Evanston Mennonite Church (Evanston, Illinois, USA)

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The Evanston Mennonite Fellowship began in 1959 as an informal fellowship composed of students and families living in Evanston, Illinois, as well as men serving in I-W. After a December 1959 meeting with Illinois Mennonite Conference officials and representatives from the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities, a group voted to launch a congregation at a meeting held on 18 April 1960. Laurence Horst provided initial leadership in the formation process. It began as an organized congregation on 28 February 1961; at the time, it met at the Ecumenical Institute on Ridge Avenue until that space was no longer available.

In 1962 the small congregation purchased a former Nazarene Church on Davis Street for $25,000. It remained in this location until the mid-1970s. The end of the Vietnam War and the military draft appeared to have a negative effect on the congregation, and the congregation became smaller.

It sold its church building in the mid-1970s and in 1976, purchased a six-unit apartment building that it used as its meeting place. The group continued as a house church with lay leadership. During these years, it referred to itself as the Evanston Mennonite Fellowship. It purchased the apartment building on Dobson Street to provide a facility that "would aid our ongoing search for Christian community in the urban setting, give visibility and stability to our Christian witness, and provide suitable housing for members and friends."

Sometime in the late 2000s, the group sold the apartment building and began to rent meeting space. In 2020 this was the Hemenway United Methodist Church on Chicago Avenue.

In 1979 the Fellowship also joined the Central District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church.

In 2021 the congregation was part of the Illinois Mennonite Conference and the Central District Conference.


"The Evanston Mennonite Church...." Gospel Herald 55, no. 8 (20 February 1962): 171.

"The Evanston Mennonite Fellowship...." Gospel Herald 69, no. 20 (18 May 1976): 432.

Horst, Laurence M. "A Mennonite Church in Evanston." 53, no. 22 Gospel Herald (31 May 1960): 497-498.

"Illinois--The Illinois Mennonite Mission Board...." Gospel Herald 55, no. 14 (3 April 1962): 324.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 79.

Smucker, Mary I. "Evanston Mennonite Church dedicated." 54, no. 14 Gospel Herald (4 April 1961): 311.

Additional Information

Meeting Address: Hemenway United Methodist Church, 933 Chicago Ave, Evanston, Illinois 60202

Mailing Address: PO Box 6397, Evanston, IL 60204-6397



Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Evanston Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Lay Leadership 1959-1963
Laurence M. Horst (1915-2011) 1963-1969
James Lehman 1970
James A. Burkholder (1934-2018) 1971-1973
Lay Leadership 1973-1989
Mitchell C. Brown 1989-2017?
Robert Brunk Harnish 1992-1997?
Doug Hostetter (Peace Pastor) 2003-?
Lay Leadership 2017-?

Membership at Evanston Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1961 22
1970 42
1980 18
1990 22
2000 24
2007 30
2020 22

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published August 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Evanston Mennonite Church (Evanston, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2022. Web. 17 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Evanston_Mennonite_Church_(Evanston,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174124.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (August 2022). Evanston Mennonite Church (Evanston, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Evanston_Mennonite_Church_(Evanston,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174124.

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