North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church
The North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) was a part of the Missouri-Iowa Conference until the merger in 1920 of all Mennonite (MC) and Amish conferences west of Indiana. It was then organized as the Dakota-Montana Conference in 1921. In 1945, because of its enlarged borders, the name was changed to the North Central Mennonite Conference. This was the smallest of the conferences organized at the time of the merger, and each of the other conferences (four) agreed to send a delegate to the annual conference held the second Thursday in June. In 1946 the Illinois Conference District requested that they be permitted to discontinue sending a delegate because they felt this conference could carry on without their help. The other conferences were still sending delegates in the mid-1950s, and they were greatly appreciated. I. S. Mast served as the only bishop until 1926, when Eli G. Hochstetler was ordained. The district included congregations in eastern Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, having a total membership in 1956 of 766 in 10 congregations and 12 mission outposts, with 4 bishops, 20 ministers and 4 deacons. The district annually sponsored a winter Bible school and a fall mission meeting. After 1945 an annual ministers' conference was held -- Floyd E. Kauffman.
In July 2015 the North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church voted to withdraw as an area conference from Mennonite Church USA. This move was part of a larger realignment of Mennonite congregations and area conferences in the 2010s that were formerly part of Mennonite Church USA. These congregations were unhappy with Mennonite Church USA's failure to take stronger disciplinary actions against area conferences and congregations who expressed openness to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Jesse Swiers, moderator of the North Central Conference said that withdrawal as a body was the only way to keep the small conference together. "If we would’ve stayed, there would’ve been four or five congregations left." -- Sam Steiner
At its annual assembly in June 2017, the North Central Mennonite Conference voted to dissolve and on 3-4 November 2017, the following five congregations joined the Central District Conference of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches: Coalridge Mennonite Church, Exeland Mennonite Church, Lake Region Mennonite Church, Sand Lake Chapel, and Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church. At that time, the remaining three congregations that were members of North Central Mennonite Conference remained in discussion with the Central District Conference. -- Richard D. Thiessen
In 2017 eight congregations were members of the North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church:
|Coalridge Mennonite Church||Dagmar||Montana|
|Exeland Mennonite Church||Exeland||Wisconsin|
|Lake Region Mennonite Church||Ogema||Minnesota|
|Lakeview Mennonite Church||Wolford||North Dakota|
|Sand Lake Mennonite Chapel||Stone Lake||Wisconsin|
|Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church||Ogema||Minnesota|
|Swiss Mennonite Church||Langdon||North Dakota|
|White Chapel Mennonite Church||Glendive||Montana|
Huber, Tim. "Mennonite Brethren Draw Churches Seeking a New Home: Former MC USA North Central Members Find Mennonite Brethren Conference a Good Fit." Mennonite World Review. 5 September 2017. Web. 15 January 2018. http://mennoworld.org/2017/09/05/news/mennonite-brethren-draw-churches-seeking-a-new-home/.
Kreider, Janie Beck. "Conference leaders tell of withdrawal processes." Mennonite World Review 2 November 2015. Web. 1 June 2017. http://mennoworld.org/2015/11/02/news/conference-leaders-tell-of-withdrawal-processes/.
Rempel, Janae. "Former MC USA Congregations Join MB Conference. Mennonite World Review. 15 January 2018. Web. 15 January 2018. http://mennoworld.org/2018/01/15/news/former-mc%E2%80%88usa-congregations-join-mb-conference/.
|Author(s)||Floyd E Kauffman|
|Richard D Thiessen|
|Date Published||January 2018|
Cite This Article
Kauffman, Floyd E, Sam Steiner and Richard D Thiessen. "North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2018. Web. 17 Jul 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=North_Central_Conference_of_the_Mennonite_Church&oldid=161034.
Kauffman, Floyd E, Sam Steiner and Richard D Thiessen. (January 2018). North Central Conference of the Mennonite Church. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 July 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=North_Central_Conference_of_the_Mennonite_Church&oldid=161034.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 915; vol. 5, p. 638. All rights reserved.
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