Assembly Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)

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Assembly Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, USA, began in 1974. Previously, in 1973 a small group of about 20 persons at Goshen College met regularly during the week and attended Mennonite churches, primarily College Mennonite and Waterford Mennonite. The group, which identified itself as "Metanoia," sought new forms of congregational organization and programming. It began to call together a number of house churches in a deliberate fashion, and thus adopted the name "Assembly."

During 1974 the number of attendees grew to over 100, and divided into three "clusters." By 1976 there were only two clusters--one on the Goshen College campus and one more community-based. The campus cluster ended in 1997.

In 1978 the congregation purchased and renovated an empty factory building on South Eleventh Street. The facility was intended to provide for worship, but also included a rental apartment and daycare services for children. Significant expansion and renovation took place in 1992.

In the late 1980s, an evangelism small group explored launching an outreach church. This resulted in 1989 with the launch of the Faith Mennonite Church led by Randy Grossman. That congregation met Sunday afternoons in the Assembly building but aimed its ministry at non-churched people in the local area.

The congregation initially functioned with lay leadership, though a number of its members were ordained ministers from other or previous work assignments. It ordained its first pastoral leader, Mary Lehman Yoder, in 1996.

Response to LGBTQ persons became an issue in the late 1980s and extending into the 1990s. In 1996 the congregation agreed to take a "sabbatical" from focusing on the issue but agreed to extend membership to persons in life-long same-sex unions. In 1997 the Indiana-Michigan Conference withdrew the Assembly Mennonite Church's voting rights. The relationship with the Central District Conference was not affected.

In 2022 the congregation was part of the Central District Conference.


Assembly Mennonite Church: A Collective History, compiled and edited by Anne Meyer Byler, Sally Weaver Glick, and Sandy Fribley. Goshen, Ind.: The Church, 2014.

"History." Assembly Mennonite Church. Web. 4 April 2022.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003.

Additional Information

Address: 727 New York Street, Goshen, Indiana 46526

Phone: 574-534-4190


Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Assembly Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Lay Leadership 1974-1996
Mary Lehman Yoder 1996-2011
Lois Johns Kaufmann 1997-2008
Karl Shelly 1998-present
Heidi Siemens-Rhodes (1974-2012) 2008-2012
Carmen Horst (Transitional) 2011-2012
Jennifer Gingerich (Transitional) 2012-2013
Lora Nafziger 2013-present
Dawn Yoder Harms 2013-2016
Anna Yoder Schlabach 2018-present
Scott Coulter 2019-present

Membership at Assembly Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1980 141
1990 150
2000 112
2007 150
2020 186

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published July 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Assembly Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2022. Web. 29 Nov 2023.,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=174155.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (July 2022). Assembly Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 November 2023, from,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=174155.

©1996-2023 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.