A Brief History
We began as Zoar Mennonite Church when Rev. Nicholas F. Toews from Mountain Lake, Minnesota felt the call to settle in the Langham district and form a church. The first organizational meeting was held on November 20, 1910 with a continuation on December 4, when the decision was made to organize a church. The original building was constructed in 1911.
Renovations - In 1943 a choir loft and south door entrance was added. The increase of members from the disbanded sister church, Bethesda, in 1948 necessitated a further renovation in 1954 to provide six permanent Sunday school classrooms and a library in the basement. A church manse was also constructed in 1952. In 1974 an addition was constructed on the west side of the church, with the dedication service being held on January 19, 1975.
Affiliations - Zoar joined the General Conference Mennonite Church in 1914 and hosted the annual conference in Langham in July 1917 and again in 1923. In October, 1967 Zoar hosted the Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan and in November, 1984 the Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan 20th anniversary celebrations.
Refugee Sponsorships - Over the last 30 years, providing sponsorship for refugees (sometimes alone and sometimes with other churches) has been an important part of the life of Zoar Mennonite. Involvement began in 1979 with a group of Southeast Asian refugees. A total of 19 members of the extended Phuc Duong family received sponsorship by October, 1980. Others include Regina Delgado and her 4 children from Nicaragua who arrived on December 5, 1990; Jose Francisco Moran and Maria Moran Gossman from Guatamala in May, 1993; their daughter Claudia in April, 1995; the Cosic family from Bosnia in 2000; and six members of the Bohorquez and Buitrago families from Colombia in 2008. We are currently participating with others in the Langham Community and waiting for a family from Syria.
Small groups - Since 1996, there have been several groups meeting on a regular basis. This is a great way to build relationships with people of all ages.
A regular Sunday School program was organized in 1911 and continues to the present day in varying forms and for children as well as youth. Adult Sunday school has also been very meaningful with deeper conversations on various topics and issues.
Ladies' groups have always been a part of Zoar Mennonite, with the First Ladies Aid being organized shortly after the founding of the church but was disbanded in March 2014. The South Ladies Aid began meeting in 1917 and was officially organized in 1942. The name was changed to Goodwill Ladies Aid in 1967 and was disbanded in October 1996. The Homemakers' Fellowship was organized in 1968 by a group of younger ladies. It continues to the present day with some of the original women still attending.
Music has played an important role at Zoar Mennonite, with many choirs, quartets, trios, duets and solos bringing special music over the decades. Although we now have special music by choirs or groups only occasionally, visitors often comment on the enthusiastic congregational singing. We continue to lift our voices in song to praise God.
Pastoral History since 1910 - Throughout its history, Zoar Mennonite has had salaried ministers.
Rev. Nicholas F. Toews - 1910-14;
Rev. Henry Wiebe - 1915-23;
Rev. John G. Rempel - 1923-35;
Rev. Wm. S. Buhr - 1935-37;
Rev. J. J. Nickel - 1937-52;
Rev. G. Zacharias - 1950-51;
Rev. Hans Dyck - 1952-54;
Rev. Henry Wiens - 1954-65, 1986-87;
Rev. Jacob Rempel - 1966;
Rev. David Friesen - 1966-70;
Rev. Ruben Siemens - 1971-73;
Rev. Ray Wahl - 1974-77;
Rev. John Friesen - 1977-85;
Rev. Abe Bergen - 1985;
Rev. Garry Janzen - 1989-98;
Rev. Herman Wiebe - 1999-2006;
Henry Block - 2006-2007;
Abe Buhler - 2007-2015;
Ric Driediger - 2016-
Zoar Mennonite, grounded in its rich story, built on the foundation of Jesus its Lord, is now catching new winds of the spirit, to be reborn in new ways. We are embracing a new time in a new space with a new name to be the beloved people of God, a light in our world.
On September 9, 2018, we moved into our new building and are now known as Langham Mennonite Fellowship.