Germfask Mennonite Church (Germfask, Michigan, USA)

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The Germfask Mennonite Church (earlier also known as Fernland Mennonite Church) is located near Germfask, Schoolcraft County, Michigan.

Germfast was the first of a chain of Mennonite congregations begun in Michigan's Upper Peninsula beginning in 1935. C.A. Shank of the Olive congregation and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Mission Board, visited the Upper Peninsula because of his health and believed it was ripe for a Mennonite mission. Consequently summer Bible schools were held at Germfask in 1935 and 1936. In 1937 the mission board placed Chester Osborne at Germfask, making him the first Mennonite pastor in the Upper Peninsula.

In the spring of 1938 Germfask was organized into a congregation. Chester Osborne resigned in October 1947, and Bruce Handrich was ordained and continued as pastor. The congregation met in a school building until 1941, when they built the church. The congregation has worshiped in their fellowship hall because the sanctuary only seats 60 people. The membership in 1955 was is 24. In 2006 the membership was 34; the pastor was J. D. Livermore.

In June 2015 the Germfask congregation withdrew from the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. This move was part of a larger realignment of Mennonite congregations in the 2010s that were formerly part of Mennonite Church USA. These congregations were unhappy with Mennonite Church USA's failure to take stronger disciplinary actions against area conferences and congregations who expressed openness to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.


Kaufman, Doug. "Germfask Mennonite Church Withdrawal." Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. June 2015. Web. 5 June 2017.

Livermore, J. D. "Germfask (Mich.) Mennonite." March 2006. Web. 15 October 2008.

Additional Information

Address: 7511 County Line Road, Germfask, Michigan


Denominational Affiliation:

Author(s) Chester C. Osborne
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Osborne, Chester C. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Germfask Mennonite Church (Germfask, Michigan, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2008. Web. 19 Oct 2020.,_Michigan,_USA)&oldid=165790.

APA style

Osborne, Chester C. and Samuel J. Steiner. (2008). Germfask Mennonite Church (Germfask, Michigan, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 October 2020, from,_Michigan,_USA)&oldid=165790.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 326. All rights reserved.

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