Calvary Community Church (Washington, Illinois, USA)

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The Calvary Evangelical Mennonite Church (until 2009 Calvary Mennonite Church), Washington, Illinois, was first known as the East Washington Church. It held its first services in May 1866, when Jonathan Yoder began to preach for those Amish families of Woodford and Tazewell counties who did not have church privileges in their community. The people worshiped in private homes until 1869. A 30x40 ft. church was built a few miles east of Washington in 1869. This was replaced in 1906 by a new frame building, and in 1925 by a brick building in the town of Washington. At that time the name of the church was changed from East Washington Church to Calvary Mennonite Church. In 1952 there were 540 members. In 1892 a language difference caused a division of the congregation; the pastor, Michael Kinsinger, and a group of people sympathetic to his views organized the South Washington Church. In 2007 its membership was 325, and the pastor was David Dillon.

For most of its history the congregation was affiliated with the Central Conference Mennonite Church and later the Central District of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Calvary's relationship to the conference became more distant over the years, partly over theological differences with the direction of the Central District. In August 2008, Calvary Mennonite withdrew from the conference and joined the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (formerly known as the Evangelical Mennonite Church).

In the late 2010s the congregation again changed its name to Calvary Community Church.


Central District Conference Reporter (July 2009): 2, 5.

Reimer, Kristi. "Calvary Mennonite Church, Washington, Illinois" FEConnections (Fall 2008): 3.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 55-57, 61, 65, 77.

Smith, Willard. Mennonites in Illinois. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1983: 534-535.

Weaver, William B. History of the Central Conference Mennonite church. Danvers, Ill.: The author, 1926.

Additional Information

Address: 112 Calvary Way, Washington, Illinois 61571

Phone: 309-444-2722


Denominational Affiliation: Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Pastoral Leaders at Calvary Community Church

Name Years
of Service
Joseph Stuckey (1826-1902)(Bishop) 1864-1875
Peter Stuckey (1844-1929)
Peter Guengerich (1825-1898) 1868-1880
Jacob Unzicker (1808-1893) 1869-1893
Michael Kinsinger (1849-1912)
David D. Augspurger (1853-1935) 1890-1892
Valentine Strubhar (1859-1941)
1893-ca. 1900
ca. 1900-1935
Benjamin Esch (1887-1971) 1911-1951
Harry Yoder (1904-2003) 1951-1955
Heinz D. Janzen (1927-2011) 1956-1965
Ward W. Shelly (1914-1997) 1965-1979
Walter H. Dyck (1908-1996) 1979-1980
Gary G. Stenson (1934- ) 1980-1990
Robert Sprunger (1956- )(Associate) 1981-1989
Ed King 1990-1995
Eric Musser (Youth) 1989-1994?
Jeffrey D. Ressler (Youth) 1995?-2002?
Milo D. Nussbaum (1924-2016)(Interim) 1995-1997
Verle A. Brubaker 1997-2004?
David Dillon (Interim) 2004?-2008?
Paul Scott (Youth) 2004?-2010?
Kenneth R. Sistrunk 2008-2016
Clayton Tinervin 2010-
Ben Henderson (Associate) 2017?-

Membership at Calvary Community Church

Year Membership
1950 553
1960 470
1970 512
1980 508
1990 452
2000 402
2007 325

Author(s) Grace Miller
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published January 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Miller, Grace and Samuel J. Steiner. "Calvary Community Church (Washington, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2023. Web. 27 Feb 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174527.

APA style

Miller, Grace and Samuel J. Steiner. (January 2023). Calvary Community Church (Washington, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174527.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 494-495. All rights reserved.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.