Pacific Coast Conference (Mennonite Church)

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1959 Article

The Pacific Coast Conference was organized 1 November 1906, to include the three Mennonite churches of Oregon and Idaho which had previously belonged to the Kansas-Nebraska Conference, with a total of 135 members, viz., Nampa (Idaho), Albany (Oregon, USA), and Hopewell (Hubbard) (Oregon, USA). Later, besides additional congregations in Idaho and Oregon, newly established congregations in California, Arizona, and New Mexico were added. The Amish Mennonite congregations in Oregon which had belonged to the Western Amish Mennonite (AM) Conference joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1921. Before the merger in 1920 the Pacific Coast Conference had six congregations with 362 members; the merger added three congregations with 449 members. In 1948 the congregations in Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico withdrew to form the South Pacific Conference. In 1957 the Pacific Coast Conference had a total membership of 2,174 in 21 organized and 12 mission congregations distributed as follows: Oregon 17 organized and 8 mission congregations with 1,680 members; Idaho three organized and two mission congregations with 293 members; California one organized and one mission with 21 members. Creston, Montana, which had been a member of the Western AM Conference until 1916, then joined the Pacific Coast Conference, transferred to the Alberta-Saskatchewan Conference in 1923.

In 1959 the conference had a district mission board established in 1906 (organ, The Missionary Evangel, established in 1944), a Christian workers' conference, a high school (Western Mennonite School) founded in 1945 at Salem, and a Home for the Aged founded in 1946 at Albany. Within the bounds of the conference were also three private elementary schools and the Lebanon Community Hospital, operated but not owned by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. -- Harold S. Bender

1987 Update

The Pacific Coast Conference included 24 congregations in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington in 1986. The membership of these congregations was 2,284. The South Seattle and (Portland) Peace congregations had joint Mennonite Church (MC) and General Conference Mennonite (GCM) affiliation, and Ranch Chapel near Culver included members affiliated with other denominations. Sixteen congregations, including four Hispanic ones, were organized after 1955; two of these disbanded. Eleven congregations had withdrawn from the conference between 1960 and 1987. One soon disbanded, one had no Mennonite relationships, two functioned as community churches but related to the conference, and two related to Western Conservative Mennonite Fellowship. Several also related to Bible Mennonite Fellowship.

The Pacific Coast Mennonite Mission Board began mission work in Mexico in 1955. In 1970 a committee representing conference and unaffiliated congregations assumed oversight of the work. The board also encouraged church planting in the United States in the early 1980s. In 1981, Logsden began the Toledo Mennonite Fellowship; New Covenant at Portland organized in 1981 and withdrew in 1985; Emmaus at Portland organized in 1982 and disbanded a year later. Missionary Evangel was the quarterly conference publication in 1987. The official conference archives were located in a vault at Western Mennonite High School, with additional holdings in Eugene and elsewhere; holdings were not indexed or catalogued. The conference owned and operated Western Mennonite High School at Salem and the Mennonite Home at Albany, which provided nursing and residential care and independent living apartments for the elderly. -- Hope Kauffman Lind

2005 Update

In 1994 the Pacific Coast Conference merged with the northern half of the Pacific District Conference (General Conference Mennonite) to form the dual-conference Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. After the restructuring of Mennonite Church, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, Pacific Northwest became part of Mennonite Church USA.


Horsch, James E., ed. Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House (1986-87): 82-83, 124-26, 129, 131, 133, 159.

Lind, Hope Kauffman. Apart & together : Mennonites in Oregon and neighboring states, 1876-1976. Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON : Herald Press, 1990.

Pacific Coast Conference (MC), Annual Report (1986): 9, 13.

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Hope Kauffman Lind
Date Published 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Hope Kauffman Lind. "Pacific Coast Conference (Mennonite Church)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2010. Web. 22 May 2024.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Hope Kauffman Lind. (2010). Pacific Coast Conference (Mennonite Church). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 103; vol. 5, p. 666. All rights reserved.

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