Freeport Mennonite Church (Freeport, Illinois, USA)

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The Freeport Mennonite Church, Freeport, Illinois, USA, had its roots in Mennonite settlers northeast of Freeport in the early 1840s. First were Samuel and Martin Lapp from Ontario, Canada, but earlier from Clarence Center, New York. The Freeport church was organized in the mid-1840s, possibly 1845. Initially, the congregation met in homes every second Sunday.

In 1862 or 1863, the congregation built its first meetinghouse, a white frame building, on land donated by Samuel Lapp. Martin Lapp was probably the first minister, though others believe it was John Brubaker. The building was enlarged about 1888, and again in 1912 and in 1943

Freeport was a charter member of the Illinois Mennonite Conference when it formed in 1872.

Freeport Mennonite Church began supporting the Mennonite Central Committee's meat canning program in 1951.


Smith, Willard H. Mennonites in Illinois. Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, 24. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1983: 41-43, 188-191, 545.

Additional Information

Address: 3416 East Brick School Road, Dakota, Illinois 61032

Phone: 815.255-0943


Denominational Affiliations: Illinois Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Freeport Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Martin Lapp (1801-1875) 1845-1855
John Brubaker (1794-1855) 1848-1855
Matthias Eby (1809-1894)
Christian Snyder (1819-1872) 1864-1872
Christian C. Snavely (1831-1905) 1875-1905
Ephraim Shellenberger (1837-1919) 1878-1887
Joseph S. Lehman (1847-1936) 1887-1892
Joseph S. Shoemaker (1845-1936)
John V. Fortner (1854-1946) 1899-1946
Simon E. Graybill (1873-1941) 1903-1941
Howard J. Zehr (1916-1977) 1941-1950
Richard J. Yordy (1922-1995) 1950-1960
Donald W. Blosser 1960-1969
Paul O. King (1921-2016) 1970-1981
Robert E. Nolt 1982-1994
Paul C. Sieber (1921-2019) 1994-1995
Dennis Stutzman 1995-2001?
Marvin W. Thill (Interim) 2002?-2004?
Mark Vincent (Interim) 2004?-2005
David J. Schrader 2005-2017
Gerry Krupp (Intentional Interim) 2018-2019
Jacob Landis (Interim) 2017-2020
Kenneth Hawes 2020-

Freeport Mennonite Church Membership

Year Members
1891 55
1907 75
1913 72
1920 73
1930 90
1940 118
1950 159
1960 151
1970 162
1980 195
1990 148
2000 152
2009 128
2020 95

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Howard J. Zehr. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 390. All rights reserved.

Freeport Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located about 7.5 miles northeast of Freeport, Stephenson County, Illinois, is a member of the Illinois Conference, and in 1954 had a membership of 170. It was organized about 1845 by Mennonite settlers from Ontario. The first building was constructed about 1863, and to meet the increasing membership was enlarged about 1888, and again in 1912 and in 1943. The first Sunday school was organized in 1878, the young people's meetings in 1890, and the sewing circle in 1910. The congregation through its history has ordained three deacons, ten ministers, and three bishops. In 1954 Richard Yordy was pastor and bishop.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2024

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Freeport Mennonite Church (Freeport, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2024. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=178249.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2024). Freeport Mennonite Church (Freeport, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=178249.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.