Meadows Mennonite Church (Chenoa, Illinois, USA)

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The Meadows Mennonite Church, Chenoa, Illinois, USA, began in the winter of 1890 when local Amish Mennonites organized a congregation. Amish Mennonites began living around Meadows in 1874. They came from Alsace Lorraine and France and included families like the Sommers, the Roches, the Verclers, and the Claudons.

In the spring of 1891, they built a meetinghouse north of Meadows. In August of the same year, the congregation chose Joseph Kinsinger, who had come from Germany, and Andrew Vercler, as candidates for the ministry. They were ordained by Bishop Joseph Stuckey on 30 August 1891. In 1908 the congregation built a larger building in the town of Meadows. It renovated and enlarged that building in 1953.

The Central Conference and the Defenceless Mennonites constructed the Mennonite Old People's Home, near the Meadows Mennonite Church, in 1922-1923. George Gundy served as pastor of the church and administrator of the home for 22 years.

In 1965 the congregation explored a possible merger with the Flanagan Mennonite Church or the Waldo Mennonite Church. However, none of the proposals moved ahead. Instead, Meadows constructed a new building, with the first service held on 20 August 1967.

The congregation voted to close in August 2007 when regular attendance had dropped to about 30. It transferred the church and parsonage to Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community.


Johnson, Janeen Bertsche. "Meadows closes after 117 Years of Ministry." Central District Conference Reporter 51, no. 5 (September 2007): 1, 6.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 38, 158-159.

Smith, Willard H. Mennonites in Illinois. Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, 24. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1983: 96-97, 288-289, 537.

Weaver, William B. History of the Central Conference Mennonite Church. Danvers, Ill: The author, 1926: 85-86. Available in full electronic text at

Additional Information

Address: 24955 Church Street, Chenoa, Illinois 61726



Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Meadows Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Andrew Vercler (1850-1928)
Joseph Kinsinger (1855-1925)
Aaron Roszhart (1887-1918) 1916-1918
George I. Gundy (1880-1951) 1925-1951
Frank R. Mitchell (1896-1972) 1952
Lotus E. Troyer (1915-1994)
Bruno A. Penner (1928-2020) 1966-1975
Leo L. Miller (1926-2004) 1976-1986
John Kroeker (1936-2022) 1987-1990
Florence Schloneger (Co-Pastor) 1991-1998
Weldon Schloneger (Co-Pastor) 1992-1998
Thelma Horner (Interim) 1998-1999
John E. Heyerly 1999-2007

Membership at Meadows Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1950 298
1960 249
1970 219
1980 208
1990 194
2000 145
2007 92

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Lotus E. Troyer. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 547. All rights reserved.

Meadows Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), on U.S. Highway 24 midway between Chenoa and Gridley, was a member of the Central District Conference, was organized in 1891, when a white frame building was constructed three quarters of a mile north of Meadows. In 1908 it moved to its present location in Meadows and remodeled. It was again remodeled, enlarged, and re-dedicated 6 September 1953, with a seating capacity of 300. The membership in 1954 was 248, mostly rural; the minister was L. E. Troyer. Past ministers in 1957 (all deceased): Andrew Veroler, Joseph Kinsinger, Aaron Roszhart, George Gundy.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Meadows Mennonite Church (Chenoa, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2023. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174763.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2023). Meadows Mennonite Church (Chenoa, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174763.

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