Broad Street Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA)

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Broad Street Mennonite Church, 2015.
Source: Mennonite Archives of Virginia

The Broad Street Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Virginia emerged from work begun among the African American people of Harrisonburg by the Young People's Christian Association of Eastern Mennonite College in 1937. A rented building on East Gay Street served as a center for this work until 1945 when a church was built on Broad Street. The first superintendent was Ernest Swartzentruber. He was followed by Ralph M. Shank, the pastor of the congregation in 1953. There are 17 members with an average Sunday-school attendance of 70.

In the church's early years, the Virginia Mennonite Mission Board had to deal with the common understandings on the separation of the races. A 1940 policy stipulated that feetwashing and the holy kiss would be conducted only within races, and that individual communion cups would be used instead of the more usual common cup.

In 2003 the congregation lost its membership in the Virginia Mennonite Conference because it hosted a same-sex commitment ceremony in early 2002. The membership at that time was 18. In 2009 there was an average attendance of 15.

In 2018 the congregation began to meet in homes, and donated its building to a local community association.


"2015 Directory of Anabaptists in Virginia." Shenandoah Mennonite Historian 23, no. 4 (Autumn 2015): 3.

Brunk, Harry Anthony. History of Mennonites in Virginia 1900-1960. Harrisonburg, Virginia: The Author, 1972.

Delea, Pete. "Members Donate Church To NENA." Daily News-Record (22 November 2018). Web. 9 April 2019.

Preheim, Rich. "Virginia Congregation Loses Membership." The Mennonite (18 February 2003).

Additional Information



Map:Broad Street Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, Virgiania)

Author(s) Harry A. Brunk
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published April 2019

Cite This Article

MLA style

Brunk, Harry A. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Broad Street Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2019. Web. 17 Aug 2022.,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=165646.

APA style

Brunk, Harry A. and Samuel J. Steiner. (April 2019). Broad Street Mennonite Church (Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 August 2022, from,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=165646.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 433. All rights reserved.

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