Mennonite Church of Normal (Normal, Illinois, USA)

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The Mennonite Church of Normal, Illinois, USA resulted from the 1976 merger of the First Mennonite Church of Normal and the Bloomington Mennonite Church. The two congregations began cooperative ventures in the late 1960s and began to discuss a possible merger in the early 1970s. First Mennonite was older and larger and had been part of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Bloomington Mennonite was only 20 years old and had been a mission outreach of the Mennonite Church (MC).

In 1972 the two congregations began to hold joint board and council meetings four times a year. In January 1975, the joint boards appointed an inter-church task force to develop proposals for a possible merger. In September 1975, the congregations began to meet together for worship. The boards appointed a constitution committee in January 1976. On 26 September 1976, the two congregations meeting separately voted unanimously to merge and to accept the new constitution.

The Mennonite Church of Normal initially met in First Mennonite's facilities, though it was already crowded. Initially, the congregation planned expansion at its current location and purchased a former Assembly of God facility next door. However, in 1979 it rescinded this decision and purchased 9.5 acres of land at the corner of Cottage and Hovey Streets. It dedicated the new facility designed for multipurpose use on 15 March 1981.

In 2022 the congregation was part of the Central District Conference and the Illinois Mennonite Conference, both part of Mennonite Church USA.


Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 157-158.

Goossen, Rachel Waltner. Meetingplace: A History of the Mennonite Church of Normal, 1912-1987. Normal, Ill.: Mennonite Church of Normal, 1987.

Additional Information

Address: 805 South Cottage Ave., Normal, Illinois 61761

Phone: 309-452-6622


Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference

Illinois Mennonite Conference.

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at the Mennonite Church of Normal

Name Years
of Service
Carl K. Newswanger 1976-1979
James H. Waltner (1931-2007) 1976-1986
Margaret Richer Smith (Christian Education) 1979-1982
Walter H. Dyck (1908-1996)(Associate) 1982-1985
Evelyn A. Bertsche (1936-2020)(Associate) 1982-1997?
Wilbur G. Nachtigall (1918-2003)(Interim) 1986-1987
Thomas E. "Tom" Kauffman 1987-1995
Don Martin (Associate) 1991-1997?
Julie Martin (Associate) 1991-1992
Tim E. Schrag 1996-2019
Jane Thorley Roeschley (Associate) 2000?-2019
Steve A. Ropp (Youth) 2002?-2006?
Matthew D. "Matt" Hickman (Associate) 2008-2017?
Gary E. Martin (Transitional) 2020-2021
Lauren Satchwell (Interim) 2021-
Ron Ropp (Interim, Pastoral Care) 2021-
Lynette Miller (Interim, Community Life) 2021-
Holly Zehr (Interim, Worship & Gift Discernment) 2021-

Membership at Mennonite Church of Normal

Year Membership
1976 317
1980 360
1990 327
2000 254
2009 275
2020 299

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published November 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Mennonite Church of Normal (Normal, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2022. Web. 26 May 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=178251.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (November 2022). Mennonite Church of Normal (Normal, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=178251.

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