photo is of a crane lifting building materials onto the roof of the Cornerstone Community Church building.
13 x 9 cm [col.]. [ca. 1987]
51. The church building after renovations.
This photo is of the Cornerstone Community Church building [shortly after renovations were . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1987]
52. Murray Gamble and Ewald Unruh in the baptismal tank.
This photo is of (l–r) Murray Gamble and Ewald Unruh standing in the baptismal tank at Cornerstone Community Church. The church congregation is visible in the background.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1987
53. Baptism candidates.
This photo is of a group of baptism candidates at Cornerstone Community Church. Pictured are (l–r) Ed Willms (pastor), _____, _____, _____, Murray Gamble, _____, and Ewald Unruh (pastor).
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1987
54. Visit to [Restigouche Valley Church?].
This photo is of (l–r) Judy Janke and _____ performing a musical number [at Restigouche Valley Church?] in Campbelton, NB. The two women were part of group from Cornerstone Community Church that came to vist the church in Cambelton.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1987
55. Working in the kitchen.
This photo is of Teenie Wall (right) working with two other women in the [Restigouche Valley Church?] kitchen. [The women were in Campbellton as part of a delegation from Cornerstone Community . . .
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1987
56. Siegfried Janzen.
This photo is standing outdoors and visiting with [Ed Willms?].
15 x 10 cm [col.]. 1987
57. Janet Enns teaches Sunday school.
This photo is of Janet Enns with four Sunday school children at Cornerstone Community Church.
15 x 10 cm [col.]. [ca. 1987]
58. John Dyck, and Karin and Ed Willms behind the pulpit.
This photo is of (l–r) John Dyck with Karin and Ed Willms behind the pulpit during the commissioning service for the Willms at Cornerstone Community Church.
13 x 9 cm [col.].