First Mennonite Church (Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)

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The Allentown First Mennonite Church (MC USA) originally was part of the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. From 1893 to 1902 the Mennonite families who had moved to Allentown met for occasional services in rented halls. On 3 August 1903 they organized a congregation. They purchased a lot, on which they built a small frame meetinghouse, in 1905. A substantial brick meetinghouse was built in 1915. The membership in 1908 was sixty-nine; in 1953 it was 221. By 2000 the membership was about 100, and by 2005 it had dropped to 35. The congregation closed on 15 January 2006. A new church plant by the Eastern District Conference, Christ Fellowship, began using the First Mennonite building in 2006.

Early ministers and their terms of service include William H. Grubb, 1903-1905; W. S. Gottshall, 1905-1909; A. M. Fretz supplied 1909-1910; S. P. Preheim, 1910-1912; A. M. Fretz supplied 1912; Victor B. Boyer, 1913-1929; Howard G. Nyce, 1929-1948; Maynard Shelly, 1949-.

Early deacons and their terms of service include Harvey S. Kummery, 1903-1941; Herbert S. Stauffer, 1918-1920; Menno Sell, 1921-1941; Victor C. Backensto, 1941- ; William H. Mohr, 1941-.


"History of the Allentown Congregation." Mennonite Yearbook and Almanac (Quakertown, PA, 1906).

"First Mennonite Church, Allentown, Pa."Yearbook of the General Conference (Newton, KS, 1944).

"First Mennonite Church of Allentown, Pennsylvania." First Mennonite Church. February 2006. Accessed 8 July 2006. <>

Wenger, John C. History of the Mennonites in the Franconia Conference. Telford, PA: Franconia Mennonite Historical Society, 1937.

Author(s) J. Herbert Fretz
Kevin Enns-Rempel
Date Published 2006

Cite This Article

MLA style

Fretz, J. Herbert and Kevin Enns-Rempel. "First Mennonite Church (Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2006. Web. 23 Jan 2021.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=74662.

APA style

Fretz, J. Herbert and Kevin Enns-Rempel. (2006). First Mennonite Church (Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 January 2021, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=74662.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 57. All rights reserved.

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