Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)

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Clinton Frame Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana, 2012.
Photo by John Yoder; used with permission

Clinton Frame Mennonite Church, located in Clinton Township, Elkhart County, Indiana, five miles (eight km) east of Goshen, was the first Amish Mennonite church organized in Indiana. The first services were held on Easter Day of 1842.

The first meetinghouse was built in 1848 at the location where the present church stands, which was built in 1888 and enlarged in 1913 and 1949. Two divisions have occurred in the congregation. The first (Old Order Amish, 1855-1865) was the result of differences on the question of whether to baptize in the  meetinghouse or in a stream. The second division at Clinton Frame came in 1892 when approximately 40 members left to organize the Silver Street Mennonite Church. Among the issues at that time were questions relating to the regulation of attire and open communion.

In July 1944 a church in the village of Benton, also in Elkhart County, about five miles (eight km) southwest of the Clinton Frame Church, was purchased by the congregation and regular services held since then (1954). In 1948 this Benton mission church became an independent congregation in the Indiana-Michigan Conference. This action took about 40 members out of the Clinton Frame congregation. The 1954 membership was 200. In 2011 the membership was 511; the lead pastor was Terry L. Diener.

Bishops who have served this church were Jonas Troyer, Benjamin Schrock, D. J. Johns, D. D. Troyer, and Edwin J. Yoder. Ministers who have served are Christian Plank, Eli Miller, D. D. Troyer, Silas Yoder, Ira S. Johns, Verle Hoffman, Galen Johns, and Vernon Bontreger. The ministers in the 1954 were Vernon Bontreger, pastor, and Ira S. Johns, minister. Deacons who served up to 1950 were Daniel Schrock, Ira S. Johns, David Yontz, Vernon Bontreger, and Norman Kauffman.

The first Sunday school was organized in 1876. The first Mennonite Church Sunday-school conference in the United States was held at the Clinton Frame Church in 1892.

On 4 June 2014 the congregation voted to leave the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference at the end of that month, and on 26 April 2015 the congregation voted to leave Mennonite Church USA on 30 June 2015. It considered joining the South Central Mennonite Conference in order to remain part of Mennonite Church USA, but did not do so. The congregation became a founding member of the Evana Network.


Groff, Anna. "Clinton Frame to Join Evana." The Mennonite. 28 April 2015. Web. 28 April 2015.

Groff, Anna. "Clinton Frame Votes to Leave Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference." The Mennonite. 9 June 2014. Web. 9 June 2014.

Johns, Ira S. "Early Amish Settlers in Indiana and Clinton Frame Church History." Mennonite Historical Bulletin: III, 3.

Schrock, D.  A History of the Clinton Frame Church. Scottdale, 1927.

Yoder, Kelli. "Church leaves Indiana-Michigan: Goshen congregation exploring transfer to South Central Conference." Mennonite World Review 23 June 2014. Web. 5 June 2017.

Additional Information

Address: 63846 County Road 35, Goshen, Indiana

Phone: 574-642-3165

Website: Clinton Frame Mennonite Church

Denominational/Network Affiliations

Evana Network


Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana)

Author(s) Ira S Johns
Date Published April 2015

Cite This Article

MLA style

Johns, Ira S. "Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2015. Web. 30 Jun 2022.,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=168143.

APA style

Johns, Ira S. (April 2015). Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 June 2022, from,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=168143.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 627-628. All rights reserved.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.