Columbus Mennonite Church (Columbus, Ohio, USA)

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Historical video prepared by congregation in 2018.

The Columbus Mennonite Fellowship in Columbus, Ohio, USA, began in 1958 as an informal student fellowship created for Bible study and mutual support. The Ohio Mennonite Mission Board supplied assistance by providing occasional preachers for worship, though its participants came from a variety of Mennonite groups. Many of its participants were graduate students at the nearby Ohio State University. The group formalized its membership on 16 September 1962.

The Fellowship met in a variety of places, including a period of time in the early 1960s in a large house on Indianola Avenue. In spring 1965, the congregation purchased a former Presbyterian church at West Sixth and Neil Avenue. It became known as the Neil Avenue Mennonite Church, a name it retained until it moved again in October 1998 to the former Clintonville Baptist Church that provided larger and newer facilities. It then reverted to Columbus Mennonite Church.

In April 1964, the congregation joined the Central District of the General Conference Mennonite Church and several weeks later joined the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC). It joined as the Columbus Mennonite Church. It was the first of the early dual-conference congregations. In around 2006, it withdrew from the Ohio Conference.

The congregation has always been engaged in social action projects. In the 1960s, this included repair and housing upgrade work in a poor African American area of Columbus. In the 1970s, it was a Paul's Porch ministry to homeless men in the university area (1975-1982). In the 1980s, Neil Avenue became an early participant in the sanctuary movement for undocumented immigrants. In the 1990s, the congregation began to attract more persons of non-Mennonite background. In the 2000s, it participated in the B.R.E.A.D. program that emphasizes restorative justice.

In 2022 the congregation was part of the Central District Conference.


"Church bought in Columbus." The Mennonite 80, no. 15 (13 April 1963): 249.

"Columbus Mennonite Church...." Gospel Herald 55, no. 39 (2 October 1962): 874.

Leahy, Matthew. "CMC through the decades." Columbus Mennonite Church. 2018. 29 July 2022.

"A Mennonite student fellowship...." Gospel Herald 51, no. 4 (28 January 1958): 84.

"Mennonite Student Fellowship." Gospel Herald 54, no. 2 (10 January 1961): 32.

"The new name is 'Columbus Mennonite Church'." The Central District Reporter 42, no. 6 (November-December 1998): 4.

"Ohio Church joins twice." The Mennonite 79, no. 27 (14 July 1964): 452.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 75.

Additional Information

Address: 35 Oakland Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43214-4146

Phone: 614-784-9002


Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Columbus Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Lay Leadership 1958-1965
Glenn Esh 1965-1973
A. J. Metzler (Interim) 1973-1974
James L. Derstine 1974-1979
Weldon Schlonegar 1980-1983
Donald D. Nofziger 1984-1989
Dan Graber (Interim) 1991
Daniel P. Schrock 1991-2002
Charles Shenk (Congregational Care) 2000-2003?
Ruth Shenk (Congregational Care) 2000-2003?
Joyce M. Wyse (Interim) 2002-2004?
Steven Goering 2004-2012
Susan Ortman Goering 2004-2012
Joel R. Miller 2013-present
Mark D. Rupp (Christian Formation) 2014-present

Membership at Columbus Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1962 24
1965 35
1970 65
1980 80
1990 123
2000 156
2007 145
2020 156

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published July 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Columbus Mennonite Church (Columbus, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2022. Web. 26 Feb 2024.,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=174028.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (July 2022). Columbus Mennonite Church (Columbus, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=174028.

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