College Hill Mennonite Church (Tampa, Florida, USA)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The College Hill Mennonite Church in Tampa, Florida, USA, began in 1952 as an outreach of the Tampa Mennonite Mission sponsored by the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. The Tampa Mennonite Mission began in 1927 through the missionary efforts of Charles B. and Anna Byer. The original mission was directed to Hispanic immigrants and became known as the Ida Street Mennonite Church. The Ybor Mennonite Mission, also directed to Spanish-speaking immigrants, began in 1930. These two congregations merged in the 1960s and became the North Tampa Christian Fellowship. The College Hill initiative was to the African American community in Tampa. The "Mission to Negroes" as it was initially called, opened 7 December 1952, with Alvin Weaver serving as superintendent. It was initially located at 2802 Buffalo Avenue (now Martin Luther King Blvd.).

The church held its first service in its building on Machado Street on 7 December 1956. For much of its history, College Hill was primarily an outreach to the community's children, holding children’s church services, Vacation Bible School, clubs, and social activities. When Pastor John Moore arrived in 1983, he began to transition College Hill into a fully-functioning “adult church.” This transition was continued — and completed — when Roy Williams began in 1985. At the time, College Hill was made up of about 12 active members, operating on a shoestring budget, who went out into the community, visited people, and invited them to church.

College Hill has continued its emphasis on community outreach and programming. Its food pantry has served 300 to 500 families per week, with food and information and services. Local organizations are invited to set up tables and talk to the guests about insurance, voter registration, and similar topics.

With a mission statement of “Perfecting Saints for Ministry,” College Hill Mennonite Church has continued to invest in its people through mentorship and leadership training, preparing people for ministry, whether at College Hill or elsewhere.

In 2020 College Hill Mennonite Church was part of the Mosaic Mennonite Conference. In May 1978, College Hill changed its affiliation from the Lancaster Mennonite Conference to the Southeast Mennonite Conference to relate to a conference located closer to the church. When the Southeast Conference voted to leave Mennonite Church USA, College Hill was among a number of congregations who chose to remain with Mennonite Church USA and thus joined the Mosaic Mennonite Conference in November 2020.


"Bro. Alvin Weaver...." Gospel Herald 46, no. 8 (24 February 1952): 181.

"Congregational Profile: College Hill Mennonite Church." Mosaic Mennonite Conference. 27 October 2020. Web. 5 November 2020.

Additional Information

Address: 3506 Machado St, Tampa, Florida 33605

Phone: 813-247-2798


Denominational Affiliations:

Mosaic Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Leading Pastors at College Hill Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Alvin Weaver (1896-1997) 1952-1963
Amos O. Sweigart (1914-1970) 1963-1970
Larry J. Crumbly 1970-1973?
Leon Oberholtzer 1972-1973?
James C. Bucher 1974-1977
A. George Stoltzfoos 1977-1981?
James Bucher 1981-1983
John Moore 1983-1985
Roy Williams 1985-present

Membership at College Hill Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1958 7
1960 20
1970 42
1980 43
1990 58
2000 76
2007 89

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By T. H. Brenneman. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 682-683. All rights reserved.

Tampa Mennonite Mission (Mennonite Church), 1407 Ida Street, Tampa, Florida, operated by the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, was the outgrowth of the missionary efforts of C. B. Byer and wife, who came to the city in 1927. It was also known as the Ida Street Mennonite Church. For a time, services were held in a tent on 15th Street; and in 1929, the present church was built. Work among the Spanish - speaking people (mostly Cubans) was carried on in rented buildings until 1946, when the property was bought at 1613 9th Avenue to serve as a meeting place and as kindergarten and first and second grades of school. The Ida Street mission and work among Latins (the Ybor City Mission) were considered one congregation until 1949. The membership in 1949 was 34. In 1952 the College Hill Mission at 3506 Machado Avenue was begun among African Americans. The membership in the three missions in 1958 was: Ida Street 20, with Martin Lehman as pastor; Ybor City 20, with Isaac Frederick; and College Hill 7, with Alvin Weaver. Ybor City conducts a Christian day school, called Sharon, with John Wenger as principal.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published November 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "College Hill Mennonite Church (Tampa, Florida, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2020. Web. 27 Feb 2024.,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=177026.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (November 2020). College Hill Mennonite Church (Tampa, Florida, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2024, from,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=177026.

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