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The Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church was established by the 1911 session of the Mennonite Church General Conference as a committee of ten with the assignment to prepare a Mennonite church history, and continued as a standing committee of the conference. In 1937 it was authorized to co-opt additional members and after that usually had a membership of 12. Officers through 1956 were: chairman, S. F. Coffman 1911-1947 and H. S. Bender 1947- ; secretary, John Horsch 1911-1927, L. J. Burkholder 1927-1935, H. S. Bender 1935-1947, J. C. Wenger 1947- ; custodian of the archives, H. S. Bender 1940-1947 and Melvin Gingerich 1947- ; treasurer, J. C. Wenger 1939-1941, 1945-1947, Edward Yoder 1941-1945, and  Ira D. Landis  1947- .

The committee early promoted the building up of a Mennonite historical library at the Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, which was for a time its property, with John Horsch as librarian, but later this library was turned over to the House. The committee appointed historians for the various district conferences to secure material for a history of the Mennonite Church in America. Throughout its history it from time to time recommended, promoted, and supervised the publication of historical works, and served as assistant to the Mennonite Publishing House and the latter's Publishing Committee in the choice of historical writers and in the production of historical literature.

A new phase of the committee's work began in 1939 with the organization of the Mennonite Historical Association, whose officers were the officers of the Historical Committee. At the same time it began the publication of the Mennonite Historical Bulletin, which was still published in 2008 by the Historical Committee of Mennonite Church USA. In 1940, by direction of the Mennonite General Conference, it established the archives of the Mennonite Church first located in two rooms in the Goshen College Library, at Goshen, Indiana. The Goshen office of the Archives of Mennonite Church USA continues to be located on the Goshen campus. The committee also subsidized the publication in Europe of the series of volumes of Anabaptist documents known as the Täuferakten. The committee helds annual business meetings.

After the merger of the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church, the committee was superseded by the Historical Committee of Mennonite Church USA.


Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1956


[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Historical_Committee_of_the_Mennonite_Church&oldid=95267.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1956). Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Historical_Committee_of_the_Mennonite_Church&oldid=95267.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 749. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.


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