Bethel Mennonite Church (Fortuna, Missouri, USA)

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Bethel Mennonite Church, Fortuna, Missouri, ca. 1910.
Source: Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, KS: Photo Collection 2011-0100

Bethel Mennonite Church (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches, formerly General Conference Mennonite Church) at  Fortuna, Moniteau County, Missouri, was a member of the Middle District Conference. In April 1866 five families left Wayne County, Ohio, to become the first Mennonite settlers of this community. Others soon followed and on 21 April 1867, ministers John Schmidt and Jacob Pletscher of Summerfield, Illinois, visited the colony to have communion service and organize a church. Nineteen persons took part in this service. The first meetinghouse was built in 1869, enlarged in 1894; it was replaced by a larger church in 1908, with a seating capacity of about 450, which was in use in 2005. The 1952 membership was 137; in 1999 it was 219.

About 1990 the Bethel congregation withdrew from the General Conference Mennonite Church, but maintained its membership in the Central District Conference. At the time of the formation of Mennonite Church USA the congregation switched its affiliation to the Evangelical Mennonite Church (renamed Fellowship of Evangelical Churches in 2003).


Bethel Mennonite Church. "Bethel Mennonite Church - History." Web. 30 December 2006.

History of Bethel Church. Fortuna, MO: The Church, 1967.

Additional Information

Address: 37830 Bethel Church Road, Fortuna, Missouri

Phone: 573-378-4878

Website: Bethel Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliation: Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Bethel Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders

Peter P. Lehman
M. S. Moyer
D. D. King
John M. Regier
P. P. Hilty
J. D. Warkentin
C. H. Kirks
Jacob Unruh
Leonard Metzker
Howard Raid
E. A. Albrecht
Ernest Porzelius
Abraham Friesen
Russel Welty
Ralph Graber
Lloyd Penner
Ward Shelley
Bruno Penner
Tom Voth
Dave Zapf

Bethel Mennonite Church Membership

Year Membership

Author(s) E. A. Albrecht
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Albrecht, E. A. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Fortuna, Missouri, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2008. Web. 10 Aug 2022.,_Missouri,_USA)&oldid=167203.

APA style

Albrecht, E. A. and Samuel J. Steiner. (2008). Bethel Mennonite Church (Fortuna, Missouri, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 August 2022, from,_Missouri,_USA)&oldid=167203.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 311. All rights reserved.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.