Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Mennonite Church USA) of Chicago, Illinois, is located at 14th Place and Laflin Street. It was started in 1944 as a project among the African American people by the Mission Board of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. Under the leadership of Lester Hershey, Walter Yordy and James and Rowena Lark, a successful Bible school was held in the summer of 1944. That August the workers organized the congregation.
James H. Lark was asked to take charge; he in 1946 he was ordained a minister and in 1956 a bishop. He was the first African American minister and bishop in the Mennonite Church. The total membership in 1953 of Bethel, together with that of Dearborn Street Mission (an outpost at 1808 Dearborn Street), was 53 exclusive of workers. A fire in the building where the congregation met meant a new facility was required; the new building was dedicated in September 1954.
Smith, Willard. Mennonites in Illinois. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 427-430.
 Additional Information
Address: 1434 South Laflin, Chicago, Illinois
|Author(s)||James H. Lark|
|Date Published||August 2009|
 Cite This Article
Lark, James H. and Sam Steiner. "Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Chicago, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2009. Web. 29 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Community_Church_(Chicago,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=75531.
Lark, James H. and Sam Steiner. (August 2009). Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Chicago, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Mennonite_Community_Church_(Chicago,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=75531.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.