Pueblo Mennonite Church (Pueblo, Colorado, USA)
The La Junta and East Holbrook Mennonite Mennonite churches organized Sunday schools and worship services at Pueblo, Colorado by the 1920s and 1930s. This was an outgrowth of the Colorado Mennonite Sunday School Workers' Conferences. During the late 1930s and 1940s Mennonite nursing trainees at the La Junta School of Nursing began going to Pueblo, some 50 miles to the west, to take additional specialized training at the Colorado State Mental Hospital. Other Mennonites also began moving to Pueblo to take advantage of the city's employment opportunities. Under the leadership of Bishop Allen H. Erb, Pueblo Mennonites began holding regular fellowship and Bible study classes in 1941-1942 with Joseph Shank as teacher. Soon a Sunday School and Young Peoples' meetings were initiated as a missionary venture sponsored through the La Junta Mennonite Church, and a building and lot were secured in July 1942.
In early 1943 the group, with the support of the Mennonite Board of Missions and the South Central Mennonite Conference, began holding Sunday morning services, and in February 1943, it secured the services of Rev. Longgrear, a Methodist minister, for preaching. During that year, two persons who had moved to Pueblo from La Junta were baptized and received as members at the La Junta and East Holbrook Mennonite churches. In 1944 Marcus "Bud" Bishop became pastor of what was known as the Pueblo mission. In 1945 a Vacation Bible School that attracted 45 children was conducted in Pueblo under the leadership of Letha Evers of Cheraw. Sunday School continued to be the key program of the mission effort with 35-50 in attendance. In 1947 the group purchased an abandoned Spiritualist church for services, and on 6 November 1949 the congregation formally organized as a church with 23 charter members.
Marcus Bishop remained as the congregation's pastor until 1956 when he moved to Denver to become pastor of the First Mennonite Church. Under Bishop's leadership, the Pueblo Mennonite Church began publishing a newspaper, The Message, in January 1945 for distribution in the community and the wider Mennonite fellowship. The following year the church placed gospel signs in city street cars as a witness. On 1 May 1955 the congregation dedicated a new church building that was constructed with the help of I-W men. Bishop was followed by Cletus S. Miller as pastor. By 1959 the congregation, with a vision for strengthening its Sunday school, youth, and visitation programs, had a membership of 31 and an average attendance of 40.
For 18 months (1952-1954) 36 conscientious objectors performed their I-W service at the Colorado State Mental Hospital in Pueblo. In January 1962 a Voluntary Service (VS) unit was opened at the Parkview Episcopal Hospital in Pueblo. After the Mennonite Board of Missions began operating the Huerfano Memorial Hospital in December 1963 Mennonite hospital workers traveled some 50 miles to attend worship services at the Pueblo Mennonite Church before a Mennonite church was established in Walsenburg. By April 1972 a VS unit was operating in two locations in Pueblo.
During 1987-1989 Ed and Kathrine Rempel served as co-pastors of the church. In 2010 Pueblo Mennonite Church, under the pastoral leadership of Dave Foncannon, was dually affiliated with the Mountain States Mennonite Conference and the Church of the Brethren and had an average Sunday morning attendance of 25-35. The "family sized" congregation emphasized the gifts of hospitality and service.
The church conducted its last worship service on 19 May 2012.
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.
Address: 634 Goodnight, Pueblo, Colorado 81005
Pueblo Mennonite Church Pastors
|Name||Years of Service|
|Glenn Martin (interim)||1963|
|John E. Gingrich||1963-|
|Paul L. Yoder (interim)||1977/78-|
|Ed and Kathrine Rempel||1987-1989|
Article from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 230
by Mrs. J. D. McCrory
Pueblo Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church) had its inception in 1941 when Mennonites working in the city began to hold regular fellowship and Bible class meetings. The use of a building and lot was secured in July 1942. The congregation was organized in 1947, with 19 charter members. Marcus Bishop served as pastor until 1956. He was followed by Cletus S. Miller. The membership in 1956 was 30. The meetinghouse served as the church home for the Mennonite student nurses who affiliated with Pueblo hospitals. For 18 months (1952-1954) 36 conscientious objectors performed their I-W service here.
|Date Published||July 2012|
Cite This Article
Unrau, Harlan. "Pueblo Mennonite Church (Pueblo, Colorado, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2012. Web. 25 Sep 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Pueblo_Mennonite_Church_(Pueblo,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=148700.
Unrau, Harlan. (July 2012). Pueblo Mennonite Church (Pueblo, Colorado, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 September 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Pueblo_Mennonite_Church_(Pueblo,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=148700.
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