Biblical Mennonite Alliance

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In an August 1997 meeting, the Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) took a vote on the conference's stated position calling baptized woman to wear the prayer veiling. The motion also required ministers' wives to wear the veiling. Approval of the motion required a two-thirds vote; it fell short by one vote. There had earlier been a softening of CMC positions on modesty in dress, and in ministers performing marriages for persons who had been divorced. Some persons also expressed concern about greater use of contemporary worship styles in some CMC churches. A concerned group had been formed in the mid-1990s, but had been ineffective in its appeals to the conference leadership. In February 1997 an extended discussion on the prayer veiling was held in a conference business session, and the lack of conference unity on the issue became evident.

The vote on the prayer veiling was a "final straw" for some leaders who finally left the conference. A meeting of concerned leaders in October 1997 agreed to move toward formation of a new conference, rather than engender further dissension within the CMC. An organizational meeting was held 5-6 June 1998 at the Fairhaven Mennonite Church in West Salem, Ohio at which a constitution was approved and ministerial membership established. Fourteen ministers became charter members of the Biblical Mennonite Alliance (BMA). A Ministerial Enrichment Week was held in February 1999 by which time seven congregations had applied for membership in the Biblical Mennonite Alliance.

The first annual BMA conference was held on 6-8 August 1999 in Plain City, Ohio. At that time 43 ministers and nine congregations representing about 600 members joined the new denomination. Five congregations were formerly members of the Conservative Mennonite Conference: Followers of Jesus Mennonite Church in Brooklyn, New York; Pleasant Grove Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana; Snow Hill Mennonite Church in Maryland; Fairhaven Mennonite Church in West Salem, Ohio; and Bethel Mennonite Fellowship in Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania. The other four congregations were unaffiliated congregations dissatisfied with former conference relationships: Faith Mennonite Fellowship in Crawford, Mississippi; Shiloh Mennonite Church in East Donalds, South Carolina; Calvary Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia; and Mount Zion Mennonite Church in Bladensburg, Ohio. Since 1999, a number of other unaffiliated Mennonite congregations as well as congregations from other Mennonite denominations have joined the alliance.

The 1963 Mennonite Confession of Faith was adopted as the official confession of faith of the denomination. The alliance has operated the Elnora Bible Institute in Elnora, Indiana since 2004, though a Bible institute was held annually beginning in 2000. The mission arm of the BMA is DestiNATIONS International (DNI), which operates a training center in Queens, New York. The Alliance Newsletter, begun in 1998, is the conference periodical.

In 2016 there were 62 congregations in the conference, with 3,545 members.

