Mennonite
Historical
Society

of Alberta

Menno Bible Institute collection

Menno Bible Institute collection. — 1933-2011. — 61 cm of textual records. – ca. 100 photographs. – 1 compact disc – 1 banner

Administrative History

Menno Bible Institute was founded in 1937 by the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta, affiliated with the General Conference Mennonite Church.  Didsbury Mennonite Church initially provided space for dormitories and classrooms, but a purpose-built school was constructed in the early 1940s. The school had two or three instructors, and about 60 high-school-aged students at its peak in the 1940s. Wilhelm Pauls was the principal until his retirement in 1962. Enrolment declined in the 1960s as young Mennonites saw advantages in completing Grade 12 in the public school system. The Conference of Mennonites in Alberta decided to close the school in 1966 and amalgamate it with the Swift Current Bible Institute in Saskatchewan.

Custodial History

The materials accessioned as 2012.007 are believed to have been transferred to the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta following the closure of Menno Bible Institute, then transferred to the MHSA in 2002 via CMA archivist Henry Goerzen. The materials donated by Marvin Baergen (2011.045) were accumulated by his father, Frank Bergen, a member of the Institute’s governing Committee. The materials donated by Bill Pauls (2012.022) are from his father, Rev. Wilhelm Pauls, long-time principal of the Institute. The materials donated by Henry Goerzen (2011.018) were collected by him from various sources.

Scope & Content

The collection includes the school’s constitution and policies (ca. 1962-ca. 1965), Board minutes (1962-1968), reports, correspondence (1961-1967), financial records, architectural plans, lists of students and staff (1937-1965), catalogues/calendars (1950-1966), student admission records (1958-1965), student council minutes (1963-1964), student publications (1951-ca. 1964), student essays, student reunion records (1952, 1991), research papers on Mennonite Bible schools, student portraits (1945-1966), and the school’s processional banner. Includes some information on Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Bible School and Aufwärts Bibelschule in Rosemary, Alberta. Includes some personal records of Wilhelm Pauls.

Source of Supplied Title

Title based on the contents of the fonds

Source of Acquisition

Gifts by Conference of Mennonites of Alberta, ca. 2002, Henry D. Goerzen, collector, 2011, Marvin Baergen, 2011, and Bill Pauls, 2012.

Access Restrictions

Access to student records may be restricted in accordance with Alberta privacy legislation and MHSA privacy policies.

Finding Aids

See  “Files Inventory”

Related Materials

Some of the school’s yearbooks are in the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta Library.

Notes

Accession no. 2011.018, 2011.045, 2012.007, 2012.022, and 2013.012 filed at 2011.045
The material is mostly in English. Some early records are in German.
Last updated June 2013 – Jim Bowman.

Files Inventory

Series A. Records of Menno Bible Institute. — 1937-1991. — 40 cm of textual records
The series consists of records believed to have been transferred to the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (2012.007) and records accumulated by Frank Bergen (2011.045). – A more detailed inventory of this series, including student names, is located at 3-25a.

1-1 School Constitution/Regulations. — [ca. 1962].
1-2 Policy Guide. — [ca. 1965] — From Frank Bergen collection, 2011.045
1-3 Board Meeting minutes. — 1963-1968 — Partially from Frank Bergen collection, 2011.045
1-4 Board correspondence — 1963-1967.
1-5 Business Committee. — 1944-1947.
1-6 Ledger of expenses. — 1947-[1948].
1-7 Cash book. — 1958-1959.
1-8 Journal. — 1951-1952.
1-9 Day book. — 1943-1947.
1-10 Correspondence and plans – addition to parsonage. — 1946-1962.
1-11 Correspondence – Principal. — 1961-1967.
2-12 Instruction guidelines. — [1962-1963].
2-13 Student handouts. — [ca. 1963-ca. 1964].
2-14 Student Council meetings. — 1963-1964.
2-15 Lists of Students, Teachers, Staff. — 1937-1965.
2-16 Student investigative papers for Mennonite History class. — 1952.
2-17 Communication about schools. — 1961-1962.
2-18 MBI Chronicles. — 1951-1962.
2-19 Catalogues. — 1950-1966.
2-20 The Growing Vine Newsletter. — [ca. 1964]. — Student literary magazine.
2-21 Reunion. — 1991.
2-22 Report about The Canadian Mennonite Bible College of Winnipeg. — [ca. 1962].
2-23 Papers and presentations. — [ca. 1962-ca. 1965].
2-24 Bible schools and colleges in Canada. — [ca. 1965].
2-25 Report about our schools. — 1966.
2-25a Inventory of Series A, including names of students
2-26 Student applications. — 1959-1960.
2-27 Student records : A-B. — 1958-1965.
2-28 Student records : C-F. — 1958-1965.
2-29 Student records : G-J. — 1958-1965.
3-30 Student records : K-M. — 1958-1965.
3-31 Student records : N-P. — 1958-1965.
3-32 Student records : R-Z. — 1958-1965.

