Butler Church (Fresno, California, USA)

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Butler Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church, founded in 1956, is located in southeast Fresno near the Mennonite Brethren institutions of Fresno Pacific University and Biblical Seminary. Since the church was established, the neighborhood demographics have changed, and the church has adapted and responded to the opportunities. In the 1990s, Butler became a multi-cultural, multi-congregational church.

In 2013, Butler had four congregations, each with autonomy over worship style, language, and internal organizational structure. Each group managed its own budget and decided whether or not to call a congregational pastor. Though different in languages and cultural norms, all groups were strongly committed to being one church.

In 2013 the Butler Church constitution enunciated a vision of supportive interaction and community involvement. All congregations gave toward a general budget for the shared facilities and support staff, including a Lead Pastor, and met together for combined worship several times a year, often sharing in baptisms and the Lord’s Supper. Every Sunday, all congregants met for fellowship in the courtyard—at Butler Café—between services. Together, the congregations hosted "Meal and More" on the first Wednesday of each month, inviting neighbors and friends to come for a simple meal and an after dinner activity. Monthly prayer meetings, a monthly food distribution, and a weekly Celebrate Recovery program were also joint ventures. The congregations worked together on facilities projects, in global missions, in childcare and Christian education, and on the Church Council.

In 2013 the four congregations at Butler were:

  • Amor y Fe – Spanish speaking
  • Asian Grace – Lao/Khmu
  • Common Ground – English informal
  • Faith Community –English traditional


Archival Records

Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, CA: Record Group CB511.

Additional Information

Address: 4884 East Butler Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727

Phone: 559-252-3741

Website: Butler Church

Denominational Affiliation:

Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

U. S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

Butler Church Leading Ministers

Minister Years of Service
Elmer A. Martens 1958-1966
Arno Wiebe 1966-1971
Robert Vogt 1971-1978
George Sanchez 1978-1980
Mervin Dick and Dennis Fast – Pastoral Team 1980-1982
Mervin Dick 1982-1984
Dale Warkentin 1984-1990
Rod Suess 1990-2004
Mark Thompson 2004-2008
Larry Martens (interim) 2008-2009
Scott Holman 2011-present

Butler Church Membership

Year Members
1960 209
1965 305
1970 354
1975 346
1980 407
1985 308
1990 284
1995 287
2000 341
2010 448


Map:Butler Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church (Fresno, California)

Author(s) Luetta Reimer
Date Published September 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Reimer, Luetta. "Butler Church (Fresno, California, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2013. Web. 7 Dec 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Butler_Church_(Fresno,_California,_USA)&oldid=171217.

APA style

Reimer, Luetta. (September 2013). Butler Church (Fresno, California, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Butler_Church_(Fresno,_California,_USA)&oldid=171217.

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