The Bethel Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), West Liberty, Ohio, had its inception in 1889, when 12 Amish Mennonite young men and women confessed Christ in revival meetings held at the South Union Church by John F. Funk and Daniel J. Johns. The following summer John M. Shenk baptized them in Riley Creek near Bluffton, Ohio. John S. Coffman, John F. Funk, and other visiting Mennonite ministers served the group until 1895 when it built a meetinghouse in West Liberty and David H. Hilty of Bluffton became pastor.
The congregation, with English services from the beginning, was the means of saving several scores of Amish Mennonite young people for the Mennonite Church and hastened the change from German to English in the Logan and Champaign County Amish Mennonite congregations. In January 1896 revival meetings by Bishop John Blosser brought 17 young people, chiefly Amish Mennonites, into the congregation. Bethel has provided a church and Sunday-school home for workers and children in the West Liberty Orphans' Home. Ministers who served the congregation prior to 1953 included: C. H. Byler, J. B. Smith, John Y. King, Frank Byler (grandson of C. H. Byler), Newton Weber, and Edward Stoltzfus. The congregation has sent out an unusually large number of Christian workers—ministers, missionaries, and teachers. In 1953 it had a membership of 125 (175 in 2006).
Address: 416 Washington Street, West Liberty, Ohio
Website: Bethel Mennonite Church
|Author(s)||John S Umble|
Cite This Article
Umble, John S. "Bethel Mennonite Church (West Liberty, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(West_Liberty,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=113220.
Umble, John S. (1953). Bethel Mennonite Church (West Liberty, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(West_Liberty,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=113220.
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