Series B. Photographs of students and banner. — 1940-1966. — ca. 70 photographs
The series consists mostly of montages of portraits of graduates of Menno Bible Institute which had been framed and displayed in the Institute; includes a few group portraits of the student body and snapshots which had been collected by Henry Goerzen; and the Institute’s banner. – Accessions 2012.007 and 2011.018

3-33 Graduation class. — 1948. — D.J. Nickel, H. Wiens, H. Harmes, H.D. Peters, M. Warkentin, B. Retzlaff, H. Goerzen, P.A. Unger, D.D. Wiens, E. Neufeld. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-33 Graduation class. — 1948-1949. — Jake Krause, Nick Janzen, Erna Warkentin, Annie Janzen, Dorothy Block, Agnes Walde. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-35 Graduate. — 1951. — H. Lepp.
3-33 Students and staff. — 1951-1952. — Rev. D.P. Neufeld, Rev. W. Pauls, Mr. H.A. Wiens, Bernhard Retzlaff, Evelyn Baergen, John Schellenberg, Cornie Klassen, Lennie Janzen, Ernst Klassen, Ann Boese, Peter Nickel, Agnes Nachtigal, Alma Neufeld, Gerhard Regehr, Erna Klassen, John Janzen, John Bornn, Hilda Regehr, Eric Dick, Ann Nachtigal, Vernon Neufeld, Susan Nachtigal, Ina Hiebert, Lora Klassen, John Regehr, Alvin Lepp, Walter Neufeld, Jacob Thiessen, Ernie Walde, Katherine Nickel, Sara Derksen, Susie Boschmann, Hilda Neufeld, Reuben Neufeld, Edith Peters. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-34 Graduates. — 1952. — L. Janzen, C. Klassen. — [Separated to oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1953. — A. Nickel, L. Klassen. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1956. — John Dyck, Jacob Paetkau, Jake Dyck. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1956-1957. — Amalia Klassen, Elsie Penner, Louise Walde. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-34 Graduates. — 1958-1959. — Nellie Bornn, Heidie Klassen. — [Separated to oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1959-1960. — Marlene Loewen, Abe Zacharias. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-34 Graduates. — 1962. — Ester Neufeld, Ruth Penner (picture missing), Irma Sawatzky. — [Separated to oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1962-1963. — Richard Friesen, Elvera Heidebrecht, Gerald Klassen, Carol Wiens, Virgil Bergen. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-33 Graduates. — 1965. — Gerald Neufeld, Shirley Heidebrecht, Beverly Klassen, Robert Friesen, Nick Dyck, Kathlyn Sawatzky. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
3-36 MBI processional banner. — [ca. 1950]. — 1 banner : cloth, painted ; ca. 60 x 60 cm. — [Separated to extra-oversize photos].
4-67 Photos, sketch. — 1940-1950. — Includes 1952 student body portraits.
4-68 MBI student body group portrait. — 1945-1946. — Henry Goerzen’s class lists are enclosed. — [Separated to oversize photos].
4-69 MBI student body group portrait. — 1946-1947. — [Separated to oversize photos].
4-70 Montage of snapshots of student life. — 1953-1954. — [Separated to oversize photos].

