3 cm of textual records and microfilm.
The Main Centre Mennonite Brethren was founded June 1904 by recently arrived settlers from Steinbach, Manitoba. Main Centre is located 50 km east-north-east of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and just north of Herbert. It was founded by 15 charter members and began worship under the leadership of Benjamin Janz. The church met in Main Centre school until the construction of a church building in 1907; this building was in continuous use until at least the 1980s.
The first baptism was held on 16 August 1905. In 1915 they hosted the North District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren (later known as the Canadian Conference). Membership peaked in 1937 at 239. The economic oppression of the Great Depression forced many farmer–members to move to British Columbia or to other, more fertile, parts of Saskatchewan. The pastor at Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church in 1999 was Kenneth Epp and membership was 74.
Ministers, leaders, and pastors at Main Centre have included Benjamin Janz (1904–1915), Jacob D. Ewert (1906–1917), Johann P. Wiebe (1917–1923), Henry P. Janz (1924–1932), Jacob A. Martens (1924–1927, 1929–1940), Klaas Ewert (1928), Nick P. Janz (1923–1935, 1943–1950), Jacob F. Redekop (1932–1945), Abram P. Janz (1940–1941), Abram D. Remple (1941–1943), John D. Goertzen (1943–1953, 1954–1956), Johann Siemens (1953–1954, 1956, 1958–1961), Abram Goerz (1956–1958), Abram Siebert (1958), Rudy Heidebrecht (1960), David Epp (1961–1969), Edward Hamm (1969–1973), Alvin Hamm (1973–1979), and Murray Unruh (1980–1984). Reg Toews was pastor ([?–] 1988–?).
Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church has also been known as the Bethel Mennonite Brethren at Main Centre, Saskatchewan.
The language of worship is English. The transition from German occured in the 1950's.
Scope and content
This fonds consists of the following series: Historical notes, annual reports, church bulletins, membership and family records, and congregational meeting and Jugendverein meeting minutes.
The Historical Commission of the Mennonite Brethren Conference microfilmed many of the records in 1978.
Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church historical notes.
- Volume 592.
- Finding aid: The records are classified under the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches inventory BF505.
- Finding aid for microfilm: R43–45.
- Microfilm file list adapted from a previous finding aid by Leslie Wiebe June 2003.
1954, 1979, 1985.
1.5 cm of textual records.
This series consists of historical sketches created for the 75th anniversary of the church in 1979 and an addendum thereto from 1985. Bulletins from the celebrations are also included. Microfilmed information includes historical notes on the first 50 years of the congregation (1904–1954) by Johann Goertzen. Unfortunately this is probably in Fresno.
Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church annual reports.
- Finding aid: Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church fonds file list 1.
0.5 cm of textual records.
This series consists of a 1950 annual report in German.
Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church bulletins.
- Finding aid: Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church fond file list 2.
1 cm of textual records.
This series consists of a complete set of 1988 weekly church bulletins and inserts; they contain the order of service and announcements. .
Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church membership and family records.
- Finding aid: Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church fonds file list 3.
522 pp. microfilm.
This series consist of three membership and family register books; 1904–1937; [193-?]–[195-?]; [195-?]–1978.
Main Centre minutes.
- Finding aid: Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church R43, pp. 763–1884, R44, pp. 1–881.
3745 pp. microfilm.
This series consists of minutes from congregational meetings (1908–1977) and minutes from Jugendverein meetings (1908–1972).
Textual file list
- Finding aid: Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church R43, pp. 763–1884; R44, pp. 1–2356; R45, pp. 1–268.
Series I: Historical notes
1. Historical Notes. – 1979, 1985.
Series II: Annual reports
2. Jahres Berichte. – 1950.
Series III: Church bulletins
1. Weekly Church Bulletins. – 1988.
Microfilm file list
- Membership and Family register (Book I). – ca.1919–1937. – p.269–410.
- Membership and Family register (Book II). – ca.1950–1979. – p.411–589.
- Membership and Family register (Book III). – ca.1937–1955. – p.590–699 (+92).