First Mennonite Church (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA)

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First Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne began as a mission upon the authorization of the Ohio Mennonite Conference in 1902, after the repeated requests of John B. Federspiel and wife, Mennonite residents of the city. M. S. Steiner was appointed to open the work, which began at 1921 South Hauna Street, in 1903. In 1904 the mission was moved to 2237 Oliver Street and from there to St. Mary's Avenue. Two years later a church was constructed at 1209 St. Mary's Avenue. In 1915 the present chapel was built on the adjoining lot. The following pastors were in charge of the work at Fort Wayne up to 1955: J. F. Bressler 1903-1905, Ben B. King 1905-1930, Frank Martin 1930-1934, Newton Weber 1934-1941, Allen Ebersole 1941-1952, Rudy Bontrager, beginning service in 1952. Others have served for shorter periods of time. In the early 1920s the Fort Wayne Mission became an organized self-governing congregation, but with limited support from the mission board, which was continued until September 1953, when the congregation became entirely independent of the mission board. The membership in 1955 was 136.

The congregation closed the end of 2015.


Janzen, Peter. "First Mennonite, Fort Wayne Wants to Donate Hymnals." Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. 10 November 2015. Web. 5 June 2017.

King, B. B. "Our Mission Work at Ft. Wayne, Indi­ana." Youth’s Christian Companion. (27 September 1925): 1, 2

Sevits, Esther. "History of the Fort Wayne Mission." Mennonite Historical Bulletin (January 1947): 1, 4.

Additional Information

Address: 1213 Saint Marys Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana


Denominational affiliations:

Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA 

Author(s) Melvin Gingerich
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Gingerich, Melvin. "First Mennonite Church (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 2 Jul 2022.,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=148711.

APA style

Gingerich, Melvin. (1956). First Mennonite Church (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2022, from,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=148711.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 356. All rights reserved.

©1996-2022 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.