Archives of the Mennonite Church
By Dennis Stoesz, Archivist
What follows is a sampling of personal
papers and organizational records that have come into the archives
during the last six months of 1996. They are listed alphabetically
by the name of the collection.
Beechy, Atlee, Goshen,
Papers, 1944-1969, which reflect Beechy's involvement in Civilian
Public Service, 1944-47; European relief under Mennonite Central
Committee, 1946-49; involvement in I-W Coordinating Board, late
1950s and early 1960s; and Beechy's ongoing witness for peace,
relief and service during the 1960s, in Biafra, Haiti, Mississippi,
Nigeria, and Vietnam. Also includes audio tapes of the commissioning
service of Beechy, 1966; interview with Beechy by ABC, 1966;
a filmstrip of the work of Vietnam Christian Service, 1966-67;
and an interview with Hull, of the Vietnam Christian Service
team after the Tet Offensive, 1968. 14 linear inches. Donor:
Fisher, Wayne L., Houston,
Newspaper clippings on Amish, 1937-1993 (bulk, 1948-1974), that
he collected since the late 1950s. The clippings focus primarily
on the Amish conflicts with the legal system, such as education,
social security, highway safety for buggies, etc., and are arranged
by state and subject. Includes some actual court cases. Fisher
recently published his research in a book entitled The Amish
in Court, (New York: Vantage Press, 1996), 200 pages. Fisher
was a member of the National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom,
and helped furnish information to attorneys in preparation for
cases regarding Amish society and belief. 13 linear inches. Donor:
Wayne L. Fisher.
of the Mennonite Church, 1911- , Oral History Project, Floyd
L. Rheinheimer, 1996.
Interviews with 15 men who served in the military during World
War II, 1939-1945, the Korean War, 1950-1953, and the Vietnamese
Conflict, 1961-1975. Many of these men grew up within the Amish
or Mennonite church, and most are still members of these churches.
This project also includes interviews with 30 individuals and
couples, about their life story. Interviews were conducted by
Rheinheimer, a retired doctor from Milford, Indiana, during 1996,
with the project being sponsored by the Historical Committee.
6 linear inches. Donor: John E. Sharp, Director.
MennoLink, 1992- ,
Electronic records, 1992-1996, of correspondence sent between
subscribers of this electronic mail system. There were about
29 subscribers in June 1992 and about 620 by January 1996. MennoLink
was founded in 1987, with roots in the Mennonite Council of Computer
Users. A individual subscription list was developed through the
efforts of Jon Harder, Bloomington, Minnesota, in 1992; another
contact person is Thomas L. Lapp. 38 High Density Computer Disks.
Donor: Ross Lynn Bender, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mennonite Board of
Congregational Ministries, 1971- , Elkhart, Indiana.
Official records, 1969-1990, including minutes, reports and correspondence
of five programs and/or sections of Congregational Ministries:
family life, leadership, peace and social concerns, communication,
and administration. Persons involved in these programs included
Howard J. Zehr, 1971-76; Ross T. Bender, 1972-74; Harold E. Bauman,
1974-88; Gordon Zook, 1978-89; Everett Thomas, 1989- ; John H.
Mosemann, 1976-77; Hubert Schwartzentruber, 1972-79; Beulah Kauffman,
1974-80; David Helmuth, 1981-83; Frances Greaser, 1983-86; Clare
Schumm, 1987-90; Dan Shenk, 1975-78; and Jon Kauffman-Kennel,
1978-85. 18 linear feet. Donor: Everett Thomas, Executive Secretary,
and Rachel S. Fisher.
Mennonite Board of
Missions, 1906- , Mennonite Media Ministries, 1954- , Harrisonburg,
Program Files, 1954-1994, containing reports, official documents,
and background information on 16 programs operated by this Media
Ministries over 40 years. Includes radio, TV and video programs
and projects such as All God's People, In Touch, Encore, The
Jesus Connection, Choice, Home Bible Studies, JELAM, Mennonite
Hour, Radio Spots, TV Spots, Way to Life, Your Time and non-English
language programs, including Russian, German, Italian, Japanese
and Navaho. Materials include scripts, a list of the various
programs, administrative reports and evaluations, promotional
files, and the responses from the various radio and TV stations
who aired these programs. 47 linear feet. Donor: Lowell T. Hertzler,
Business Manager, Media Ministries, and Ethel Hoffman, Office
Services Coordinator, Mennonite Board of Missions.
