Mennonite Community Church (Mennonite Church USA) began in May 1953, was organized on 21 November 1954 as a daughter congregation of the First Mennonite Church in Reedley in order to meet the needs of General Conference Mennonites who had moved to the city of Fresno. The first full-time pastor was Peter Ediger, who served from 1954-1961. James Wenger held the longest pastorate (1983-1998). In 2012 the pastor was the newly instated Gordon Smith.
In 1955, the urban congregation broke ground for a sanctuary, which still stands at the corner of Olive and Willow avenues. The congregation was originally part of the Pacific District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC). It joined Mennonite Church USA in 2001.
Throughout the years, Mennonite Community Church has provided an Anabaptist alternative to the many churches in the Fresno-Reedley area that are affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren conference. Average Sunday morning attendance was as high as 134 in 1987 but the congregation has historically remained small, with attendance under 100 people. The membership of primarily white collar professionals is actively involved in teaching, service and other ministries. There is a Mennonite Voluntary Service unit associated with the congregation.
Janzen, Rod. Back to the City: Mennonite Community Church, Fresno California, 1954-2004. Sioux Falls, SD: Pine Hill Press, 2004.
Address: 5015 East Olive Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727
Website: Mennonite Community Church
Mennonite Community Church Ministers
|Dan F. Schellenberg||1953-1954|
|Horton Flaming (interim)||1961|
|Ron Claassen (co-pastor)||1981-1983|
|Ken Berg (co-pastor)||1981-1983|
|Mervin Dick (co-pastor)||2002-2003|
Mennonite Community Church Membership
Original Article from Mennonite Encyclopedia
Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 395; Vol. 3, p. 619. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
Mennonite Community Church (Mennonite Church USA), located in Fresno, CA, and previously known as the General Conference Fellowship of Fresno, began in May 1953, was organized on 21 November 1954, and affiliated with the Pacific District Conference (General Conference Mennonite) in 1955. Ground-breaking services for a new church, with a seating capacity of 180, took place in August 1955. The building was dedicated in April 1956. The minister in 1957 was Peter J. Ediger; there were 57 members. -- Peter J. Ediger, Andrew R. Shelley
|Date Published||March 2013|
Cite This Article
Janzen, Rod. "Mennonite Community Church (Fresno, California, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2013. Web. 9 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Community_Church_(Fresno,_California,_USA)&oldid=101967.
Janzen, Rod. (March 2013). Mennonite Community Church (Fresno, California, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Community_Church_(Fresno,_California,_USA)&oldid=101967.
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