Pennsylvania Aid Committee (Mennonite Church)

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Pennsylvania Aid Committee, properly called "Mennonite Executive Aid Committee of Pennsylvania for the Mennonite Congregations in West Prussia, Poland, and South Russia," was formally organized on 14 April 1874, as the over-all relief committee of the Mennonites of Eastern Pennsylvania to raise funds to aid in the resettlement of Mennonites from South Russia in the prairie states of Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota. It represented largely the Mennonite Church (MC) in the Lancaster and Franconia conferences, and it was the action of the Lancaster Conference on 27 March 1874, in appointing an aid committee that resulted in the larger committee. Its initial officers were Amos Herr, president, John Shenk, secretary, Gabriel Baer and H. R. Godshall, treasurers. The first four were all of Lancaster County, while Godshall was of Souderton in the Franconia district. The committee co-operated with the Mennonite Board of Guardians and the other aid committees, such as the one in Ontario, but continued independently to aid the transatlantic movement (using the Red Star Line of Philadelphia) and to furnish loans to needy immigrant families as well as direct donations for the neediest cases. The servicing of the loans continued for several decades. The further history and organization of the Committee are not known. Caspar Hett of Philadelphia was the business agent of the Committee.


Schnell, Kempes. "John F. Funk, 1835-1930, and the Mennonite Migration of 1873-75." Mennonite Quarterly Review XXIV (1950): 199-229.

Smith, C. Henry. The Coming of the Russian Mennonites. Berne, 1927.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Pennsylvania Aid Committee (Mennonite Church)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 6 Jun 2020.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Pennsylvania Aid Committee (Mennonite Church). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 June 2020, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 141. All rights reserved.

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