History

In October 2008 Waterloo North Mennonite Church celebrated its 22nd anniversary. We began as a "church plant" by the Inter-Mennonite Conference (Ontario), with special assistance from the Erb St. Mennonite Church, the St. Jacobs Mennonite Church and the Waterloo-Kitchener United Mennonite Church.

At the beginning the group numbered about 40 persons and met at Lutherwood, a residential and school facility located on Benjamin Road in North Waterloo. The congregation deliberately chose a location in the growing northern edge of the city. After briefly worshipping in Lutherwood's chapel beginning in October 1986, the congregation met in the gym until the end of May, 1994. In addition to challenging acoustics, two massive lions painted on the back wall reminded us this was not a church building.

Waterloo North has always placed emphasis on lay participation in leadership. For the first year there were no paid leaders -- leadership was provided by a group of Elders and an Administrative Committee, together with a church chairperson. Although titles and job descriptions have changed over the years, the numbers of persons actively involved in all parts of the church's ministry remains high.

In the late 1980s it became clear larger facilities would be required for the growing congregation. A building committee chaired by Ralph Lebold was established in 1989. Milo and Laura Shantz donated land at the corner of Weber St. and Benjamin Road. The congregation moved into the new facility in June 1994.

Dan Nighswander became a part time member of the Ministry leadership team by 1988 and continued in a leadership role until 1997. Mary Mae Schwartzentruber and the Ministry Team provided leadership in 1997/98. Sue C. Steiner became lead minister in May 1998.

The congregation became part of the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec in 1987 and became part of the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada when the merger of three conferences in Eastern Canada occurred in 1988. The congregation is part of the Mennonite Church, and in 1995 joined the Conference of Mennonites in Canada.