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Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church was formed in 1968 when a group of bishops, ministers, and deacons were granted a release from the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. The separation was by mutual agreement and by official sanction of the conference.

The group adheres to the Mennonite Confession of Faith (Christian Fundamentals, 1921, Garden City, Missouri) and to many of the practices which had been upheld by the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, including the conference-type of church organization and government (polity). The Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church has a written statement of standards known as the Rules and Discipline, which is reviewed every three or four years and then ratified again by the congregations. The purpose for seeking release from the Lancaster Mennonite Conference was to develop a church program that would help preserve biblical practice and the historic Mennonite values. The Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church does not accept divorce and remarriage. Women wear headcoverings and have uncut hair. Men, as a rule, do not enter the professions. They wear plain clothing (dress), and their life is built around the church, schools, and religious activities. They do not engage in worldly amusements, nor do they follow organized sports. The use of radio and television is not allowed. Their life-style reflects the old Mennonite traditions.

Regular worship services include Sunday school and preaching every Sunday morning, Sunday evening services, and midweek prayer meetings. The singing is in four-part harmony without accompaniment, with some emphasis on singing instruction and special song services. No special group singing is allowed in worship services. Ministers are unsalaried and chosen from the congregation by nomination and the use of the lot.

Life insurance is not permitted and generally members do not use auto, health, fire, or other insurances, but rather employ a unique method of brotherhood assistance (mutual aid) that is directed by the deacons of the congregations.

Children of members do not attend public schools. Private schools are provided by the group so that all the member families have access to them. Teachers are not college-trained. Many of the students continue in school through 10th grade.

The Mennonite Messianic Mission, Inc. directs the group's missions in Guatemala, the Bahamas, Paraguay and Ghana. The church's monthly periodical, Eastern Mennonite Testimony, is published by the Publication Board.

The group sponsors a 15-week winter Bible school at Numidia, Pennsylvania. The school is especially provided for young people in their late teens and early 20s, and offers a wide variety of Bible and practical studies. Each summer the school offers a two-week training course for school teachers, and in December a ministers' fellowship and seminar is provided. Service opportunities are provided in relief work, literature evangelism, child care, and in elderly care.

Many congregations are located in eastern Pennsylvania. Congregations are also located in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Vermont, Texas, Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin, Indiana, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Massachusetts, Manitoba, and British Columbia, and in the mission countries mentioned above.

In 2010 the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church had 77 congregations with 5,333 members. The conference also had 59 schools.

