Living Hope Community Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA)

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Living Hope Community Church, Hopedale, Illinois, USA
Source: Church website

The Boynton Mennonite Church (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches), on the north edge of Boynton Township, Tazewell County, Illinois, initially belonged to the Central Conference of Mennonites (later Central District Conference). Due to the desire of several Hessian Mennonite families, who differed from their Amish (now Mennonite) neighbors culturally, the congregation was organized on 15 September 1901 under the guidance of Peter Schantz of Danvers, Illinois. The original meetinghouse, dedicated 14 September 1902, still served the congregation in 1953 when it numbered 104. After 1942 the church also owned a parsonage in Hopedale.

In 1967 the congregation voted to build a new church in the village of Hopedale. The first worship service was held on 19 July 1970. In September 1980 a church spire and sign were dedicated. On 13 June 2004 the church broke ground for an new sanctuary and fellowship hall attached to the existing building. In July of 2006 Boynton held the first Sunday morning service in the new sanctuary. The 2009 membership was 72.

In June 2012, the church notified the Central District Conference that it was leaving the Conference and was joining the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches. The congregation had begun to discern its ties to the Conference in 2009 and made the final decision after three same-sex civil unions had been performed by the pastor of another church in the conference.

Shortly after this change, the church changed its name to Living Hope Community Church.


"3 Churches Leave Western, Central Districts." Mennonite World Review (15 October 2012). Web. 19 October 2012.

 "Boynton Mennonite History." Boynton Mennonite Church. Web. 30 September 2009. [Broken link].

Estes, Steve. "Celebrating God's faithfulness." Central District Reporter (24 March 1987): A1

Additional Information

Address: 326 NW Jefferson St , Hopedale, Illinois, United States, 61747-9206

Phone: 309-449-5503

Website: Boynton Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Central District Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Pastoral Leaders at Living Hope Community Church

Name Years
of Service
Peter Schantz (1853-1925) 1901-1908
John W. Litwiller (1874-1955) 1908-1922
Lester Homer Bixel (1890-1934) 1921-1924
Frank R. Mitchell (1896-1972) 1924-1927
Ernest Hostetler (1894-1968) 1924-1945
Willard Wieker (?-1967) 1945
Maynard M. Shelly (1925-2009) 1946-1950
Melvin F. Funk (1919- ) 1950-1953
Paul Dyck (1926-2019) 1953-1954
William B. Weaver (1887-1963) 1954-1960
Louis L. Miller (1886-1981) (Interim) 1961
Harvey E. Nunemaker (1893-1972) 1961-1965
Samuel Ummel (1892-1969) 1965-1969
Melvin C. Norquist (1916-2017) 1969
Ivan J. Kauffmann (1922-2016) 1968
Edward Springer (1939- ) 1968-1972
Herschel Thompson 1972-1976
Donald Hochmuth (1953- ) 1976-1977
Herbert M. Dalke (1918-2012) 1977-1984
Robert Brock 1977
Steven R. Estes (1956-2009) 1984-1992
Chris Wright 1993-1996?
Joe Diener (Interim) 1997-1998
Eric Horst 1998?-2001
Kurt Litwiller 2001-2016
Abraham Cremeens (Associate) 2001?-2004?
Roger Springer 2017-

Membership at Living Hope Community Church

Year Membership
1950 120
1960 85
1970 77
1980 50
1990 79
2000 72
2009 72


Map:Boynton Mennonite Church (Hopedale, Illinois)

Author(s) Melvin F. Funk
Richard D. Thiessen
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published January 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Funk, Melvin F., Richard D. Thiessen and Samuel J. Steiner. "Living Hope Community Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2023. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174496.

APA style

Funk, Melvin F., Richard D. Thiessen and Samuel J. Steiner. (January 2023). Living Hope Community Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174496.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 399. All rights reserved.

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