Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church (Shellsburg, Pennsylvania, USA)

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In the spring of 2007, Hope Mennonite Fellowship (HMF) assigned several ordained men to search for a place to establish a new congregation. They decided on the Bedford/Manns Choice area of central Pennsylvania. The first service was held in the Bedford Grange Hall north of Bedford on 20 April 2008. On 30 November 2008, the Allegheny Valley congregation began holding their services in the Quaker Meeting House in Fishertown, Pennsylvania.

Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church.
Source: Lester M. Burkholder

Since 1 August 2010 services have been held in the former Pleasant View Mennonite Church building at 597 Hoover Road, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania which Hope Mennonite Fellowship purchased from the Allegheny Mennonite Conference (AMC). Settlement on the building had been delayed a few weeks because, until settlement proceedings, no one remembered that the property was deeded to AMC, not to the local members who had withdrawn from AMC around 1991.

Elvin Horst and James Stelfox shared bishop responsibility for the fledging congregation for two years until James Stelfox took full responsibility. Since the Allegheny Valley congregation had no resident ministry, other Hope Mennonite Fellowship ministers traveled from Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties to bring the Sunday sermons, On 29 January 2009 Steven Nolt was ordained to serve as the first resident deacon. James G. Weaver, minister of the Schaefferstown congregation, commuted from Lancaster County for two years to services at Allegheny Valley until moving to Bedford in June 2011 to become the first resident minister.

Allegheny Valley Mennonite School, 2016.
Source: Lester M. Burkholder

The Allegheny Valley congregation conducts services in several prisons, a halfway house, and a retirement village. They have an active sewing circle. The Allegheny Valley Christian School opened in 2008 in the garage of one of the members. For the 2009-2010 school term, a section of the Fishertown Quaker Meeting House was partitioned off for the school. For 2010-2014 school terms school was held in a trailer on the church property near Schellsburg. The school finally found a permanent location when the Allegheny Valley congregation purchased the empty Lakeview Restaurant at 1461 Shawnee Road, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania and completely renovated the building.

As of 1 January 2016, Allegheny Valley had 46 members.


Burkholder, Lester M., compiler. History of Hope Mennonite Fellowship 1981-2015. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2016.

Additional Information

Address: 597 Hoover Road, Schellsburg, PA 15559

Phone: (814) 623-5332


Denominational Affiliations: Hope Mennonite Fellowship

Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders

Name Years
of Service
Elvin Horst (Bishop) 2008-2010
James Stelfox (Bishop) 2008-present
Steven Nolt (Deacon) 2009-present
James G. Weaver (Minister) 2009-present

Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
2016 46


Map:Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church (Shellsburg, Pennsylvania, USA)

Author(s) Lester M Burkholder
Date Published June 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Burkholder, Lester M. "Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church (Shellsburg, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2016. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=134434.

APA style

Burkholder, Lester M. (June 2016). Allegheny Valley Mennonite Church (Shellsburg, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=134434.

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