Berne (Indiana, USA)

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Berne, Indiana, a town (pop. 1950 2,300; 2000, 4,150), seat of the largest Mennonite congregation in North America in the 1950s, and center of the large Swiss Mennonite settlement, is located in Adams County about 35 miles (55 km) south of Fort Wayne. Approximately 1,800 Mennonites (including children), belonging to the General Conference Mennonite Church, Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, and various Amish groups, live within the vicinity in all directions from the town, about 35 per cent living in Berne in the early 1950s. Swiss Mennonites from the canton of Bern, Switzerland, first settled here in 1838, and gave the town its name.

Mennonite churches in this area in the 1950s included the First Mennonite (Mennonite Church USA), in town; Evangelical (Defenseless) Mennonite, in the country; Amish Christian, in the country; and three Old Order Amish groups meeting in homes. The two Missionary Churches in the town and country originally split off from the Defenseless Mennonite group, which in turn was originally Amish from Alsace. The Mennonite Book Concern and many Mennonite business places are located in Berne. The unique things about the community are its Swiss culture, its musical interests, and its religious atmosphere as well as high moral standards! See the article on First Mennonite Church for an account of the history of the Swiss Mennonite community, and the article Berne, Indiana, USA, Old Order Amish Settlement for the Amish history.


Map:Berne (Indiana)

Author(s) Olin A Krehbiel
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krehbiel, Olin A. "Berne (Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 13 Apr 2024.,_USA)&oldid=170331.

APA style

Krehbiel, Olin A. (1953). Berne (Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024, from,_USA)&oldid=170331.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 298. All rights reserved.

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