Ebersole, Melinda Martin (1860-1933)

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The first long-term worker at the Mennonite Home Mission in Chicago, Melinda Ebersole was born 20 August 1860 near Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, the third daughter of David D. and Anna Martin Ebersole. At the age of nine, she came to Sterling, Illinois, with her parents. In 1891, she confessed Christ at a revival Meeting led by John S. Coffman, and dedicated her life to serve others. In May 1894, she went to Chicago to enter nurse's training but instead joined the staff of the Home Mission, which had opened several months earlier: She was involved in visitation, Sunday school work, and teaching and also started a sewing class for girls. In 1896, the Home Mission closed due to lack of financial and spiritual support from the Mennonite Church (MC) as a whole. Melinda stayed on in Chicago with two other workers and did practical nursing to support their continuing missionary efforts. The mission reopened in November 1897, sponsored by the Mennonite Evangelizing and Benevolent Board. Melinda served there until 1914, when she returned to Sterling, Illinois., to take care of her aging mother. She later was elected president of the Illinois district of the Mennonite Women's Missionary Society (1919-1921). Melinda continued her visits and contacts with the Home Mission until late in her life. She died in Sterling, Illinois on 6 March 1933.


Umble, John. Mennonite Pioneers. Mennonite Publishing House: Scottdale, PA 1940: 41-53.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 147-149.

History Manuscripts 11-15, Box 119, folder 5, John F. Funk Collection, MC USA Archives (Goshen).

History Manuscripts. 1-201, Box 8, folder 3, Clara Eby Steiner Collection, MC USA Archives (Goshen).

Author(s) Rachel A Shenk
Date Published 1990

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MLA style

Shenk, Rachel A. "Ebersole, Melinda Martin (1860-1933)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 14 Jul 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ebersole,_Melinda_Martin_(1860-1933)&oldid=104416.

APA style

Shenk, Rachel A. (1990). Ebersole, Melinda Martin (1860-1933). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 July 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ebersole,_Melinda_Martin_(1860-1933)&oldid=104416.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 253. All rights reserved.

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