Schlabach, Vivian (Johns),
Photographs, circa 1870s-1940s, of Allen (1848- ) and Sarah (Lehman)
Rickert (1850- ) Family, Columbiana-Mahoning Counties, Ohio,
and of their daughter's family, Elizabeth (Rickert) (1877-1960)
and Ira S. Johns (1879-1956), Goshen, Indiana. Also includes
photographs of D. J. (1850-1942) and Nancy (Yoder) Johns (1849-1930)
Family, and of Vivian Johns when she was a school teacher at
Clinton Community School, in the mid-1920s. Photographs show
three generations of a family, and also illustrate the movement
of Mennonites and Amish Mennonites from a more elaborate and
fancy clothing up to the turn of the century, to that of wearing
more plain clothing in the early twentieth century. 5 linear
inches. Donor: Theron F. Schlabach, Goshen, Indiana.
(Brubaker), 1856-1931, and J. S. Shoemaker, 1856-1931.
Diary, 1877, of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Brubaker, who married J. S.
Shoemaker on December 6, 1877. Also includes an autograph book
of Elizabeth Shoemaker, December 1877; a 1910 passport for J.
S. Shoemaker; and some 1910 certificates issued to J. S. Shoemaker
and J. S. Hartzler by the Mennonite Board of Missions, for them
to attend the World's Missionary Conference at Edinburgh, Scotland,
and to visit Mennonite churches in Europe and Asia, especially
India and Indonesia. 1 File. Donor: Elizabeth (Sieber) Hernley,
Victim Offender Reconciliation
Programs (VORP), 1980-1996. Records,
1980-1996, including newsletters and correspondence, which reflect
the various VORP programs being run across the United States
of America and Canada, as collected by the Office on Crime and
Justice, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Akron, Pennsylvania.
The first VORP program began in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1974,
and now there are over 70 such programs. 20 linear inches. Donor:
Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and Howard Zehr.
Wall, Cornelius, 1893-1985,
and Agnes (Dueck), 1894-1973.
Sound recordings, sound recording equipment, and photographs,
1948-1970, focussing on the Wall's service with Mennonite Central
Committee in Europe, 1948-1960. The Walls routinely visited the
many refugee camps, and were spiritual counselors for the destitute,
refugees, and voluntary workers there. As a long-standing Bible
School teacher, Cornelius Wall was also involved in helping the
European Mennonite Bible School at Bienenberg, Switzerland, get
started, 1953-58, and served as its principal. Collection consists
of wire recordings, reel-to-reel tapes, a wire recorder, a reel-to-reel
tape recorder, and negatives. 4 linear feet. Donor: Mary (Wall)
and Ben Wiens, Hillsboro, Kansas.
Women's Mission and
Service Commission, 1915- , Elkhart, Indiana.
Official records, 1968-1995, the bulk of which dates from 1987-1993
and reflects the work of Marian Hostetler as Executive Secretary,
1987-1996. Materials include correspondence, minutes, dockets,
annual reports, officer lists, slide sets, and dramas. The files
also reflect the various conventions, conferences and projects
through the years; the work of the Secretaries of Devotional
Life, Family Life, Literature, Peace and Social Concerns, and
Business and Professional Women; and the work being done at the
district conference level. 4.8 linear feet. Donor: Marian Hostetler.
Zimmerly, John, 1816-1894,
Early Mennonite Correspondence and Papers, 1708-1901, Collection.
Two decorative art pieces, circa 1843-1877, belonging to John
Zimmerly, one being a "Family Record of Johann Zimmerly
and Elisabeth Boesiger, 1816-1877" who were married in 1856;
and the other being an 1843 "Johannes Zimmerle, born December
13, 1816, Chavanot, France" illustrated art piece done by
Joseph Beutler, and given in friendship to John Zimmerly. Materials
have been placed with the "John Zimmerly, Orrville, Ohio,
1822-1879" file in the Early Mennonite Correspondence and
Papers, 1708-1901, Collection. 1 File. Donor: John Zimmerly,
--Dennis Stoesz has served as archivest at the Archives of
the Mennonite Church since 1989.
Mennonite Historical Bulletin, January,