1837 - 2012 (~ 175 years)
- Erb Street (David Eby) Mennonite Church
Early services which began around 1837 were held in private homes. Land at the corner of Erb Street and Hallman Road, where the present-day cemetery is located, was donated by David Eby Sr. on July 14, 1851; a red brick church known as David Eby's Church was built in the same year. The first minister in the new church was Jacob M. Oberholtzer who served from 1852 to 1874. He was followed by Elias Schneider (1874-1889), Jonas Snider (1892-1900), Newton Weber (1921-1923), and Noah Hunsberger (1923-1929).
Due to a difference of opinion in the David Eby congregation, Sunday School classes were held at first in a private home, that of Levi Groff, beginning in 1887. The dissension which resulted culminated in a division in the church in 1889; the minister, Elias Schneider, and the deacon, Menno S. Shantz, left the church and joined with the Old Order Mennonites of Woolwich Township. The following year, 1890, saw the commencement of "Edification Meetings", which were held in the homes of members of the David Eby congregation. These meetings later became the Young People's Bible Meetings.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, it was recognized that the church building was either in need of repair or in need of complete replacement. Consideration was given to building a new church on the same site or on a site on King Street North. A decision was made to accept from Samuel S. Snider the donation of a parcel of land which was also on Erb Street, but nearer town. Excavation of the foundation for the new church began in the Spring of 1902. A dedication service was held on August 17, 1902. A parsonage was built in 1929 on land donated by Herbert Snider, the son of Samuel Snider. The church building was renovated and enlarged in 1949-1950; a dedication service was held on April 9, 1950. Further renovations were made in 1974.
For information regarding the availability of any early records, please contact the Archivist at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6.
[ADDRESS/LOCATION: 131 Erb St. W., Waterloo, ON N2L 1T7; 886-3570]
References: Burkholder 1935:95-97; Epp 1974:125; Epp 1982:274; Wells, WHS (1928(16):36; WHS 1984(72):163.
Church History: Hunsberger, Albert, and Greta Hunsberger. A Brief History of the David Eby Church and Erb Street Mennonite at Waterloo, Ontario from 1851-1976, 1976.1a
1aAmbrose, Rosemary. Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide to Churches Established Before 1900. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1993. [used the kind permission of Rosemary Ambrose 2011]