Beginning in 1909 Amish settled in the Limon area of Lincoln County in east central Colorado some 90 miles (145 km) north of La Junta. Established in 1888 as a camp for the Rock Island Railroad, the settlement was originally known as Limon's Camp, named for the railroad foreman, and later as Limon's Junction, because of its location at the intersection of the Rock Island and Union Pacific railroads. By the mid-1910s a small group of Mennonite farmers in the Limon area who had left the Amish began meeting once a month for worship services.
During the summer of 1917 a Sunday School that met in a schoolhouse eight miles (13 km) southwest of Limon was organized through the efforts of Bishop Jacob A. Heatwole as a mission outreach of the East Holbrook and La Junta Mennonite churches. The members of this rural mission station, as reported to the Kansas-Nebraska Mennonite Conference in 1918, were considered to be members of the La Junta Mennonite Church. In 1922 Lewis C. Miller of Protection, Kansas, was ordained for ministry in the Limon congregation under the leadership of Heatwole. The congregation officially organized as a church on 10 September 1922, with 19 charter members. Charter members included Moses D. Troyer, his sons Joseph and Daniel and his son-in-law Albert Miller. Until 1925 the congregation met in the schoolhouse. On 2 August 1925 a new church building was dedicated one mile (1.6 km) north of the schoolhouse.
In 1927 J. L. Shellenberger was ordained as a deacon in the church and on 27 November 1927, Paul J. Hooley was ordained as the congregation's minister. Miller and Hooley shared the pastoral duties until 1933 when Miller moved to Manitou, Colorado, to become pastor of the Manitou Mennonite Church. By 1931 the Limon church's membership had grown to 118, but drought and Dust Bowl conditions during the 1930s caused many members to move from the area, including Hooley who left in 1934 and became a charter member of Indian Cove Mennonite Church in Hammett, Idaho, the following year. By 1938 the Limon congregation's membership had dwindled to 30. In 1943 George W. Holderman, who had been ordained to the ministry in the church in 1940, became the congregation's pastor. Under his leadership the church building was moved into town (725 Michigan Avenue) around 1947. Holderman continued as pastor until 1954 at which time Valentin Swartzendruber assumed the pastorate, serving in that capacity until 1967. The congregation's membership was 36 in 1954, and by the late 1950s church membership had decreased to 32 with an average attendance of 40. The congregation became a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference in 1961.
Eldo Miller served as pastor of the Limon Mennonite Church on a part-time basis for a number of years. As a result of dwindling attendance, however, the church closed ca. 2000, and the building was sold.
Unrau, Harlan D. In Pursuit of Land, Health and Mission: A History of Mennonites in the Mountain States Region. Printed in Canada by Blitzprint Inc., 2007.
Original Article from Mennonite Encyclopedia
Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 347. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
The Limon Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), a member of the Central Plains Mennonite Conference (formerly Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference), was organized on 10 September 1922 with 19 charter members, and grew in nine years to 118 members (1931). Thereafter the membership declined, due in part to drought conditions, until in 1954 the membership was only 36, with Valentin Swartzendruber serving as pastor. Until 1925 the congregation met in a schoolhouse eight miles southwest of Limon. In that year a new church was dedicated a mile north of the schoolhouse, but later (ca. 1947) the building was moved into the town of Limon. -- Lewis C. Miller
|Author(s)||Harlan D Unrau|
|Date Published||January 2012|
Cite This Article
Unrau, Harlan D. "Limon Mennonite Church (Limon, Colorado, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2012. Web. 16 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Limon_Mennonite_Church_(Limon,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=102197.
Unrau, Harlan D. (January 2012). Limon Mennonite Church (Limon, Colorado, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Limon_Mennonite_Church_(Limon,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=102197.
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