North Danvers Mennonite Church (Danvers, Illinois, USA)

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The first Amish came to McLean County, Illinois, USA, in about 1830. By 1834 some Amish settled along the Mackinaw River. As Amish immigration continued, the Mackinaw settlement formed the Mackinaw Amish Mennonite meeting in 1838.

The North Danvers Mennonite Church located northeast of Danvers, Illinois, began as an autonomous body of Amish Mennonites in 1851 who organized the Rock Creek Amish Mennonite congregation when the Mackinaw congregation became too large. These Amish, led by Bishop Jonathan Yoder, built the Rock Creek meetinghouse in 1853. It was also known as the Yoder Church. The construction of a meetinghouse was controversial; this was only the fourth Amish meetinghouse built in North America. The congregation held worship services every two weeks.

Joseph Stuckey was another key leader as the congregation grew. He became bishop as Jonathan Yoder aged and became a prominent uniting leader in the Amish Mennonite community. He also became more engaged with the English culture surrounding the Amish Rock Creek community, leading the church in a more assimilated direction.

Rock Creek built a larger facility a little distance away in 1872, and the meetingplace became known as North Danvers. In 1908 the church helped to form the Central Illinois Conference of Mennonites, a group of 12 Amish-background churches mostly in Illinois. The Central Conference joined the General Conference Mennonite Church in 1946.

Joseph Stuckey and North Danvers helped launch many Amish Mennonite congregations. These included the Flanagan Mennonite Church in 1876, the East White Oak Mennonite Church in 1892, the Congerville Mennonite Church in 1896, the Bethel Mennonite Church near Pekin, Illinois in 1905, and the Carlock Mennonite Church in 1914. They also helped to form congregations in Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska. The congregational leadership also increased friendly relations with the Middle District Conference of the General Conference Mennonites and expressed interest in the new college proposed for Bluffton, Ohio.

In 1902 North Danvers introduced a reed organ for use in a singing school and kept it to accompany congregational singing. The transition to English also continued apace during this time, though this had begun already in the 1860s. A permanent women's aid society began in 1911.

The congregation modernized the church building in 1903 by installing gas lights and constructing a basement to hold a furnace. It undertook major remodeling in 1917, adding a full basement and extension to the main structure. Another addition came in 1964/65. It built a new fellowship hall in 1987/88.

William B. Weaver served 30 years as North Danvers' pastor (1922-1952) and profoundly impacted the congregation's self-identity and life.

Beginning in 1970, the congregation began to share its pastoral leadership with the Carlock Mennonite Church. This was intended not as an economic measure but to enhance the programs of both rural churches. The practice ended in 1985 and was regarded as something of a mixed blessing.

In 2022 the congregation was part of the Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA.


Centennial anniversary of the North Danvers House of Worship : 1872-1972, anniversary observance August 27, 1972. Danvers: North Danvers Mennonite Church, 1972. Available in full electronic text at:

Estes, Steven R. A Goodly Heritage: a History of the North Danvers Mennonite Church. Danvers, Ill.: The Church, 1982.

_____. A Goodly Heritage II: Our Journey Continues. Danvers, Ill.: The Church, 2009.

North Danvers Mennonite Church. "History" Accessed 10 March 2019.

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

Additional Information

Address: 5517 E 1950 North Road, Danvers, Illinois 61732

Phone: 309-963-4554


Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Yoder Amish Mennonite
and North Danvers Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Jonathan Yoder (1795-1869)(Bishop) 1851-1869
Isaac Schmucker (1810-1893)(Bishop) 1851-1852
Jonas Fry (1806-1872) 1853-1872
Johannes Koenig (1795?-1860?) 1854-1860?
John Miller (1783-1859)(Bishop) 1855-1859
Joseph Stalter (1807-1888) 1855-1875?
Joseph Stuckey (1825-1902)
John Strubhar (1808-1883) 1860-1883
John Stahly (1827-1900)(Bishop) 1864-1900
Michael King (1806-1872) 1865?-1872
Peter Schantz (1853-1925) 1881-1892
Joash Stutzman (1853-1891) 1881-1891
John H. King (1861-1935)
Joseph J. Clark (1861-1943) 1892-1893
John P. Kohler (1859-1930)
Millard O. Rose 1919
Lawrence B. Haigh (1881-1963) 1922
William B. Weaver (1887-1963)
Harris H. Waltner (1925-2012) 1952
Hugo J. Mierau (1916-1972) 1952-1955
Arnold E. Funk (1900-1987) 1956-1962
Benjamin W. Krahn (Interim) 1962
Frank Zacharias (Summer) 1962
Samuel Ummel (1892-1969)(Interim) 1962
Herbert E. Miller (1908-1999) 1963-1965
Raymond L. Hartzler (1893-1988) 1965-1966
George C. Dick (1907-1994) 1966-1970
Wilbur G. Nachtigall (1918-2003)(Interim) 1970-1971
Walter H. Dyck (1908-1996) 1971-1977
Elmer A. Wall (1929- ) 1971-1984
George L. Classen (1917-1993) 1977-1985
C. Nevin Miller (1927-1993)(Interim) 1984-1985
Levi "Lee" Hochstetler (1938- 1985-1989
Lotus E. Troyer (1915-1994)(Interim) 1989
James Harold Odom (1914-2013)(Interim) 1990
Clair Hochstetler (1953- ) 1990-1993
Steven R. Estes (1956-2009)(Interim) 1989
Richard W. Bucher (1945- ) 1994-2012
Milo D. Nussbaum (1924-2016)(Interim) 1998
Mark Vincent (Interim) 2013-2015
Brian Johnson 2015-present

Membership at North Danvers Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1890 425
1910 289
1921 214
1934 200
1944 300
1950 290
1960 236
1970 211
1980 196
1990 189
2000 132
2009 145
2020 165

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Hugo J. Mierau. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 917. All rights reserved.

The North Danvers Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located at 5517 East 1950 North Road, Danvers, McLean County, Illinois, a member of what was once the Central District Conference, had its origins in the Yoder Amish Mennonite Church and was organized in 1871 with a ministry composed of Bishop Joseph Stuckey, John Strubhar, John Stahly, Christian Imhoff, Joseph Stalter, Michael Miller, and Jacob Miller, who represented the three orders of the Amish ministry: bishops, ministers, and deacons. The new church building was erected in 1872 and remodeled in 1917.

The membership in 1956 was 265, mostly rural.

Ministers have been Joash Stutzman, Peter Schantz, Joseph Clark, Joseph King, John Kohler, and Hugo J. Mierau. William B. Weaver was a long-time pastor, 1923-1952.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published December 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "North Danvers Mennonite Church (Danvers, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2022. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174379.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (December 2022). North Danvers Mennonite Church (Danvers, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174379.

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