The Blue Ball Mennonite Church in Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, USA began in 1985 as an outreach of the Pleasant Valley (Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship (MAMF)) congregation. A building site was obtained with the purchase of 0.67 acre from Clarence and Barbara Martin, plus 0.96 acre donated by the Weaver Realty Company. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in August 1985, but obtaining permits delayed the start of construction.
The first service was held 25 May 1986, with an attendance of 81. The dedication service was held 8 June 1986, with Bishop George Reed officiating and Warren Clugston of McConnelsburg, Pennsylvania, as speaker.
George Reed was first ordained as a deacon on 22 June 1955, and as minister on 16 April 1961, at Cambridge Mennonite Church (Lancaster Conference). In 1981, he transferred to Pleasant Valley (MAMF) where he was ordained as a Mid-Atlantic bishop on 20 March 1983 at the age of 70.
Glenn Kilmer was the first person to be ordained at Blue Ball. He was ordained as minister by Bishop Reed on 14 December 1986. Elmer Zimmerman was ordained as deacon on 15 February 1987. The ministerial team was completed when Richard Hoover was ordained as the second minister on 14 February 1988. Bishop Reed requested an assistant bishop be ordained and counsel on the request was taken at Blue Ball on 24 April 1988, with favorable results. Although visibly ill that morning, Bishop Reed preached the message and presided at counsel. Immediately following, he went directly to his car. His wife was quickly summoned and with a brother from the congregation they sped to the Ephrata Hospital. The beloved bishop passed away en route.
Richard Herr, from the Bairs-Hostetters congregation, served as interim bishop until Glenn Kilmer was ordained as bishop on 17 July 1988. Ray Weaver was ordained on 23 February 1989 to take Glenn Kilmer's place as minister. Glenn served as bishop until 15 July 1991, when he resigned and moved to Sparta, Wisconsin. Ray Weaver again took his place and was ordained as bishop on 28 February 1993.
After Ray Weaver became the bishop, Leroy R. Martin was ordained on 5 December 1993, to take Ray's place as minister. Leroy served at Blue Ball until he was chosen by lot on 2 May 2002 to move his family to Latham, Missouri, and provide leadership for the Spring Hill (MAMF) congregation. Mark Martin was ordained 25 August 2002 to take Leroy's place as minister at Blue Ball.
Richard Hoover requested a release from the ministry which was granted on 15 October 2000. He transferred to the Muddy Creek Mennonite Church (Hope Fellowship) and was replaced at Blue Ball by Joel Martin who was ordained 24 June 2001.
Blue Ball was overflowing in 2006 and established a new outreach to relieve the congestion. The new congregation, named Calvary Mennonite Fellowship, held the first service on 3 September 2006. Fifty-six members from Blue Ball became charter members of Calvary in January 2007.
On 12 December 2012 Arnold Martin was ordained as minister to fill the void left by Mark Martin's withdrawal in December 2009. Upon Elmer Zimmerman's request for assistance, Nathan J. Siegrist was ordained as deacon on 30 June 2013.
As of 1 January 2013, there were 114 members at Blue Ball.
Stauffer, Romaine, ed. Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship 1972-2013. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2014.
Address: 143 Ewell Rd, Blue Ball, Pennsylvania 17506
Denominational Affiliations: Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship
Blue Ball Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|George Reed (bishop)||1985-1988|
|Leroy R. Martin||1993-2002|
|Date Published||April 2014|
Cite This Article
Stauffer, Romaine. "Blue Ball Mennonite Church (Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2014. Web. 7 Feb 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Blue_Ball_Mennonite_Church_(Blue_Ball,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123553.
Stauffer, Romaine. (April 2014). Blue Ball Mennonite Church (Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 February 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Blue_Ball_Mennonite_Church_(Blue_Ball,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123553.
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