A young girl named Dimond had attended Summer Bible School at the Millmont Mennonite Church. She began to attend Sunday morning services and was baptized as a teenager but moved to Wilkes-Barre in the mid-1980s.
Norman Yoder, minister at Millmont, kept in contact and visited Dimond in Wilkes-Barre. Several years after her marriage in 1986, she rededicated her life to Christ. At that time, families from Millmont began going to Wilkes-Barre to conduct bi-weekly services in Dimond's home. Eventually, her husband and the two oldest children also accepted the Lord as their Savior. The family was eager to have a Mennonite congregation established in Wilkes-Barre.
In 2006-2007, several men from the Millmont congregation searched for a church available for purchase in Wilkes-Barre. Unable to find a vacant church building, a one-week Summer Bible School was held in a rented church building in July 2009. The Bible School continued in 2010 and 2011 with an increase in interest and attendance from the community each year.
Several individuals from the Millmont and Pleasant View (MAMF) congregations again searched for a church building which could be purchased. In the winter of 2011-2012, multiple vacant Catholic churches were found in various parts of the city. The former St. Boniface facility, located at 225 Blackman Street, was chosen to serve the needs of the community. In addition to a church building, the 1.5-acre complex includes a convent, garage, two-story school, and a two-story rectory which was converted to classrooms and living quarters for a resident pastor.
The property was purchased on 15 May 2012, with an anonymous gift of $145,000. The first service in the building was held on 20 May when the Echoes of Hope chorus presented a program. Several families from the community attended.
Some repairs were made to the building before the first Sunday morning service was held on 19 August 2012. Services were held on the second and fourth Sunday mornings with the support of members of the Millmont, Pleasant View, and Union Valley congregations. Mark Weaver was chosen by lot to serve as the first minister at Wilkes-Barre and ordained at Millmont on 16 September 2012. After the living quarters were refurbished, Mark and his family moved into Wilkes-Barre in November 2013. Services were then held every Sunday. The Paul Longenecker and Sterling Kratzer families also moved to Wilkes-Barre in 2013 to help establish the new outreach. Jonathan Schmidt (Haycock, MAMF) provided bishop oversight.
Stauffer, Romaine, ed. Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship 1972-2013. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2014.
Address: 225 Blackman St., Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 18702
Denominational Affiliations: Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship
Wilkes-Barre Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|Date Published||July 2014|
Cite This Article
Stauffer, Romaine. "Wilkes-Barre Mennonite Church (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2014. Web. 9 Oct 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wilkes-Barre_Mennonite_Church_(Wilkes-Barre,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123577.
Stauffer, Romaine. (July 2014). Wilkes-Barre Mennonite Church (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 October 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wilkes-Barre_Mennonite_Church_(Wilkes-Barre,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=123577.
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