Series C. Wilhelm Pauls records. — [ca. 1937-ca. 1990]. — 1 cm of textual records – 1 photograph
The series consists of Wilhelm Pauls’s record of students and staff at Menno Bible Institute and some personal papers and a photograph

3-37 Record of students and staff. — 1944-1962.
3-38 Map of Novokotshchino village, Chortitza Colony, Russia (drawn from memory), low-resolution group portrait of four generations of the Pauls family (ca. 1980), article on Lymburn Mennonite Mission (1969). — 1969-[ca. 1990].
3-39 Group portrait of ministers’ and delegates’ conference, Rosemary, Alberta — [1937?]. — Wilhelm Pauls, front row, right.

Series D. Henry Goerzen’s collection. — 1933-[ca. 2011]. — 20 cm of textual records and photographs – 1 compact disc
The series consists of materials collected by Henry Goerzen from his own family collections and from friends, for purposes of documenting the Bible school experience in Alberta. Includes some material from Aufwärts Bibelschule in Rosemary and from Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Bible School.  Arranged with general material followed by more specific material in approximate chronological order

3-40 Henry Goerzen’s research notes about Menno Bible Institute. — [ca. 1967-ca. 2005].
3-41 Henry Goerzen’s sample of Gothic calligraphy. — [ca. 2011].
3-42 Article, “The Coaldale Mennonite Brethren Bible School”. — [2005].
3-43 News clippings. — 1969-1994.
3-44 Aufwärts Bibelschule in Rosemary. — 1933-1992. — Photographs, yearbook, reminiscences by Tina Loewen.
3-44a 3-44a Daily Vacation Bible School scrapbook. – [Scanned ca. 2010 (originally created 1944-1957)]. – 1 compact disk. – Reports and photographs by MBI students who conducted Vacation Bible Schools in Alberta.
3-45 Student notebooks. — [ca. 1944]-1962.
3-46 Song books. — [ca. 1944-ca. 1948].
3-47 Catalogues, brochure. — 1946, 1964.
3-48 Student autograph books. — 1945-1948.
3-49 Program, sheet music for choir’s Easter cantatas. — [ca. 1947].
3-49a Teachers’ diplomas awarded to Daniel Wiens, Erna Warkentin. — 1948-1949. — [Separated to oversize documents].
3-50 Student report cards. — [ca. 1945]-1962.
3-51 Teachers’ plans. — [ca. 1950].
4-52 History of MBI / by Annie Boese. — 1952.
4-53 MBI 15th anniversary program. — 1952.
4-54 MBI chronicles. — [ca. 1950]-1962. — Student newspaper.
4-55 Yearbook [pages missing]. — [ca. 1952-ca. 1953].
4-56 MBI Committee constitution, reports, correspondence, Guide to Conduct, Canadian Mennonite Youth Council. — 1957-1965.
4-57 Wilhelm and Maria Pauls letter. — 1960.
4-58 Das Lied von der Glocke [The sound of the bells]. — [ca. 1960]. — Literature taught in the school.
4-59 Yearbook [blueline]. — [1962?].
4-60 Mennonite Conference of Alberta Yearbook. — 1967. — Includes report on MBI.
4-61 History of the Menno Bible Institute / by Robert Janzen. — 1979.
4-62 MBI reunion : letters from students. — 1991.
4-63 MBI reunion. — 1991. — Includes photos, news clippings, hymns, notes.
4-64 Henry Goerzen’s notes about the Wilhelm Pauls Memorial Fund. — [ca. 1991].
4-65 Task Force on the Future of Bible Education. — 1992-2005.
4-66 Bible Schools in Western Canada Conference. — 2005.
4-71 The Growing vine. — [ca. 1964-ca. 1965]. — Student literary magazine.
4-72 A Sacred charge. — [1962]. — Directory of Mennonite colleges and high schools in Canada.