South Central Mennonite (MC) Conference, successor to the Kansas-Nebraska Mennonite Conference, organized in 1921 under the name Missouri-Kansas Conference; it was renamed South Central Conference in 1946 to give more adequate recognition to its congregations in Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Beginning in 1921 with 35 reporting congregations with 1,907 baptized members, in 1957 it reported 58 congregations (14 unorganized), with 3,413 members.
The South Central Conference took the lead in the Mennonite Church (MC) in a revision of church polity in 1954-1955 by (1) the introduction of the office of regional overseer appointed by the executive committee of conference in conjunction with the ministry of the region, (2) the introduction of a three-year term not only for the overseer but also for the local pastor, and (3) the suspension of further ordination of bishops. The conference was divided into regions (each with an overseer) as follows: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Gulf Coast. (For further statistics, see Kansas-Nebraska.) -- Harold S. Bender
South Central Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA) can trace its roots to two 19th-century conferences, Missouri-Iowa (1873) and Kansas-Nebraska (1876). In a merger of (Old) Mennonite conferences in 1920, Kansas-Nebraska (after 1946 South Central) became one of five conferences west of the Illinois and Indiana border. Between 1923 and 1986 the SCMC operated under six constitutions. In the preamble of the early constitutions the functions of conference were to promote the cause of Christ, to maintain and strengthen the work of the church, and to promulgate the doctrines of the word and church.
Few major changes in polity occurred in the SCMC until 1955 when the office of bishop was discontinued and replaced with that of area overseer, which later gave way to the office of conference minister. The 1975 constitution helped clarify the growing autonomy of congregations with less emphasis on the authority of the conference delegate body. At this time conference functions were divided among three commissions under the leadership of the conference Executive Committee: Leadership, Church Planning and Development, and Congregational Life.
An unofficial de facto district structure was developed between 1983 and 1986 in which the conference was divided into four geographic districts under the leadership of a Conference Coordinating Council composed of members from each district. The districts (Arkansas-Missouri, Kansas-Oklahoma, Texas-Mexico, and Mid-Texas) each had a district minister and three commissions. This plan of organization was officially accepted in the 1986 delegate session.
The conference was made up of 50 congregations with a membership of 4,291 in 1986. The official conference publication was the Conference Messenger. The conference office was located in Hesston, Kansas.
After the restructuring of Mennonite Church, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, the South Central Conference became part of Mennonite Church USA. -- Justus G. Holsinger
2010 UpdateIn 2010 the following 26 congregations were members of the South Central Mennonite Conference.
|Alice Mennonite Church||Mathis||Texas|
|Argentine Mennonite Church||Kansas City||Kansas|
|Berea Mennonite Community Church||Birch Tree||Missouri|
|Calico Rock Mennonite Fellowship||Calico Rock||Arkansas|
|Calvary Mennonite Church||Mathis||Texas|
|Centro Cristiano Menonita Jerusalem||Boca del Rio||Veracruz, Mexico|
|Crystal Springs Mennonite Church||Harper||Kansas|
|Faith Mennonite Church||South Hutchinson||Kansas|
|Gospel Fellowship Church||Montezuma||Kansas|
|Greensburg Mennonite Church||Greensburg||Kansas|
|Hesston Mennonite Church||Hesston||Kansas|
|Iglesia Ebenezer||Reynosa||Tamaulipas, Mexico|
|Iglesia Menonita Buenas Nuevas||San Juan||Texas|
|Iglesia Menonita del Cordero||Brownsville||Texas|
|Iglesia Menonita Rey de Gloria||Brownsville||Texas|
|Iglesia Menonita Rios de Agua Viva||Matamoros||Tamaulipas, Mexico|
|La Nueva Jerusalem||Matamoros||Tamaulipas, Mexico|
|Mount Pisgah Mennonite Church||Leonard||Missouri|
|New Life Christian Center||San Benito||Texas|
|Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church||Harper||Kansas|
|Pleasant View Mennonite Church||Hydro||Oklahoma|
|Prince of Peace Mennonite Church||Corpus Christi||Texas|
|South Hutchinson Mennonite Church||South Hutchinson||Kansas|
|Spring Valley Mennonite Church||Canton||Kansas|
|Tabernaculo de Fe||Mathis||Texas|
|Whitestone Mennonite Church||Hesston||Kansas|
Erb, Paul. South Central Frontiers: a history of the South Central Mennonite Conference. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1974.
Address: PO Box 564, Hesston KS 67062-0564
Website: South Central Mennonite Conference
|Author(s)||Harold S. Bender|
|Justus G. Holsinger|
Cite This Article
Bender, Harold S. and Justus G. Holsinger. "South Central Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 24 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=South_Central_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=116966.
Bender, Harold S. and Justus G. Holsinger. (1989). South Central Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=South_Central_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=116966.
Herald Press website.
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