Maple Hill Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA)
Maple Hill Mennonite Church (formerly known as Lower Mennonite Church) (formerly Old Order Mennonite), located four miles (6.5 km) southwest of Wadsworth in Rittman, Medina County, Ohio, was a member of the Ohio-Indiana Mennonite Conference. A minister by the name of Abraham Rohrer moved into this area from Maryland in 1832 and was ordained as bishop in 1836. Therefore it is probable that the church was organized under his leadership about 1832. Other ministers who have served the congregation were Michael Rohrer, Henry Beery, Bishop Isaac L. Good, Jacob Newcomer, and Edwin Koppes. The first meetinghouse was probably a frame structure built between 1835 and 1840. In 1954 the congregation numbered 27 members and was in charge of Moses G. Horst as bishop and Abram Good as minister.
When the Wisler (Old Order) Mennonite division occurred in Elkhart County, Indiana, in 1871, the Lower congregation, including Bishop Rohrer (1788-1878) and the other ordained men, and all but a half-dozen families, sided with Wisler. The small minority who remained with the other Mennonite Conference withdrew from the congregation, though still using the meetinghouse part of the time, and ultimately built the Bethel meetinghouse in 1893. Hence they were called the Bethel Mennonite Church. They had no minister until 1881. The building was also known as the Guilford Meetinghouse. -- Abram Good
Maple Hill Mennonite Church is 3½ miles (5.5 km.) southwest of Wadsworth, Ohio, formerly a member of the Wisler (Old Order Mennonite) Mennonite Conference since 1872, before that of the Ohio Mennonite Conference, originated in 1832. It was one of the two meetinghouses of the congregation established in Medina County by settlers largely from Bucks County, but also from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. From 1830 to 1840 the following preachers arrived in the settlement: William Oberholtzer (1830), Jacob Koppes (1832), Abraham Rohrer (1832), Daniel Kreider (1837 from Ontario), and Samuel Koppes (1840). Abraham Rohrer served as bishop 1834-d. 1878. The meetinghouse may have been built about 1833 although the oldest deed for the property, assigned to the Mennonite minister, is dated 30 June 1837. A new meetinghouse was built in 1881 and remodeled in 1949.
The Wisler division of 1872 led to the withdrawal of this congregation from the Ohio Mennonite Conference, although the deacon Jacob Kreider (d. 1896) and some 25 members remained with the Ohio Conference and used the second (Guilford) meetinghouse of the congregation until 1893 (built 1856), when they built the Bethel meetinghouse and became known as the Bethel congregation. Later bishops were Isaac L. Good (1841-1917), ordained 1891, and Moses G. Horst (1875- ). In the division of 1907 the Maple Hill congregation remained in the Wisler Conference and did not follow the more conservative faction.
In 1959 the membership was 29, with Moses Horst still serving as bishop, and Paul G. Horst and Abram B. Good as ministers. -- Harold S. Bender
In 2014 the church had 43 members and was a member of the Ohio Wisler Mennonites. The ministerial team included Bishops Alvin Z.
Oberholtzer, Jr. and David VanPelt, Minister James Horst, and Deacon Marvin Good.
Mennonite Church Directory 2014. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2014: 118.
|Harold S. Bender|
|Date Published||May 2014|
Cite This Article
Good, Abram and Harold S. Bender. "Maple Hill Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2014. Web. 21 May 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Maple_Hill_Mennonite_Church_(Rittman,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=131701.
Good, Abram and Harold S. Bender. (May 2014). Maple Hill Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Maple_Hill_Mennonite_Church_(Rittman,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=131701.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 406-407; vol. 4, p. 1104. All rights reserved.
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