Congregation City State/Province/Country Members
Antrim Mennonite Church Greencastle Pennsylvania 105
Arroyo Claro Mennonite Church Itapua Paraguay 13
Bairs Codorus Mennonite Church York Pennsylvania 37
Bernville Mennonite Church Bernville Pennsylvania 79
Bethel Mennonite Church Quarryville Pennsylvania 85
Blanket Sound Mennonite Church N Andros Island Bahamas 33
Blue Rock Mennonite Church Lancaster Pennsylvania 122
Centerville Mennonite Church Martindale Pennsylvania 127
Chilliwack Mennonite Church Chilliwack British Columbia, Canada 8
Churchtown Mennonite Church Carlisle Pennsylvania 62
Clearview Mennonite Church Arthur Illinois 27
Conestoga Drive Mennonite Church Lancaster Pennsylvania 53
Crystal Light Mennonite Church Croghan New York 76
Culbertson Mennonite Church Chambersburg Pennsylvania 139
Danskin Mennonite Church Burns Lake British Columbia, Canada 59
Danville Mennonite Church Danville Pennsylvania 123
Decker Lake Mennonite Church Burns Lake British Columbia, Canada 57
Deer Park Mennonite Church Loon Lake Washington 35
Denver Mennonite Church Denver Pennsylvania 107
Dohner Mennonite Church Lebanon Pennsylvania 88
Eden Mennonite Church Palestina Guatemala 68
Ewing Mennonite Church Ewing Illinois 114
Flora Mennonite Church Flora Indiana 29
French Creek Mennonite Church Cambridge Springs Pennsylvania 82
Goodwill Mennonite Church Thompsontown Pennsylvania 85
Gray's Prairie Mennonite Church Scurry Texas 66
Guiscoyol Mennonite Church La Maquina Retalhuleu, Guatemala 41
Hartleton Mennonite Church Millmont Pennsylvania 84
Hegins Valley Mennonite Church Hegins Pennsylvania 77
Highland Mennonite Church Bear Delaware 69
Hildebrand Mennonite Church Hermitage Virginia 5
Honey Brook Mennonite Church Honey Brook Pennsylvania 118
Hopewell Mennonite Church Mount Airy Maryland 61
Indian Creek Mennonite Church Telford Pennsylvania 78
Kenton Mennonite Church Clayton Delaware 60
La Cumbre Mennonite Church Quetzaltenango Guatemala 31
La Montana de Fe Mennonite Church Catupyry Itapua, Paraguay 52
La Victoria Mennonite Church Quetzaltenango Guatemala 35
Latimore Mennonite Church York Springs Pennsylvania 64
Little Mountain Mennonite Church Fredericksburg Pennsylvania 154
Maple River Mennonite Church Ionia Michigan 2
Mechanicsville Mennonite Church Mechanicsville Maryland 53
Mendon Mennonite Church Mendon Massachusetts 45
Metter Mennonite Church Metter Georgia 71
Millerstown Mennonite Church Millerstown Pennsylvania 108
Miners Village Mennonite Church Cornwall Pennsylvania 122
Montney Mennonite Church Montney British Columbia, Canada 53
Mount Pleasant Mennonite Church Dongola Illinois 70
Mountain View Mennonite Church Carlisle Pennsylvania 85
New England Valley Mennonite Church Tamaqua Pennsylvania 56
New Hope Mennonite Church Altona Manitoba, Canada 36
Orchardville Mennonite Church Keenes Illinois 98
Owasco Lake Mennonite Church Auburn New York 63
Owen Mennonite Church Owen Wisconsin 116
Peace River Mennonite Church Arcadia Florida 40
Pira Poi Mennonite Church Colonia La Montana Itapua, Paraguay 6
Pleasant Ridge Mennonite Church Thorp Wisconsin 44
Rheems Mennonite Church Mount Joy Pennsylvania 88
Richland Mennonite Church Richland Pennsylvania 113
Riverside Mennonite Church Kenton Ohio 58
Rochester Mennonite Church Rochester Washington 61
Santo Domingo Mennonite Church San Marcos Guatemala 10
Shepherd's River Mennonite Church Brownfield Maine 9
Simmontown Mennonite Church Gap Pennsylvania 62
Texter Mountain Mennonite Church Robesonia Pennsylvania 72
Valley View Mennonite Church Stevens Pennsylvania 142
Vanderhoof Mennonite Church Vanderhoof British Columbia, Canada 65
Varana Mennonite Church Itapua Paraguay 57
Versailles Mennonite Church Versailles Missouri 84
Vineland Mennonite Church Vineland New Jersey 49
Warrensburg Mennonite Church Centerview Missouri 48
Waterloo Mennonite Church Waterloo New York 100
White Oak Mennonite Church Manheim Pennsylvania 222
Williamsburg Mennonite Church Williamsburg Pennsylvania 26
Willow Springs Mennonite Church Emory Texas 51
Wolcott Mennonite Church Wolcott Vermont 48
Woodbury Mennonite Church Woodbury Pennsylvania 92
Total 5,333

Bibliography

Mennonite Church Directory 2010. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2010: 62-71.

Mennonite Church Information (2001): 38-46.

Mennonite Yearbook (1986-87): 175-78; (1997): 121-123.

Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage 7 (October 1984): 2-10.



Author(s) Jesse Neuenschwander
Date Published September 2010


Cite This Article

MLA style

Neuenschwander, Jesse. "Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2010. Web. 10 Jul 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Eastern_Pennsylvania_Mennonite_Church&oldid=56075.

APA style

Neuenschwander, Jesse. (September 2010). Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 July 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Eastern_Pennsylvania_Mennonite_Church&oldid=56075.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 253. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


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