Pleasant View Mennonite Church has its origins in mission outreach by Prairie Street Mennonite Church, located in Elkhart, Indiana. In 1935, Prairie Street member Paul A. Wittrig and his family found an abandoned church building and adjacent cemetery in the Jefferson Township area of Goshen, which was owned by the United Brethren Church. The United Brethren allowed Prairie Street to use the building, which had been built in 1891, in exchange for making renovations. Prairie Street members repaired the roof, plaster walls, carpeting, and heating system. The renovated building was re-dedicated on 1 April 1936, and 40 people attended the first Sunday Service on 5 April.
Pleasant View Mennonite Church was organized as an independent congregation on 2 September 1942. The new congregation was formed in part so that new attendees would not have to become members at the Elkhart-located Prairie Street Mennonite Church, but instead could become members at the Goshen location. Lester Mann was chosen by lot and ordained as the first pastor on 17 September 1942. A church constitution was adopted in 1943.
Pleasant View church attendance was affected by World War II. Gas rationing made travel more expensive, and parishioners across Elkhart County were more inclined to attend local churches. However, membership increased as nearby families joined the congregation.
Early church activities included Sunday evening basket dinners, which were changed to church lunches in 1943 because of gas rationing. In early church years, youth attended Prairie Street activities, but in 1944 Pleasant View held its first Summer Bible School. The Pleasant View building was too small for the program, which averaged at over 200 participants, and in 1945 Summer Bible School was moved to the nearby Jefferson School.
Pleasant View Mennonite Church was renovated and enlarged in 1947 and 1948. The church build a new basement, entrance, restrooms, heating system, and balcony. Church services were held at Jefferson School while the church building was being renovated.
The 1950s were a time of expansion. In 1952, Pleasant View assumed partial responsibility for the adjacent cemetery. In 1953, the church built a new fellowship hall which was separate from the main building. Church leadership style also changed in the 1950s. John Steiner became pastor in 1956 and asked the congregation to adopt a team leadership ministry. The new leadership team included a full-time pastor, associate pastors, and seminary students.
Pleasant View helped found several church plants in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1950, the congregation helped found Rainy River Mission in International Falls, Minnesota. Pleasant View families that joined the Rainy River Mission included the Irving Krabill family, the Lawrence Yoder family, and the Homer Cender family. The Mission gained independence in 1955. In 1960, 13 families left Pleasant View Mennonite Church to form Tri Lakes Chapel, which became Tri Lakes Community Church in Bristol, Indiana. The Tri Lakes congregation became independent in 1961.
Expansion continued in the 1960s and 1970s. The church purchased the adjacent Plecher Sisters building in 1966. In 1967, the church fellowship hall and main building were connected to make room for additional classrooms and space for gathering. In 1966 Pleasant View assumed full responsibility for the east end of the cemetery, and in 1973, the old main church building was remodeled into Sunday school classes, and a new church building and sanctuary were attached to the old building.
Church activities in the 1960s and 1970s included the Koinonia Seekers group for young married couples, began in 1968, and the Sunbeam Chorus children’s choir began in 1970. The Chorus was founded by Virginia and Eunice Miller, and sang in local churches through 1974. In 1976, the church supported missionaries Samuel and Olly Setianto in Indonesia. A church periodical, “Pleasant Views and News,” was begun in 1977. A new church constitution was adopted in 1978. Pleasant View experimented with holding two worship and Sunday school services between 1978 and 1980, but in 1980 reverted to one service. In 1988, the church began a mentor-mentee program. Membership increased greatly during this time, from 160 in 1970 to 317 in 1980.
The church building was expanded again in 1996 and 1997. Church activities in the 1990s and 2000s included a Community Carnival, Family Fun Night, and a Men’s Basketball program; these programs were led by the Community Outreach Team, formed in 1999. Daily attendance at Pleasant View dropped after the World Trade Center bombings in 2001, as the congregation’s position as a peace church sometimes conflicted with member and community views. Rob Diener led the congregation from 1992 to 2013, at which time Diener became Associate Pastor and the former Associate Pastor, Tyler Hartford, became lead pastor.
Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Mennonite Church USA.
Pleasant View Mennonite Church. Pleasant View Mennonite Church History 1936-2006. Unpublished essay, 2006.
The Archives of the congregation are located at the Mennonite Church USA Archives in Goshen, Indiana.
Membership and pastoral records are located at Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana.
Address: 58529 CR 23, Goshen, IN 46528
Website: Pleasant View Mennonite Church
Mennonite Church (MC) (1942-2002)
Mennonite Church USA (2002-present)
Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference (1942-present)
Pleasant View Mennonite Church Leading Ministers
Lester Mann 1942-1955 John Steiner 1956-1969 William Hooley 1967-1970 Roy Yoder (associate 1970-1973) 1973-1981 Randy Miller (interim) 1981-1982 Herb Minnich 1982-1986 Jason Martin (interim) 1986-1987 James Detweiler 1987-1993 Rob Diener 1993-2013 Tyler Hartford (associate 2006-2013) 2013-present
Pleasant View Mennonite Church Membership
1945: 69 1950: 105 1955: 69 1960: 156 1965: 155 1970: 160 1975: 207 1980: 317 1985: 334 1990: 292 1995: 293 2000: 232 2005: 232
|Date Published||April 2014|
Cite This Article
Geiser, Nathan. "Pleasant View Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2014. Web. 4 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Pleasant_View_Mennonite_Church_(Goshen,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=122627.
Geiser, Nathan. (April 2014). Pleasant View Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Pleasant_View_Mennonite_Church_(Goshen,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=122627.
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