History Of BMC
Joseph Hagey is considered the founding leader of Breslau Mennonite Church, which is as old as the community of Breslau itself. The church started in its present locality, probably in 1815, when the Cressman family arrived here from Pennsylvania. For some time the local Mennonites had worship services in their homes, organizing as a congregation in 1826.
During the 1830’s, the local Mennonites provided hospitality to their newly arrived German-speaking Catholic neighbours settling in New Germany (now Maryhill). These settlers found shelter and assistance in Mennonite homes until they could locate homes for themselves.
In 1834, the Benjamin Eby congregation in Berlin (now First Mennonite Church in Kitchener) outgrew its 1813 log meetinghouse. The building was disassembled, moved to the Christian Snyder farm in Breslau, and reassembled on an acre of land deeded in 1837 by Snyder to the congregation`s first trustees: Abraham S. Clemens, Elias Bowman and John Brech. The selling price was one pound (£), and it was stipulated that the property must be used solely for a meetinghouse, burying ground, and school for the Mennonites and all people in the area.
This log structure served the congregation until 1856 when a brick building was erected. The log church was moved into the village of Breslau and became the residence of Fred Schaefer, a brick maker who bricked the log building at a later date. The house is still standing at 18 Woolwich Street North.
Until 1908, the church was known as the Cressman Mennonite Church after which it was renamed Breslau Mennonite Church. The congregation saw their church building neither large enough or substantial enough to accommodate the people, so in 1908 a new white brick church was built, using bricks from the Breslau brick yard and recycling bricks from the previous church building. This building is currently our Christian Education wing.
An addition was built onto the front of the church in 1968, and other renovations were completed. In July of that year the name was changed from Cressman Mennonite Church to Breslau Mennonite Church.
The MARC building was built in 1976-77. MARC stood for “Mennonite Arts & Recreation Centre”. This building had various uses for the church and community.
By 1989, there was further need to expand the building. The MARC building was torn down in preparation for the new construction, which would add a new main church building to the existing building. The cornerstone was laid in 1990, and by 1991 the congregation moved into the new addition.
This addition consists of a beautiful sanctuary, a gymnasium, a library, a nursery, three offices and a large, sunlit foyer. It is attached to the original structure where Sunday School classes, a Parish Nurse office and smaller fellowship hall are housed. A bricked outdoor courtyard touches both the old and the new buildings.
Guelph Mennonite Church closed and joined Breslau Mennonite Church in 1997.
In 2009 we celebrated our 175th Anniversary.
We invite our friends in the community along with all past participants to join the present church family in giving thanks for God’s faithful guidance. We confidently anticipate God’s continued loving presence in our future.