The Iglesia Evangélica Menonita, El Salvador (Evangelical Mennonite Church, El Salvador) was an outgrowth of a community development project begun in 1962 when Amish Mennonite Aid (Beachy Amish Mennonite) was invited to provide workers as part of a Salvadoran government land reform program. Under the initial agreement, volunteers were not allowed to do evangelistic work and church planting but Amish Mennonite Aid (AMA) officials hoped that permission to do that would be granted once they were recognized by the government. In 1968, the first ordained minister was sent to El Salvador and began preaching services in the capital. Evangelism has been the main thrust of the AMA work since then.
In 1986 there were six regular meeting places in central and western El Salvador with 75 members and a total attendance of about 300. In 2003 there were 9 congregations with 177 members. In 1979, a Salvadoran member, Saul Pacheco, was ordained as a minister. He was serving as bishop in 1986. North American Beachy Amish missionaries and Voluntary Service workers continue to live and work in three different locations.
The church has been involved in a variety of social service projects. Perhaps the most significant was an orphanage located 30 km. (19 mi.) north of the capital, opened in 1972. More than 70 children have been adopted by families in North America by the 1980s. The orphanage was moved into the capital in 1984 because of the increasing threat of violence resulting from the civil war. A refugee assistance program is administered with Mennonite Central Committee. Clinics and day schools are operated in several areas.
Hershberger, Andrew compiler. Into the Highways and Hedges: AMA Mission Report. Plain City, OH: Amish Mennonite Aid, 1980.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 72.
Mennonite World Conference. "MWC - 2003 Caribbean, Central & South America Mennonite & Brethren in Christ Churches." Accessed 20 February 2006. <http://www.mwc-cmm.org/Directory/carcsam.html>.
Cite This Article
Flickinger, Ron. "Iglesia Evangélica Menonita, El Salvador." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 20 Jan 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_Evang%C3%A9lica_Menonita,_El_Salvador&oldid=115201.
Flickinger, Ron. (1987). Iglesia Evangélica Menonita, El Salvador. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 January 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_Evang%C3%A9lica_Menonita,_El_Salvador&oldid=115201.
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