About 1858, a small group of believers from the Mennonite Church met in homes in the Terre Hill area of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for weekly prayer meetings. Frowned upon by the church leaders, this group separated from the Mennonite Church and by 1879, these believers were meeting in a converted stable across the street from the present church, with Abner Clime as their first preacher. While preaching in Mount Joy, Clime met William Gehman, the eventual founder of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. Their friendship and oneness in Christ opened the way for William Gehman to preach in Terre Hill.
Prayerfully seeking the guidance of the Lord, this body of believers organized and joined the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church in 1882. The original portion of the present church was built in 1882 at a cost of $3,000, which was fully pledged by the members on a rainy Sunday in 1882.
For many years, Terre Hill shared a pastor with several other churches. In 1947, after 53 years on the circuit, the believers in Terre Hill asked the conference to have a full-time pastor. Robert C. Reichenbach was assigned to Terre Hill, and the present parsonage was built. During the 1950s, the church was remodeled twice as new members were added to the church.
In 1966, a group of 42 members from the Ephrata area had the vision of starting a new outreach there. A sister church was established, which eventually grew to a peak attendance of over 400.
On 7 November 1971, the Terre Hill congregation voted to purchase an acre on the west side of the church to expand the parking lot. On 17 January 1973, plans for the new building were discussed and approved. The new sanctuary of the church was dedicated on 31 March 1974.
The church saw many children and teens ministered to as its summer day camp and teen week continued to expand and become a main thrust of the church's ministry. In the 1980s and 1990s, the church experienced some lean years, taking a drop in attendance. A long-term plan was implemented in the fall of 2000, with a goal of doubling the church's attendance in the next five years. The board of elders called former missionary, Kevin Kirkpatrick to lead the church in October of 2000.
Content based on church's web site and used with permission of pastor (16 January 2007).
Berean Bible Fellowship Church. "The History of Berean." http://www.terrehillbfc.org/aboutbbfc.htm (accessed 8 March 2009).
Address: 407 West Main Street, Terre Hill, PA 17581
|Author(s)||Richard D Thiessen|
|Date Published||March 2009|
Cite This Article
Thiessen, Richard D. "Berean Bible Fellowship Church (Terre Hill, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2009. Web. 31 Jan 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Berean_Bible_Fellowship_Church_(Terre_Hill,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=91044.
Thiessen, Richard D. (March 2009). Berean Bible Fellowship Church (Terre Hill, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 January 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Berean_Bible_Fellowship_Church_(Terre_Hill,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=91044.
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