Mennonite
Historical
Society

of Alberta

Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

Accession 2019.002

Administrative/Biographical history

The Conference of Historic Peace Churches (CHPC) was organized 22 July 1940 in Waterloo, Ontario. in anticipation of the immanent introduction of compulsory military service in Canada.  Churches represented were the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren in Christ, Old Order Mennonite, Amish Mennonite,  Society of Friends, Brethren, Old Order Dunkard and the Onatrio sections of the Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites.
During the war years, the CHPC was largely responsible for the interpretation of nonristant faith to the government, especially as the convictions of peace churches related to problems of miliary service.  With the establishment of Alternative Service for conscientious objectors, the CHPC provided spiritual oversight for men in alternative service.
An early initiative of the CHPC was an effort to register and issue certificates to men of military age.  These certificates could be presented and become part of the official record when the men were called to register under the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA).  Several of the Ontario registrars accepted the CHPC registrations and granted those holding them conscientious objector status without requring the men to appear in person at a mobilization board hearing.
In western Canada, leaders of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, who had close links to the Ontario peace churches, also prepared CHPC registration forms for their young men of military age.  Some other Mennonite leaders in western Canada simply suggested that their young men write the word “Mennonite” across the face of their NRMA registration forms.  There was disappointment when the registrars in western Canada refused to recognize the CHPC registrations or the modified NRMA registrations.  The western registrars insisted that the young men appear personally before a mobilization board to explain their religious convictions.  The registrars then assessed the sincerity or validity of evidence provided by the young men and rejected the testimony of a signficant number of the men seeking conscientious objector status. They could then be called, as needed, for military training and service.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of 27 Conference of Historic Peace Churches Registration forms completed by, or for, young men who were members or, if not yet baptized, associated with one of the churches of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

Source of Acquisition

A remnant of papers from the estate of Milo Stutzman, forwarded from the office of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

Finding Aid – List of men registered by the CHPC in western Canada in 1940.

Clayton Bowman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Elmer Martin Burkholder, Duchess, Alberta
Albert M. Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
Daniel Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
Clarence Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
Harold Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
Oliver Lehman, Tofield, Alberta
John Leonard Maurer, Tofield, Alberta
Levoy Edward Roth, Duchess, Alberta
Loyal David Roth, Duchess, Alberta
Claude Schlabach, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Lloyd Schmidt, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Stanley Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Lincoln Roy Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Arnold Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan,
Maynard Glenn Stauffer, Tofield, Alberta
David Andrew Stutzman, Kingman, Alberta
Willard Toman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Clarence Earl Toman, Duchess, Alberta
Bennet Harold Torkelson, Duchess, Alberta
Floyd Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
Howard Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
William Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
Leonard Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
Leslie James Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
Ernie Elden Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
Rollin Joseph Yoder, Carstairs, Alberta