Aurora Mennonite Church (Aurora, Ohio, USA)
Aurora Mennonite Church (formerly Plainview Mennonite Church), (Mennonite Church USA), near Aurora, Ohio, a member of the Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA, was founded by Amish Mennonites from Nebraska. Several Stutzman families arrived in 1906 but their first minister was Eli B. Stoltzfus of West Liberty, Ohio, who had been ordained for Long Green, Maryland, in 1908, but moved to Portage County in 1909, and was ordained bishop in 1916. He served from 1909 until his death in 1942.
Stoltzfus was followed by the following ministers: Eli Stoltzfus 1909-1942, Alex Stutzman 1910-1942, Dan Raber 1911-1939, A. W. Hershberger 1912-1922, Mark Miller 1923-1926, Earl Miller 1931, Herb Troyer 1929-1942, Elmer Stoltzfus 1940-1970, Eugene Yoder 1940-1978, David Miller 1959-1976, Fred Erb 1977, Lawrence Brunk 1978-1987, Robert Troyer 1988-1990, Marlin Birkey 1990-1999, Glenn Steiner (interim) 2000-2001, Jess and Naomi Engle 2002-present. Eli Stoltzfus was bishop from 1916 to 1942 and Elmer Stoltzfus was bishop from 1942-1970.
The congregation enjoyed economic and religious growth. Membership increased from 35 in 1908 to 100 in 1912. In that year the congregation built the present meetinghouse. Members of the congregation helped to found the Britton Run Amish Mennonite Church in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and in the 2950s still assisted actively in the Burton Mennonite Church in Geauga County and in the Gladstone Mennonite Mission in Cleveland. The membership of Plainview in 1957 was 136. At the time, development of the congregation was being hindered by inflationary land values and the encroachment of wealthy buyers of land for rural estates. The resident bishop in 1957 was Elmer B. Stoltzfus (1896-1992) and the minister Eugene Yoder (1896-1978).
In 2016 Aurora Mennonite left the Ohio Conference and joined the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. This move was part of a larger realignment of Mennonite congregations formerly part of Mennonite Church USA. These congregations were unhappy with Mennonite Church USA's failure to take stronger disciplinary actions against area conferences and congregations who expressed openness to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. The Lancaster Mennonite Conference took action in 2015 to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA by the end of 2017, and became an attractive alternative for these congregations.
Miller, Vern L. "The History of the Plainview Mennonite Church . . ." (1950, unpublished paper in Mennonite Historical Library, Goshen, Indiana).
Address: 59 East Mennonite Road, Aurora, OH 44202
|Author(s)||John S. Umble|
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||February 2008|
Cite This Article
Umble, John S. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Aurora Mennonite Church (Aurora, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2008. Web. 18 Feb 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Aurora_Mennonite_Church_(Aurora,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=161058.
Umble, John S. and Richard D. Thiessen. (February 2008). Aurora Mennonite Church (Aurora, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 February 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Aurora_Mennonite_Church_(Aurora,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=161058.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 184. All rights reserved.
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