Garden Community Church (Hesston, Kansas, USA)

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Garden Community Church (formerly Garden Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite)), about halfway between Moundridge and Halstead, Kansas, was organized in 1887, by about 15 families (51 charter members), of Garden Township, Harvey County. D. W. Schmitt and Jacob Vogt, Sr., planned the building, and Katie M. Krehbiel of Halstead donated the plot for the church, which was dedicated on 9 September 1888. The first deacons were Jacob Vogt, Sr., D. T. Eyman, and John Dettweiler. Among the early settlers were names such as these: Leisy, Schmutz, Schmitt, Eyman, Dettweiler, Schowalter, Latchar, Berger, Bachman, Vogt. A number of these early settlers later moved to the west coast.

On 30 August 1890, S. S. Baumgartner began his service of nearly 20 years as minister and elder, during which the membership grew to 147. Other ministers serving this church up to 1955 were A. A. Sommer, H. P. Peters, N. R. Kaufman, J. R. Duerksen, J. M. Janzen, A. J. Dirks, and Victor Graber. The membership in 1955 was 90, with Virgil Dirks as pastor.

The Garden congregation was theologically very conservative. When the Western District Conference, of which it was a member, joined the Kansas Council of Churches in 1966, it caused deep concern in the congregation. Earlier conflict between one of its ministers, Victor Graber, and the conference added to the difficulties. In 1969 the Garden congregation withdrew from the conference and became an independent Bible church.


Haury, David A. Prairie People: a History of the Western District Conference. Newton, KS: Faith and Life Press, 1981: 341, 345.

Additional Information

Garden Community Church website

Author(s) Fred A., Mrs. Rilling
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published 2007

Cite This Article

MLA style

Rilling, Fred A., Mrs. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Garden Community Church (Hesston, Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2007. Web. 6 Dec 2021.,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=166622.

APA style

Rilling, Fred A., Mrs. and Samuel J. Steiner. (2007). Garden Community Church (Hesston, Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2021, from,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=166622.

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