Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA)

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The Newtown Gospel Chapel (Mennonite Church USA) of Sarasota, Florida, began as a mission outpost among the African Americans of Sarasota. Bible classes followed by Sunday school were conducted for a period of about eight months in this community by the Tuttle Avenue Mennonite Church. In the winter of 1952-1953 a block building was constructed to seat 200. After this an addition for Sunday school classes was built. Workers were supplied by the home congregation. In the fall of 1953 Michael Shenk, of Denbigh, Virginia, was called to serve as pastor. He was replaced in 1956 by Mervin Shirk, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The attendance averaged 75 in 1956. There were 12 baptized members and several more under instruction at that time. The program made progress among the African-American people and overcame many barriers. Newtown Gospel Chapel was under the Virginia Mennonite Conference, and is currently a member of the Southeast Mennonite Conference and the African American Mennonite Association.

In 2009 the congregation had 56 members; the pastor was Walter Lewis Crawford.

Additional Information

Address: 1815 Gillespie Avenue, Sarasota, Florida

Phone: 941-951-6967

Denominational Affiliations:

Southeast Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA


Map:Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida)

Author(s) Myron S. Augsburger
Sam Steiner
Date Published 2009

Cite This Article

MLA style

Augsburger, Myron S. and Sam Steiner. "Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 26 May 2024.,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=140288.

APA style

Augsburger, Myron S. and Sam Steiner. (2009). Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2024, from,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=140288.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 868. All rights reserved.

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