Bethel Mennonite Church (Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA)

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The Bethel Mennonite Mission began in 1959 as an outreach to African-Americans in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Markley H. Clemmer (1911-1984), pastor at First Mennonite Church in Norristown, provided the initial pastoral leadership for the mission.

In the mid-1960s congregational leadership began to be shared with African-American pastors, including Arthur Jackson, Hubert Brown and Arthur J. Griffin. In about 1973 Herman Douglas joined the team, and began the lead minister.

For most of its life, the congregation owned a church on Thomas Street in Norristown.

In 1990, at the initiative of Pastor Ertell W. Whigham, Bethel merged with First Mennonite Church and Fuente de Salvación, to form a multi-cultural and bilingual congregation known as Nueva Vida Norristown New Life Mennonite Church. The sale of the First Mennonite and Bethel buildings helped to finance purchase of a new facility on East Marshall Street.


Good, Sheldon C. "On a winding path, Franconia minister found community." Mennonite World Review 6 June 2011. Web. 4 October 2016.

Mennonite Yearbook (1959-1990)

Additional Information

Address: 849 Thomas Street, Norristown, Pennsylvania



Denominational Affiliations:

Mennonite Church (MC)

Franconia Mennonite Conference

Bethel Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders

Name Years
of Service
Markley H. Clemmer 1959-1973
Arthur Jackson 1964-1966
Hubert Brown 1966-1969
Arthur J. Griffin 1972-1975
Herman W. Douglas 1973-1985
Ertell M. Whigham 1985-1990

Bethel Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1965 1
1975 42
1985 40

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published October 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2016. Web. 29 Nov 2023.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=164964.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (October 2016). Bethel Mennonite Church (Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 November 2023, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=164964.

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