The Salem Mennonite Church, two kilometers (1.5 miles) south of Aberdeen, Idaho, USA was organized on 4 July 1907, with a membership of 36 and the Elder Jacob Hege officiating. Earlier services had been held in homes. Mennonites first came to the area in 1905, when the Aberdeen-Springfield irrigation tract was opened to settlers. Canal builders and land promoters invited German-speaking Mennonite farmers to come to Idaho to help settle that area. The first settlers were from the Newton, Kansas area, but others followed from California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri and elsewhere.
The Salem church building also served as a school. By 1909 the Salem facility was too small, and the young congregation decided to build a new church building in the town of Aberdeen. The church was completed in fall 1910, and the name of the congregation was changed to The First Mennonite Church of Aberdeen, Idaho.
E. J. Neuenschwander was the first fulltime paid minister in 1914. During his years of service the Sunday school and Christian Endeavor programs expanded greatly, the church was wired for electricity, and a parsonage was constructed.
In the late 1920s, the rural Emmanuel Mennonite Church closed, and its remaining members joined First Mennonite. Further growth led to a building expansion in 1938 as membership reached 320. In 1947 a nearby apartment was purchased and converted to classrooms.
In 1956 the church leased Forestry Department land and developed the Palisades Camp about 200 km (125 miles) from Aberdeen. By 2014 the camp had 11 cabins, a new bathhouse and a lodge.
A new fellowship hall was constructed in 1972, and a neighboring house was purchased in 1980. This became known as Friendship House, and was used to house a Cambodian refugee family.
The congregation's stated mission in 2014 was to: Praise God in worship; Lead people to faith in Jesus; Build Christian character; Offer Christian friendship and support; and Serve others in love.
"History & Photos." First Mennonite Church. Web. http://aberdeenmennonites.org/Brief_History.php (accessed 13 December 2014).
 Additional Information
Address: 381 Washington & 4th, PO Box 246, Aberdeen ID 83210
Website: First Mennonite Church
 Pastoral Leaders at First Mennonite Church
|John B. Baer||1909-1911|
|Edward J. Schmidt||1920-1922|
|Menno J. Galle||1922-1929|
|John E. Kaufman||1929-1936|
| Henry Brown
| Rudolph Toews
|Walter H. Dyck||1956-1962|
| Donovan Diller
| Paul Roth
| P.J. John
| Lowell Gerber
| Perry Rotenberger
| Elmer Friesen
| Frank Horst
| Oscar Brown
| David Stutzman
 Members at First Mennonite Church
 Original Article from Mennonite Encyclopedia
By Henry N. Harder. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 7. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
First Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite Church), a member of the Pacific District Conference, was organized in Aberdeen, Idaho, on 4 July 1907, with a membership of 36 and the Elder Jacob Hege officiating. The church was erected in 1909, enlarged in 1938, and again in 1947. Its seating capacity was 500. The congregation, with a membership of 357 in 1955, had 25 Sunday-school classes, four Christian Endeavor societies, four mission societies, and one Brotherhood; it had two missionaries in overseas service.
|Date Published||December 2014|
 Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam. "First Mennonite Church (Aberdeen, Idaho, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2014. Web. 19 Dec 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=First_Mennonite_Church_(Aberdeen,_Idaho,_USA)&oldid=128526.
Steiner, Sam. (December 2014). First Mennonite Church (Aberdeen, Idaho, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 December 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=First_Mennonite_Church_(Aberdeen,_Idaho,_USA)&oldid=128526.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.