In 1965 the Washington County (Maryland) and Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Mennonite Conference divided, with the Franklin County, Pennsylvania congregations becoming known as the Washington-Franklin (North) Conference. Bishop Amos E. Martin (1901-1983) became moderator of the northern conference. Although not as conservative as his counterpart in the Washington County, Maryland congregations, where Bishop Moses Horst had led his followers to separate from the Franklin County churches, Bishop Martin still insisted that his members retain a non-conformed life style and appearance. This included requirements for women to wear cape dresses and comb their uncut hair up beneath a head covering of consistent size, and requirements for men to wear the regulation plain clothing. Televisions in the home were not permitted, nor were radios for the ministry. When it became clear that a large component of the Franklin County congregations could not accept these standards, Bishop Martin left the conference with over 300 members and formed the Cumberland Valley Mennonite Church in 1971.
The seven congregations that formed the conference ascribed to the Dordrecht Confession of Faith (1632). Four congregations were located in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and three in Washington County, Maryland. The four congregations in Pennsylvania were: Rowe, near Shippensburg founded in 1840; Strasburg, near Chambersburg (1812); Burns Valley near Doylesburg (1953); and a fourth congregation that was a mission station and later closed. Burns Valley began as a mission outreach of the Rowe congregation. These congregations were formerly part of the Washington-Franklin (North) Mennonite Conference (later the Franklin Mennonite Conference). The three congregations in Maryland were: Mt. Olive near Maugansville (1971); Lanes Run near Clear Spring (1969); and Yarrowsburg near Brownsville (1965). These congregations were made up of former members of the Washington County (Maryland) and Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Mennonite Conference that had left the Washington County, Maryland district in 1964 due to differences with Bishop Moses Horst.
The Cumberland Valley congregations have been closely associated with the Southeastern Mennonite Conference, and churches in Maryland cooperate closely with the Hope Mennonite Fellowship. The conference also strongly supports the Mennonite Air Mission in Guatemala.
In 2010 Cumberland Valley Mennonite Church had 7 congregations with 392 members, along with three schools: Anchor Christian School, Huyetts Mennonite School, and Path Valley Christian School.
|Burns Valley Mennonite Church||Doylesburg||Pennsylvania||1953||34|
|Lanes Run Mennonite Church||Indian Springs||Maryland||1969||25|
|Mount Olive Mennonite Church||Maugansville||Maryland||1971||71|
|Newburg Mennonite Church||Newburg||Pennsylvania||2007||58|
|Rowe Mennonite Church||Shippensburg||Pennsylvania||1840||79|
|Strasburg Mennonite Church||Chambersburg||Pennsylvania||1812||87|
|Yarrowsburg Mennonite Church||Brownsville||Maryland||1965||38|
Baer, Nelson. "A Short History of the Rowe Mennonite Congregation."
Burkholder, Harry. "A Brief History of the Strasburg Meeting House."
Mennonite Church Directory 2010. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2010: 60-61.
Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House (1988-89): 93.
Scott, Stephen. An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups. People's Place Book #12. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1996: 180-181.
Strite, Amos. "Amos Strite Collection," copies at Mennonite Historical Association of the Cumberland Valley, Chambersburg, PA.
|Author(s)||Clair B Lehman|
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||October 2010|
Cite This Article
Lehman, Clair B and Richard D. Thiessen. "Cumberland Valley Mennonite Church." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2010. Web. 6 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Cumberland_Valley_Mennonite_Church&oldid=86982.
Lehman, Clair B and Richard D. Thiessen. (October 2010). Cumberland Valley Mennonite Church. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Cumberland_Valley_Mennonite_Church&oldid=86982.
Herald Press website.
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