Garbers Mennonite Fellowship (Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, USA)
Garber Mennonite Church, originally of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference, is located five miles (eight km) northeast of Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania. By 1814 the scattered members had a church-schoolhouse built in the village of Menges Mills. By 1889 the present house was built. The membership in 1953 was 30, with William H. Martin as pastor, and John L. Ruppert as deacon. Joseph Hershey, at least by 1806, was a resident minister in this district, which also included Hershey and Bair's Codorus until the mid-20th century date. Others who served as ministers at Garbers include Joseph Hershey, Jr. (ordained 1849), Benjamin Hershey (1853), Samuel Roth (1869), Harry Loose (1894).
In 1975 it was part of a group of congregations that withdrew from the Lancaster Mennonite Conference to form the Conservative Mennonite Churches of York and Adams Counties, Pennsylvania (YA). Garbers withdrew from the YA churches in 1985 and was an unaffiliated Mennonite congregation until 1992 when it, consisting of only 12 members, became part of Hope Mennonite Fellowship, (HMF). It was with this change of affiliation that the congregational name was changed from Garbers Mennonite Church to Garbers Mennonite Fellowship.
Donald Stelfox was ordained as minister in 1966 to assist William H. Martin. In 1998, at the age of 65, Donald Stelfox was ordained bishop in HMF for Garbers and Muddy Creek. When his health failed in 2007, his oversight of the Muddy Creek congregation returned to Elvin Horst and his son, James Stelfox, was ordained bishop to succeed him as bishop at Garbers. Others who have served in the ministry at Garbers are listed in the table below.
Because of congregational growth under HMF, the Garbers congregation has been instrumental in the establishment of two other HMF congregations: Allegheny Valley in 2008 and Living Springs in 2016. Summer Bible School has been held since 1951, with a record attendance of 235.
Garbers has operated the Garbers Mennonite School on land adjoining the church property. In the 2015-2016 school year the school had 52 students in grades one through twelve.
In 2016, there were 91 members at Garbers, which at the time included those attending services at Living Springs (a daughter congregation formed from Garbers) in York Springs, Pennsylvania. Later that year, Hope Mennonite Fellowship officially formalized membership changes, causing the number of members at Garbers to decline to around 70. The two congregations remained tightly knit with both Garbers' youth group and school being attended by families of both congregations. In 2017 the membership at Garbers was 73.
Burkholder, Lester M., compiler. History of Hope Mennonite Fellowship 1981-2015. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2016.
Address: 6082 Old Hanover Road, Spring Grove, Pa.
Phone: (717) 225-3722
Denominational Affiliations: Hope Mennonite Fellowship
Garbers Mennonite Fellowship Pastoral Leaders
|Joseph Hershey (Minister)||1806-?|
|Joseph Hershey, Jr. (Minister)||1849-?|
|Benjamin Hershey (Minister)||1853-?|
|Samuel Roth (Minister)||1869-?|
|Harry Loose (Minister)||1894-?|
|Noah H. Mack (Bishop)||1926-1948|
|William H. Martin (Minister)||1931-1982|
|Richard Danner (Bishop)||1935-1985|
|John Ruppert (Deacon)||1949-1960|
|Leroy H. Bair (Deacon)||1961-1971|
|Donald Stelfox (Minister)
|Paul E. Miller (Deacon)||1979-1989|
|Roy Diem (Deacon)||1994-present|
|Joseph Lehman (Minister)||1999-present|
|James Stelfox (Minister)
|Jeffrey Weaver (Minister)||2009-2016|
|Jonathan Ogburn (Deacon)||2011-2014|
|Justin Martin (Deacon)
|Gregory Sensenig (Deacon)||2016-present|
Original Article (1953) from Mennonite Encyclopedia
By Ira D. Landis. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 439. All rights reserved.
Garber Mennonite Church (MC), of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, is located five miles northeast of Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania, in Richard Danner’s bishop district. By 1814 the scattered members had a church-schoolhouse built in the village of Menges Mills. By 1889 the present house was built. The membership in 1953 was 30, with William H. Martin as pastor, and John L. Ruppert as deacon. Joseph Hershey, at least by 1806, was a resident minister in the middle district, which also included Hershey and Bair’s Codorus until a recent date. Summer Bible School has been held since 1951, with 235 in attendance.
|Author(s)||Lester M. Burkholder|
|Ira D. Landis|
|Date Published||June 2016|
Cite This Article
Burkholder, Lester M. and Ira D. Landis. "Garbers Mennonite Fellowship (Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2016. Web. 23 Feb 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Garbers_Mennonite_Fellowship_(Spring_Grove,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=166305.
Burkholder, Lester M. and Ira D. Landis. (June 2016). Garbers Mennonite Fellowship (Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 February 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Garbers_Mennonite_Fellowship_(Spring_Grove,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=166305.
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