Beatrice Mennonite Church (Beatrice, Nebraska, USA)

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Beatrice Mennonite Church, 2018. Photo by Tim Amor

Beatrice Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), formerly Second Mennonite Church, Beatrice, Nebraska, was organized as an independent congregation in 1926 with 75 charter members. The Mennonites who settled in and near Beatrice originally worshiped at different places but constituted one congregation under one elder. Those residing in and near the city at first worshiped in a rented hall. In 1901 a church was built in Beatrice and Sunday school was introduced. The Christian Endeavor society was organized in 1903. Sam D. Ruth conducted a mission Sunday school on Sunday afternoon for over 20 years.

In 1926 the group decided to organize as an independent congregation. By 1953 the membership totaled 174. H. T. Reimer and Jacob Wiebe, elected as lay ministers previous to the organization, served the congregation occasionally after 1926. M. M. Horsch, 1927-1939, was elected as the first full-time minister, followed by Reynold Weinbrenner, 1939-1942, H. A. Claassen, 1943, E. Koontz, 1944-1948, and E. R. Friesen, 1948- . The church was enlarged in 1929 and a full basement added in 1950. The present building was built in 1960 and designated "The Church of the Sermon on the Mount."

Music was always important to the church and it had an active choir. Fellowship groups for young people were started and continued in 2019 with First Mennonite Church. The men of both Mennonite churches established a Brotherhood which served both congregational members and the community in times of misfortune or disaster. The women of the church organized a Women’s Mission Society which has supported foreign missions and projects since the 1920s. From 1974-2001, Beatrice Mennonite and First Mennonite founded and jointly operated one of the first day cares in Beatrice. The day care became a placement option for numerous Mennonite Voluntary Service workers.

In October 2021 the Beatrice Mennonite Church ceased operation. The pandemic caused strain on the congregation's budget. That same month a "missional replant" was launched in the building as the Summit Street Church. Some congregants continued, but the focus of the new congregation was for persons previously uninterested in church.

Additional Information

Address: 1220 Summit Street, Beatrice NE  



Denominational Affiliations:

Western District Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Ordained Pastors at Beatrice Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Heinrich Penner 1921-1926
H. T. Reimer 1923-1944
Jacob Wiebe 1925-1956
M.M. Horsch 1927-1939
Reinhold Weinbrenner 1939-1942
H. A. Claassen 1943
Elbert Koontz 1944-1948
Elmer Friesen 1949-1952
Ralph Weber 1955-1961
Norman Bergen 1962-1969
Louis Goertz 1970-1979
Gary Badker 1980-1986
Preston Goering 1987-1990
Edward Kauffman 1991-2001
Denton Jantzi 2001-2005
Muriel Kaufman-Graber 2007-2009
John Regier 2011-2012
Bob Beecher 2013-2014
Tim Amor 2015-2021

Membership at Beatrice Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1935 164
1940 177
1945 189
1950 184
1955 171
1960 153
1965 148
1970 142
1975 159
1980 143
1985 146
1990 150
1995 157
2000 153
2005 139
2010 134
2015 133
2021 130


Map:Beatrice Mennonite Church (Beatrice, Nebraska)

Author(s) Melvin Gingerich
Cornelius Krahn
Brett Klingenberg
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published December 2021

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Melvin, Cornelius Krahn, Brett Klingenberg and Samuel J. Steiner. "Beatrice Mennonite Church (Beatrice, Nebraska, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2021. Web. 29 Nov 2023.,_Nebraska,_USA)&oldid=172636.

APA style

Gingerich, Melvin, Cornelius Krahn, Brett Klingenberg and Samuel J. Steiner. (December 2021). Beatrice Mennonite Church (Beatrice, Nebraska, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 November 2023, from,_Nebraska,_USA)&oldid=172636.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 257. All rights reserved.

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