Weaverland Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), in eastern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, has been a strong Mennonite center since the days of David Martin and the coming of George, Henry, and Jacob Weaver from West Lampeter Township in ca. 1723. John Weaver was in West Lampeter ca. 1717, and in 1721 applied for a grant of land for the three Weaver brothers.
A congregation was organized by 1733. Peter Shirk (d. 1770), one of the first ministers, mentions Henry Martin (later bishop), John Witwer, Martin Huber, and John Sensenig as "elders of the Mennonite meeting." A church-schoolhouse may have been built, but by 1766 there was a 34 x 50 ft. stone church with a seating capacity of about 240. The sexton lived on the west end. The new addition in 1853, with its two ten-plate stoves in the central aisle, seated about 400. In 1883 a new stone church, 50 x 78 ft., seated 600. The present brick church, 60 x 120 ft, was erected in 1926, with expansion and remodeling in 1972, 1987, and 1997 to allow for additional Sunday school classrooms.
This was the home congregation of bishops Henry Martin (1741-1825), Jonas H. Martin (1839-1925), John M. Sauder (1864-1939), and J. Paul Graybill; preachers Peter Shirk (d. 1770), Daniel Witwer (1767-1819), Tobias Wanner (1813-87), Samuel B. Winner (1861-1909), I. B. Good (1861-1945). It has been the central church for a circuit that includes Martindale, Lichty, Goodville, and Churchtown. The three Mennonites arrested for sheltering Hessian soldiers overnight were from this congregation. Deacon John Weber (1786-1854), Abraham Weber (1787-1867), Peter Martin (1769-1831) and fourteen of his children, Daniel Weber (1797-1864), and others from this congregation helped to settle Ontario in 1809-19. The first Sunday school, organized by Samuel H. Musselman and Isaac W. Martin in the spring of 1893, precipitated the Old Order Mennonite schism in the fall of that year. The Weaverland Missions Committee (1906-1928) founded permanent work at Diamond Rock (now Frazer) and Red Run. In 1912 I. B. Good promoted the Weaverland Young People's Meeting "distinctly for young people."
This congregation, long the largest in Lancaster Conference (second late 1950s), listed 575 members 1957, with J. Paul Graybill as resident bishop and D. N. Weaver, Alvin G. Martin, A. H. Hollinger ministers.
Burkholder, Roy S. Be Not Conformed To This World. Morgantown, Pennsylvania: Masthof Press, 1997.
Martin, C. Kenneth. 1723-1998, 275th Anniversary Weaverland Mennonite Church. Morgantown, Pennsylvania: Masthof Press, 1998.
Ruth, John Landis. The Earth Is the Lord’s: A Narrative History of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. Scottdale, Pennsylvania and Waterloo, Ontario: Herald Press, 2001.
Weaver, Martin G. Mennonites of Lancaster Conference. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Mennonite Publishing House, 1931.
Wenger, Eli D. The Weaverland Mennonites. Adamstown, Pennsylvania: Ensigner Printing Service, 1968.
Zimmerman, Paul S. 250th Anniversary, First Mennonite Settlement, Weaverland: 1723-1973. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Lancaster Mennonite Conference Historical Society, 1973.
Address: 210 Weaverland Valley Road, East Earl, Pennsylvania 17519
Website: Weaverland Mennonite Church
|Author(s)||Ira D. Landis|
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||August 2007|
Cite This Article
Landis, Ira D. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Weaverland Mennonite Church (East Earl, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2007. Web. 1 Apr 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Weaverland_Mennonite_Church_(East_Earl,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=122941.
Landis, Ira D. and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2007). Weaverland Mennonite Church (East Earl, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Weaverland_Mennonite_Church_(East_Earl,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=122941.
Herald Press website.
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