Grace Mennonite Church (Pandora, Ohio, USA)
Grace Mennonite Church in Pandora, Ohio, USA was part of the larger Swiss Mennonite congregation in and around Bluffton. Following 1900 members in outlying parts of the Swiss Mennonite community called for more frequent services in their area. The Bluffton group wanted worship services every Sunday and, in 1901, proposed that a church be erected in Bluffton. The St. John’s group also asked that services be held in the St. John building every Sunday morning. Others called for services to be held in the Pandora area.
Rev. Samuel F. Sprunger of Berne, Indiana, assisted in the organization of the new Grace Mennonite Church in April 1904. The new group elected Peter P. Steiner, Peter B. Hilty, and Christian P. Schumacher as deacons and Albert Schütz, Philip Neuenschwander, and Peter A. Amstutz as trustees. It initially held services in Pandora's Methodist Episcopal Church but dedicated a new building on 26 February 1905. A. R. Schormann was ordained as pastor of the congregation that evening.
The congregation added an education wing in 1964 and renovated the sanctuary in 2011.
Grace Mennonite Church experienced controversy in the 1980s over the presence of American flags in the sanctuary. This may have contributed to a drop in membership.
Hirschler, Edmund John. A Brief History of the Swiss Mennonite Churches of Putnam and Allen Counties, Ohio: Written for the Centenary of the Origin of the Swiss Mennonite Churches Held on July 4, 1937 at Bluffton, Ohio. Bluffton, Ohio: Historical Committee, 1937.
Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 61.
Address: 502 East Main Street, Pandora, Ohio
Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference
Pastoral Leaders at Grace Mennonite Church and its predecessors
|John Moser (1826-1908)||1853-1908|
|Christian Zimmerly (1841-1916)||1876-1900|
|Benjamin Diller (1845-1919)||1881-1919|
|Friedrich Zeller (1820-1903)||1891-1903|
|Peter P. Hilty (1871-1959)||1904|
|Albert R. Schormann (1882-1941)||1905-1906|
|Otto Lichti (1875-1920)||1906-1908|
|Albert Schumacher (1884-1955)||1908-1917|
|John F. Moyer (1885-1955)||1917-1920|
|John M. Regier (1885-1960)||1920-1928|
|Paul E. Whitmer (1876-1966)||1929-1941|
|Forrest Musser (1904-1994)||1941-1945|
|Ernest J. Bohn (1894-1992)||1946-1959|
|Wilmer S. Shelly (1893-1981)(Interim)||1959-1960|
|Virgil M. Gerig (1918-2006)||1960-1968|
|Loris A. Habegger (1918-2009)||1968-1972|
|Roger Siebert (1935-1986)||1973-1982|
|Ruth Brunk Stoltzfus (1915-2008)(Interim)||1982-1983|
|C. Nevin Miller (1927-1993)(Interim)||1985-1986|
|Claude F. Boyer (1929-2013)||1986-1994|
|John M. Dey||1994-2006?|
|David T. Maurer (Associate)||2002?-2008?|
|Robert Burdette (Transitional)||2008?-2009?|
|Dennis Schmidt (Co-pastor)||2009-2016|
|Dianne Schmidt (Co-pastor)||2009?-2016|
|Matthew P. Yoder||2017-present|
Membership at Grace Mennonite Church
Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article
By Ernest J. Bohn. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 560. All rights reserved.
Grace Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located in Pandora, Putnam County, Ohio, a member of the Central District Conference, was organized 12 May 1904 under the leadership of F. S. Sprunger, pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Berne, Indiana, with 206 charter members, the great majority of whom had withdrawn from the St. John Mennonite Church near Pandora. The church building, which is still in use, was completed in 1905 with a seating capacity of 750. In 1954 the total baptized membership was 415. Ministers who have served the congregation are Peter P. Hilty, Albert R. Shoremann, Peter W. Penner, Otto Lichti, Albert Schumacher, John T. Moyer, John M. Regier, Paul E. Whitmer, Forrest Musser, and Ernest J. Bohn.
|Author(s)||Samuel J Steiner|
|Date Published||October 2022|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Samuel J. "Grace Mennonite Church (Pandora, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2022. Web. 1 Dec 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grace_Mennonite_Church_(Pandora,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=174192.
Steiner, Samuel J. (October 2022). Grace Mennonite Church (Pandora, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 December 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Grace_Mennonite_Church_(Pandora,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=174192.
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