In Lancaster County in 1954 there were about 12,600 Mennonites (Mennonite Church) in 80 congregations or preaching points, 3,100 Old Order Amish in 30 congregations, 2,900 Old Order Mennonites in 17 congregations, 318 Stauffer, Reidenbach, and Weaver (a type of Old Order) Mennonites. The Beachy Amish had two congregations with 269 members. The Ohio and Eastern Conference had eight congregations with 1,400 members in this area, although part of the membership is in the bordering territory of Berks County and Chester County. The General Conference Mennonites had three congregations, in Lancaster, Bowmansville, and Denver, with 207 members. The Reformed Mennonites (Herrites) had 225 members in this area in 1954, their original starting point having been near Lancaster city. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ had two congregations, Lancaster and Terre Hill, with 110 members, also a mission point at Paradise. Thus these eight distinct groups of Mennonites had in 1954, 21,300 baptized members in over 150 congregations. This was the largest concentration of Mennonites in such a compact area anywhere in North America, and since the dissolution of the compact Mennonite settlements in Russia, anywhere in the world.
Two related peace church groups, the Church of the Brethren and the Brethren in Christ, also had numerous strong congregations in the county in 1954, the former having 21 congregations with 7,500 members, the latter 12 congregations with 1,200 members.
Lancaster County Mennonites had several institutions in addition to a number of elementary schools. These were all under the Lancaster Mennonite Conference: Lancaster Mennonite School (1942, Lancaster), two homes for the aged, i.e., Mennonite Home (1903, Lancaster) and Welsh Mountain Samaritan Home (1898, New Holland), the Mennonite Children's Home (1911, Millersville), and Philhaven Hospital (1952, Lebanon, Pa., for mental and nervous diseases). A headquarters center for the Lancaster Mennonite Conference and its mission board was being developed at Salunga. The Mennonite Central Committee's headquarters have been at Akron since 1937.
The Lancaster County area is noted for its outstanding agricultural production, in which the Mennonites and Amish have always played a major role. It has often ranked in the first three counties in the United States for total value of agricultural production and is justly called the "Garden Spot." It also presents a beautiful landscape with its gently rolling valleys and well-kept farms and countryside.
Culture of a contemporary rural community: the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 1942.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 607 f.
Klein, H. M. J. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a History. New York; Chicago: Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1924. 4 vols.
Landis, Ira D. "Mennonite Agriculture in Colonial Lancaster County, Pennsylvania." Mennonite Quarterly Review 19 (1945): 254-272.
Proceedings of the Lancaster County Historical Society, 1895-
Roddy, H. Physical and Industrial Geography of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Lancaster, PA, 1916.
Rupp, I. Daniel. History of Lancaster County: To which is prefixed a brief sketch of the early history of Pennsylvania. Lancaster: Gilbert Hills, 1844.
|Author(s)||Henry F Garber|
Cite This Article
Garber, Henry F. "Lancaster County (Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 Aug 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lancaster_County_(Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=92397.
Garber, Henry F. (1953). Lancaster County (Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 August 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lancaster_County_(Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=92397.
Herald Press website.
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