Kaufman Mennonite Church (Davidsville, Pennsylvania, USA)
The Kaufman Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located two miles north of Holsopple, Pennsylvania, was the youngest of the congregations of what was once a united Johnstown bishop district. The other congregations in the district were, with date of first meetinghouse, Blough (1836), Weaver (1855), Thomas (1874), Stahl (1882), and Pleasant Grove (1899). These congregations constituted in effect a single congregation, called in the conference minutes the Johnstown congregation, with one bishop, which in 1900 was listed as having about 500 baptized members.
The Kaufman congregation apparently was organized as a separate body in 1908, when the first meetinghouse was built on the property of Daniel L. Kaufman in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County. At the time 94 members were listed. The congregation consisted of a group of people of which some identified themselves as Amish. The Amish had previously met at the Kaufman Amish Church. In time, the Amish membership from the Kaufman Amish church had been absorbed by the Mennonites in the region. Other charter members in Kaufman Mennonite’s congregation came from Blough and Stahl Mennonite Congregations who joined because of convenience and proximity to their homes. Kaufman Mennonite Church was established as a congregation on 31 January 1909.The first building was destroyed by fire in December 1945. By spring 1946, the congregation had decided to rebuild. Plans were made and work proceeded with a new building in place by May 1946. That building has continued to serve the Kaufman Congregation with additions and new construction through the years.
Bishops were Jacob Blough (d. 1849), Samuel Blough, Sr. (d. 1877), Samuel Blough, Jr., Jonas Blough (d. 1906), James Saylor (ordained bishop 1903). About 1940 the district was divided and the individual congregations given different bishops.
Ministers and deacons who served here include: Stephen D. Yoder (1908-1910), minister; E. J. Blough (1914-1926), minister; Noah Hershberger (1927-1930), minister; Irvin Holsopple (1930-1961), minister; Harry Y. Shetler (1939-1972), minister; Stanley R. Freed, (1974-1990), minister; Donald Sharp (1990-?), minister; Levi D Yoder (1908-1945), deacon; Otto Eash (1946- ), deacon.
In 1955 the membership was 162, with Harry Y. Shetler and Irvin M. Holsopple serving as ministers. The remnant of the old Kaufman Amish Mennonite congregation, which had been located in the same area, joined the new Kaufman Mennonite congregation.
The Kaufman Mennonite Church left the Allegheny Mennonite Conference after 2010. This move was part of a larger realignment of Mennonite congregations formerly part of Mennonite Church USA. These congregations were unhappy with Mennonite Church USA's failure to take stronger disciplinary actions against area conferences and congregations who expressed openness to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
In 2017 Kaufman Mennonite was part of the EVANA Network.
History of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Conference. Scottdale, PA: The Conference, 1923.
Address: 916 Miller Picking Road, Davidsville, PA 15928
Website: Kaufman Mennonite Church
Allegheny Mennonite Conference
Mennonite Church USA
|Author(s)||Harold S Bender|
|Date Published||February 2016|
Cite This Article
Bender, Harold S. "Kaufman Mennonite Church (Davidsville, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2016. Web. 23 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kaufman_Mennonite_Church_(Davidsville,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=148610.
Bender, Harold S. (February 2016). Kaufman Mennonite Church (Davidsville, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kaufman_Mennonite_Church_(Davidsville,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=148610.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 158-159. All rights reserved.
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