Lakeland Mennonite Church (Rock Stream, New York, USA)
Lakeland Mennonite Church, Rock Stream, New York, USA, began in 1994 when three families from the Philips Creek Mennonite Church, in Andover, New York, agreed to begin a new work in the area of Dundee, New York. The three families were Noah and Martha Burkholder of Cato, New York; Allen and Carol Faus of Rock Stream, New York; and Paul and Rose Landis of Almond, New York.
The fledgling congregation requested support from the Mission Board of Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship (MAMF) which assisted in organizing the new congregation. Mission Board involvement was then phased out and responsibility turned over to MAMF. Bishop Howard Weaver of the Millmont congregation agreed to accept responsibility for the new congregation.
A rental building was located in Lakemont, New York, where a spacious basement met the needs of a small group for $200 per month. In light of the temporary location, the name of the group chose the name of Lakeland.
A community Bible school was held at the Lakemont Congregational Christian Church (LCCC) the first full week in August 1994. Vacation Bible School had been discontinued by the local church for approximately ten years and it was enthusiastically received in both the church and community with the first Bible school attendance at 121.
The Mission Board agreed to schedule a MAMF minister three Sundays each month while a search was in progress for a resident pastor. Roy Longenecker, minister in the Millmont congregation, agreed to move to New York and become Lakeland's pastor. Before his plans could be carried out, he was ordained to assist Howard Weaver as bishop at Millmont. Roy then conducted a search to find a pastor for Lakeland.
Dale Eby, who had recently resigned as minister of the Derry Mennonite Church (Lancaster Mennonite Conference) at Danville, Pennsylvania, was asked to move to Dundee, New York, and serve as Lakeland's first pastor. After serious consideration, he accepted the call and moved to New York, bringing the number of families at Lakeland to four.
Under the leadership of Dale Eby, the congregation became fully organized. In April 1995, Lakeland Mennonite Church was officially recognized as a MAMF congregation. Ernie Longenecker, from the Millmont congregation, moved to New York and was ordained as deacon at Lakeland in 2002. In 2009, Nelson Faus was ordained to assist Dale Eby as minister.
The relationship with the LCCC church was harmonious for a number of years. When rent was increased to $1200 per month, another building was sought. Crystal Valley Grange on Route 230 west of Dundee was available and met the congregation's needs well with pews in the upstairs and classrooms in the basement.
A building fund was begun in the early days of Lakeland with the view that a church needs both families and a permanent location. The fund gained momentum as more families moved to the area and joined Lakeland. After more than ten years, a lot was purchased and the building project began. An appeal was sent throughout MAMF for donations and volunteer help. With about 80 percent donated labor and the fund nearly drained, the building was completed. The first service in the new building was held on 5 April 2009 followed by a dedication service on 31 May 2009.
With the opening of the new building, more families joined the Lakeland church. In July 2012, the average Sunday school attendance was 103. Twenty-six families plus a number of single men were listed in the directory. As of 1 January 2013, membership was 72.
Stauffer, Romaine, ed. Mid-Atlantic Mennonite Fellowship 1972-2013. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2014.
Address: 389 Rock Stream Road, Rock Stream, New York 14878
Lakeland Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders
|Date Published||April 2014|
Cite This Article
Stauffer, Romaine. "Lakeland Mennonite Church (Rock Stream, New York, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2014. Web. 20 May 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lakeland_Mennonite_Church_(Rock_Stream,_New_York,_USA)&oldid=122664.
Stauffer, Romaine. (April 2014). Lakeland Mennonite Church (Rock Stream, New York, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lakeland_Mennonite_Church_(Rock_Stream,_New_York,_USA)&oldid=122664.
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