The establishment of a new congregation was raised at Millmont's spring business meeting in 1996. In the fall a vote was taken with over 95 percent giving approval to divide the congregation.
In January 1997 a member's meeting held to determine the location of the new congregation resulted in the Milton area being chosen. The meeting also decided that the five families who were living east of the Susquehanna River would be a part of the charter membership of the new congregation and those living west of the river could volunteer to transfer. As Bishop Roy Longenecker was the closest of the ministry to the new location, approval was granted for him to be a part of the charter membership.
The name chosen for the new congregation was Shalom Mennonite Church. The charter members from east of the river were: Jay and Esther Burkholder, Dale and Betty Joy Stoltzfus, David and Joann Zimmerman, Leon and Martha Zimmerman, John and Jewel Zimmerman. Those living west of the river were: Amos and Sarah Kauffman, Roy and Arleta Longenecker, Paul (Pete) and Miriam Stoltzfus, Dan and Tina Weaver, and two widows: Mabel Stoltzfus, mother of Pete and Dale Stoltzfus, and Katie Stoltzfus, mother of Sarah Kauffman. Richie and Kathy Lauer (Administrator of the Maranatha Christian School) joined the group in its forming stages by letter of transfer from the Whispering Pines congregation in South Carolina.
The first service of the Shalom congregation was held 7 September 1997 at the home of Leon and Martha Zimmerman with 55 people attending. A special consecration service was held at the Beaver Run Mennonite Church on 19 April 1998, to formally establish the Shalom Mennonite Church.
In March 1999, the request for a minister ordination was brought to the congregation and approval was given. Votes were taken on 2 June, with Jay Burkholder being ordained by lot on 6 June 1999.
For approximately the first six months, the congregation rotated between the homes of the members for Sunday worship. Then Dan Weaver offered the use of the room above their garage for services. The room was about 24 x 24' and proved adequate and cozy for the next 18 months. Then more room was needed and the Maranatha Christian School gym was rented for services.
The search for a church building or property to construct a building proved to be a long and frustrating process. Six different properties were considered and approved only to experience disappointment each time. Finally, in the spring of 2003, a property was purchased on Dance Hall Road, four miles east of Milton. Thirteen acres were purchased for $50,000.00. Brent and Marilyn Miller, who had recently transferred from the Bairs-Hostetters congregation (MAMF), then bought half of the property to build a home.
Construction of the new church building began on 27 June 2003. The first service in the new building was held on 28 March 2004.
On 12 August 2001, Dan Weaver was ordained as deacon. He was ordained as minister on 23 November 2008, but continued to fill the role of deacon until 28 June 2009, when Tony Graybill was ordained to fill the deacon office.
As of 1 January 2013 membership at Shalom was 78. The ministerial team consisted of Roy Longenecker, bishop; Jay Burkholder and Dan Weaver, ministers; Tony Graybill, deacon.
Stauffer, Romaine, ed. Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship 1972-2013. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2014.
Address: 955 Dance Hall Rd., Milton, Pa. 17847
Denominational Affiliations: Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship
Shalom Mennonite Church (Milton, Pennsylvania, USA) Pastoral Leaders
|Roy Longenecker (bishop)||1997-present|
|Date Published||July 2014|
Cite This Article
Stauffer, Romaine. "Shalom Mennonite Church (Milton, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2014. Web. 1 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Shalom_Mennonite_Church_(Milton,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123546.
Stauffer, Romaine. (July 2014). Shalom Mennonite Church (Milton, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Shalom_Mennonite_Church_(Milton,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123546.
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