The Bergthal Mennonite Church and settlement established in 1875 is located in Barton County on land obtained through the Homestead Act and the Santa Fe Railroad. One group lived for a while in a village, the Dundee colony, as they were accustomed to in Russian Poland. They first met in schoolhouses and had 75 members in the newly organized church. During the pioneer days a considerable number joined the local Swedenborg Church. Common names were Schmidt, Unruh, Dirks, and Siebert. The ministers who served included Abraham Siebert, Jacob Koehn, Tobias Dirks, Peter Dirks, J. B. Schmidt, and J. E. Kaufman. In 1897 the congregation built a wooden church, which was replaced in 1915 by a large brick structure with bell tower. Sunday school was organized in 1885, followed by such organizations as mission and Christian Endeavor societies, choirs, and Bible school. The congregation joined the Western District Conference in 1886. In 1953 the membership was 223. In 2008 the membership was 75.
Attendance declined after 2000, with Sunday attendance dropping to an average of 14 by early 2013. A closing service was planned for late May, 2013. Plans were to raze the building, and to erect a monument at the nearby cemetery remembering the pioneer community. Lynn Schlosser was the part time pastor in 2013.
"Sprouts." Western District Conference (30 April 2013). Web. 3 May 2013. http://mennowdc.org/sprouts-april-30-2013/.
Thacker, Susan. "Landmark Bergthal Mennonite Church closing its doors." Great Bend Tribune (2 May 2013). Web. 3 May 2013. http://www.gbtribune.com/section/1/article/52552/.
Address: SW 110 Avenue and SW 30 Road, Pawnee Rock, Kansas
|Date Published||May 2013|
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius and Sam Steiner. "Bergthal Mennonite Church (Pawnee Rock, Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2013. Web. 3 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bergthal_Mennonite_Church_(Pawnee_Rock,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91056.
Krahn, Cornelius and Sam Steiner. (May 2013). Bergthal Mennonite Church (Pawnee Rock, Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bergthal_Mennonite_Church_(Pawnee_Rock,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91056.
Herald Press website.
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