BMA Congregations

Congregation City State Year Founded Joined BMA Membership
Agape Mennonite Assembly Burton Ohio 1993 February 2000 12
Blue Ridge Christian Fellowship Radiant Virginia 2000 August 2000 17
Calvary Mennonite Church Paden Oklahoma 1995 February 2006 38
Calvary Mennonite Fellowship Harrisonburg Virginia 1990 February 1999 190
Central Mennonite Church Dover Delaware 1954 August 2002 156
Christ's Ambassadors St. Elizabeth Jamaica 1974 2007 130
Christian Life Mennonite Beach City Ohio 2001 August 2003 115
Cleburne Christian Fellowship Cleburne Texas 2006 July 2011 12
Cornerstone Mennonite Fellowship Ephrata Pennsylvania 1998 August 2005 206
Crossroads Missionary Church Belvidere Tennessee 2010 2010 20
East Hanover Mennonite Church Palmyra Pennsylvania 1953 July 2004 30
East Union Mennonite Church Orrville Ohio 1945 2011? 66
Fairhaven Mennonite Church West Salem Ohio 1965 February 1999 14
Fair Play Christian Fellowship Fair Play South Carolina 1980 February 2009 18
Faith Community Fellowship Harrisonville Pennsylvania 2011 2011 19
Faith Mennonite Fellowship Crawford Mississippi 1985 February 1999 69
Faith Mennonite Mission Shellman Georgia 1979 February 2008 24
Family Harvest Mennonite Church Fredericksburg Pennsylvania 2013 2013 25
Followers of Jesus Mennonite Church Brooklyn New York 1986 February 1999 67
Goshen Mennonite Church Laytonsville Maryland 1949 February 2001 26
Grand Mesa Christian Church Austin Colorado 2014 July 2015 11
Hartwell Mennonite Church Hartwell Georgia 1989 February 2009 16
Heritage Mennonite Church Millbank Ontario 1998 February 2000 13
Herr Street Mennonite Church Harrisburg Pennsylvania 1953 February 2006 26
High Country Mennonite Church Westcliffe Colorado 2011 2011 47
Juanita Christian Church Port Royal Pennsylvania 2005 August 2007 55
Kossuth Community Chapel Bolivar New York 1983 February 2006 33
Lamb of God Mennonite Church Butler Indiana 2000 August 2000 40
Laws Mennonite Church Harrington Delaware 1953 February 2003 45
Life Mennonite Fellowship Willow Street Pennsylvania 1997 February 2011 136
Living Hope Mennonite Church Urbana Ohio 2014 2014 18
Living Water Christian Fellowship Lott Texas 2009 July 2010 22
Living Water Mennonite Church Goshen Indiana 1999 February 2000 91
Living Word Christian Fellowship Sparta Wisconsin 2001 August 2007 12
Madison Mennonite Fellowship Madison Indiana 1993 August 2001 7
Millwood Mennonite Church Gap Pennsylvania 1877 February 2012 105
Mohican Valley Door of Hope Danville Ohio 2006 2007 78
Mt. Airy Mennonite Church Mt. Airy Maryland 1952 August 2004 8
Mt. Zion House of Prayer Utica Ohio 1995 August 1999 75
New Covenant Mennonite Church Lititz Pennsylvania 1998 2012? 40
New Holland Mennonite Church Batesburg South Carolina 1986 July 2009 94
New Hope Mennonite Church Orrstown Pennsylvania 2003 August 2004 40
Nickel Mines Mennonite Church Paradise Pennsylvania 1935 August 2002 67
North Vine Mennonite Church Arthur Illinois 1957 August 2008 85
Oak Hill Mennonite Church Cumberland Virginia 1970 August 2000 57
Palm Grove Mennonite Church Sarasota Florida 1953 February 2011 115
Pleasant Grove Conservative Mennonite Church Goshen Indiana 1948 February 1999 190
Potter's House Mennonite Chapel Downing Missouri 2008 July 2011 16
Prairie Christian Fellowship Magrath Alberta 1986 July 2004 57
Red Oak Community Mennonite Church Blountstown Florida 1993 February 2003 40
River of Hope Fellowship Vaughn Montana 2008 2008? 23
Shalom Mennonite Church Epsom Indiana 1999 February 2000 17
Sharon Conservative Mennonite Church Sugarcreek Ohio 1951 July 2011 100
Shekinah Mennonite Fellowship Castorland New York 1997 August 2001 41
Shiloh Mennonite Church Due West South Carolina 1995 February 1999 77
Skyline Mennonite Church Caon City Colorado 2004 July 2004 62
Snow Hill Mennonite Church Snow Hill Maryland 1953 February 1999 43
Solid Rock Mennonite Church Liberty Kentucky 2007 August 2007 12
Strickler's Mennonite Church Middletown Pennsylvania 1837 February 2006 37
Truth and Grace Mennonite Church Elnora Indiana 2013 2013 15
Two or Three Church White Cloud Michigan 2004 2013? 10
Union Chapel Mennonite Church Odon Indiana 2007 2008 23
United Bethel Mennonite Church Plain City Ohio 1940 February 2000 225
United Covenant Mennonite Church Etowah North Carolina 1994 February 2000 28
Womelsdorf Mennonite Church Womelsdorf Pennsylvania 1993 2008 102
Word of Life Mennonite Church Hutchinson Kansas 2005 August 2007 42
Zion Mennonite Church Nappanee Indiana 2008 2009 30
Totals 3,545


Canadian Mennonite (13 September 1999).

Emerson, Paul M. BMA: The First Ten Years. Biblical Mennonite Alliance, 2009.

Oswald, Laurie L. "New Conference Carves More Conservative Niche: Former Conservative Conf. Congregations and Others Form a 'Biblical Alliance.'" Mennonite Weekly Review (19 August 1999): 1-2.

Additional Information

Website: Biblical Mennonite Alliance.

Author(s) Richard D. Thiessen
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published August 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Biblical Mennonite Alliance." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2016. Web. 2 Aug 2021.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. and Samuel J. Steiner. (August 2016). Biblical Mennonite Alliance. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from

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