Calvary Mennonite Church (Quarryville, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Calvary Mennonite Church, Quarryville, ca. 1935. Photo courtesy Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Calvary Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite) was located in the village of Mechanic Grove in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The congregation was established in 1914 following a series of community evangelistic meetings held by evangelist Joseph S. Lehman in nearby Baptist and Methodist churches. Lehman was an ordained Mennonite minister, who at that time was out of fellowship with the Mennonite Church (MC). The well attended revival services resulted in as many as 70 persons confessing Christ as Savior. The meetings stimulated a desire by some of the converts to have their own place for worship. The group included members of the Mechanic Grove Mennonite Church (Lancaster Conference, MC).  Approximately 30 persons formed a new congregation with J. S. Lehman as pastor. Assisting Lehman was John W. Swarr who was ordained in the Mechanic Grove Mennonite Church in 1903. Swarr had either been silenced or voluntarily withdrew from the Lancaster Conference congregation in 1909.

The new congregation erected a tabernacle across the field from Mechanic Grove Mennonite Church, at the edge of the village along Route 222. It was a rough structure with a dirt floor, covered with sawdust, and gas lanterns hanging from the ceiling. John Swarr was familiar with the Pine Grove Mennonite congregation of Bowmansville, in northern Lancaster County. He encouraged the new congregation in 1917 to affiliate with Pine Grove's conference, the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church of North America (GCM).

Joseph Lehman served as pastor for two years and was succeeded by Amos Martin of Millersville. Martin, a former Mennonite, was ordained by the United Brethren Church. The congregation was known as the Progressive Mennonite Church until a new church was built in 1921 when the congregation took the name Calvary Mennonite Church. In 1919 the Board of Home Missions of the General Conference began to assist the congregation financially and with pastoral leadership. The board invited Samuel S. Amstutz of Pulaski, Iowa, to serve the congregation as pastor. Amstutz served until the end of 1922. During the next three decades the congregation maintained its mission status and was always small in membership.

Harold Feerrar, who became pastor in 1949, was Baptist in background and encouraged the congregation to withdraw from the Eastern District Conference and the General Conference Mennonite Church. In the spring of 1957, forty years after joining the Eastern District, the congregation severed its conference relationship and became an independent congregation. Shortly thereafter the congregation changed its name to Calvary Independent Church. 

In 1966 the gothic style church building was torn down and a brick church was erected on the same site. After serving the congregation for 35 years, Harold Feerrar retired in 1984. The congregation changed its name to Calvary Independent Baptist Church in 1996. The membership in 2010 was 95.


Official Proceedings of the Eastern District Conference, 1917-1957.

Weaver, Martin G. Mennonites of Lancaster Conference: containing biographical sketches of Mennonite leaders, histories of congregations, missions, and Sunday schools, record of ordinations, and other interesting historical data. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 1931. Reprinted Ephrata, PA: Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church Publication Board, 1982: 399-401.

Additional Information

Address: 1225 Robert Fulton Highway, Quarryville, PA 17566

Phone: 717-786-3991

Web site: Calvary Independent Baptist Church

Calvary Mennonite Church Pastors

Name Years
of Service
Joseph S. Lehman 1914-1916
Amos F. Martin 1917-1920
Samuel S. Amstutz 1921-1922
Daniel J. Unruh 1923-1929
William H. King 1929-1931
George G. Buhler 1931-1934
Sylvan S. Lehman 1935-1944
Alfred Regier 1944-1945
Walter H. McDowell 1946-1948
Harold E. Feerrar, Jr.  1949-1957

Calvary Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1918 24
1920 17
1925 22
1930 55
1935 68
1940 68
1945 64
1950 47
1955 51


Map:Calvary Independent Baptist Church (Quarryville, Pennsylvania)

Author(s) Ray K Hacker
Date Published May 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hacker, Ray K. "Calvary Mennonite Church (Quarryville, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2010. Web. 21 Feb 2024.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=177131.

APA style

Hacker, Ray K. (May 2010). Calvary Mennonite Church (Quarryville, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 February 2024, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=177131.

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