Kalona Mennonite Church (Kalona, Iowa, USA)

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The Kalona Mennonite Church, Kalona, Iowa, USA, had its origins in 1956 when the East Union Mennonite Church decided that summer to hold worship services for its town members in the former Baptist Church in Kalona. Crowded conditions at the East Union facility prompted the decision. East Union approved organizing a separate congregation in Kalona in June 1958. The Kalona Mennonite Church was then organized in July 1958. It joined the Iowa-Nebraska Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) the following month.

The East Union ministers initially served the congregation. Eugene Garber, a member of the Iowa Mennonite School faculty, was licensed to the ministry and installed as pastor of the Kalona congregation on 9 October 1958.

Because of rapid expansion, Kalona Mennonite built a new church building in 1966.

As part of the realignment of the Mennonite Church (MC) and General Conference Mennonite Church into Mennonite Church USA, Kalona Mennonite was among the congregations that joined the new Central Plains Mennonite Conference in 2000.

The congregation suffered a tragedy in 2012 when Mick Murray, one of its ministers, was killed in an automobile accident along with his wife.

In 2023 the congregation remained part of the Central Plains Conference of Mennonite Church USA.


"Bro. Eugene Garber...." Gospel Herald 51, no. 45 (11 November 1958): 1072

"The East Union congregation...." Gospel Herald 49, no. 27 (3 July 1956): 636.

"The Kalona, Iowa, Church...." Gospel Herald 51, no. 31 (5 August 1958): 744.

Miller, Marcus. "Mick and Julie Murray leave a legacy of faithfulness." Scattered Seeds (April 2012): 2.

"Organizing a congregation at Kalona,..." Gospel Herald 51, no. 25 (24 June 1958): 592.

Yoder, Holly Blosser. The same spirit: History of Iowa-Nebraska Mennonites. Freeman, S.D.: Central Plains Mennonite Conference, 2003.

Additional Information

Address: 902 Sixth Street, Kalona, Iowa 52247

Phone: 319-656-2736

Website: https://kalonamennonitechurch.com/

Denominational Affiliations: Central Plains Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Kalona Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
East Union Ministers 1956-1958
Eugene C. Garber (1925-2003) 1958-1965
Richard Lichty 1965-1966
John P. Duerksen (1913-2006) 1967-1968?
Carl L. Smeltzer 1969-1979
Howard Keim 1979-1987
Elton Nussbaum (Associate) 1980-1991?
David L. Groh 1988-1999?
Scott Swartzendruber 1992-2019?
Mickey K. Murray (1965-2012) 1995-2012
Jeff Miller (Interim) 2012-2014
Joshua D. Lundberg 2015-

Membership at Kalona Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1958 130
1960 141
1970 201
1980 253
1990 311
2000 307
2009 349
2020 337

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By A. Lloyd Swartzendruber. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1099. All rights reserved.

Kalona Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), Kalona, Iowa, was organized in July 1958. Two years earlier the Baptist church building, then vacated, was rented to the East Union Mennonite Church for a year and services were begun as a branch of the mother congregation which was becoming somewhat crowded. It was served by the East Union ministers for several years, but is now an organized congregation in the Iowa-Nebraska Mennonite Conference. The charter membership was 130, with Eugene Garber as licensed minister.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published May 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Kalona Mennonite Church (Kalona, Iowa, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2023. Web. 17 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kalona_Mennonite_Church_(Kalona,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=175586.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (May 2023). Kalona Mennonite Church (Kalona, Iowa, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Kalona_Mennonite_Church_(Kalona,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=175586.

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