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The Deep Run Mennonite Meetinghouse, built in 1766 and enlarged in 1795, photographed by Samuel F. DuBois on 26 April 1872, a week before it was razed and replaced with a new building. Scan courtesy Mennonite Church USA Archives-Goshen. Hist. Mss. 4-154, Box 3/5

The Deep Run Mennonite Church East (Mennonite Church USA), one of the oldest Mennonite congregations in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is located in Perkasie and is affiliated with the Franconia Mennonite Conference. The original log building erected in 1746 was also used as a school until it was razed in 1842. One of the preachers, Samuel Godshalk, was an influential teacher and music instructor in this school. Deep Run has ever since had a strong group of choristers who have left their impress upon congregational singing. Later meetinghouses were erected at the same location in 1842, 1872 and 1949. 

The first preacher and bishop at Deep Run was Abraham Swartz, who served over 50 years. Deep Run, being the oldest of the circuit of three Bucks County congregations, was always the meeting place for the small conference (Kleine Rath) held each spring before the regular conference (Grosse Rath) held at Franconia. It has the distinction of being the only Mennonite Church in the Franconia Conference holding services every Sunday as early as 1847.

Sunday school was not organized until 1904. The German language was continued in services, although English had been introduced much earlier, until the death of John Leatherman in 1925. The Oberholtzer schism of 1847 took some 50 or 60 members, who organized a congregation today known as Deep Run West Mennonite Church, and built a meeting house only a short distance from the old meeting house. In 1927 several members joined an independent group. Though in its earlier history the congregation suffered because of its slowness to change, more recently its leadership has encouraged youth and extension activities. The membership in 2016 was 317.

[edit] Bibliography

Mennonite Year-Book and Directory (for membership figures)

Rice, Timothy. Deep Run Mennonite Church East: A 250 Year Pilgrimage, 1746-1996. Perkasie, Pa.: The Church, 1996. Available in full electronic text at

Wenger, John, Christian. History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1938.

[edit] Additional Information

Address: 350 Kellers Church Road, Perkasie, PA 18944

Phone: 215-766-8380

Website: Deep Run Mennonite Church East

Conference Affiliations:

Mennonite Church USA

Franconia Mennonite Conference

[edit] Leading Pastors at Deep Run Mennonite Church East

Name Years
of Service
Abraham Swartz (1701-1785) 1746-1785
Abraham Landes (?-1791) 1758-1791
Jacob Gross (ca. 1743-1810) 1773/75-1810
Abraham Wismer (1746-1823) 179?-1823
Abraham Overholt (1765-1834) 1796-1834
Daniel Landis (1769-1841) before 1832-1841
Christian Gross (1776-1865) by 1834-1865
Abraham Kulp (1771-1848) ca. 1805-1848
Abraham Meyer (1798-1852)  ?-1852
Isaac F. Meyer (1812-1896) 1843-1889
Samuel Godshalk (1817-1896) 1849/50-1896
John Gross (1814-1903) 1852-1903
John M. Leatherman (1845-1924) 1889-1924
Jacob M. Rush (1862-1943) 1895-1943
William S. Gross (1866-1903) 1901-1903
Enos B. Wismer (1868-1951) 1903-1934
Wilson Overholt (1889-1964) 1922-1964
Abram W. Yothers (1903-1994) 1934-1970s?
Erwin K. Nace (1900-1988) 1941-1970s?
Cleon C. Nyce (1932-2003) 1967-1975
John P. Duerksen (1913-2006) 1976-1977
David Derstine (Interim) 1978-1979
John M. Ehst (1944- ) 1979-1991
Clayton Swartzentruber (Interim) 1991-1992
Timothy D. Weaver 1992-2004
Ken Burkholder 2005-present

[edit] Deep Run Mennonite Church East Membership

Year Members
1916 450
1925 436
1935 425
1945 430
1955 370
1965 310
1975 306
1985 305
1995 342
2005 338
2015 317

[edit] Map

Map:Deep Run Mennonite Church East (Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA)

Author(s) Quintus Leatherman
Date Published 1956

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Leatherman, Quintus. "Deep Run Mennonite Church East (Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 Oct 2016.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=136952.

APA style

Leatherman, Quintus. (1956). Deep Run Mennonite Church East (Perkasie, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2016, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=136952.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 25-26. All rights reserved.

©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.