Plow Creek Fellowship (Tiskilwa, Illinois, USA)

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The Plow Creek Fellowship, Tiskilwa, Illinois, USA, began in 1971 as an intentional Christian community on a 189-acre farm. It was founded by members of Reba Place Fellowship in Evanston, Illinois. Plow Creek Fellowship members shared in a common treasury and were guided by a commitment to share life, needs, and resources according to the teachings of Jesus and the practice of the early church. Members worked cooperatively in produce farming, with a specialty in strawberries. At its peak, the Fellowship included 100 participants.

In its history, there were occasional conflicts with neighbors of the community who were suspicious of the Fellowship's practice and teachings, especially on peace. Some regarded the Fellowship as Jesus Freaks or Mennonite hippies. A 1991 CBS news report on the Fellowship made some Tiskilwa neighbors unhappy, thinking it portrayed the town as not supporting U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf War.

In 1978 and 1979, the Fellowship joined the Illinois Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) and the Central District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. It also joined the Church of the Brethren.

At some point, a distinction was made between the intentional community Fellowship and a separate entity known as Plow Creek Church.

After the death of its longtime leader, Richard Foss, and the death of several other leading members, the Fellowship decided to close at the end of 2017. It turned over the property to a new nonprofit, Hungry World Farm, an offshoot of Willow Springs Mennonite Church. Many remaining members also transferred to Willow Springs.


Foss, Richard. "Peacemaking with neighbors is a part of God's vision." The Mennonite 106, no. 14 (23 July 1991): A2

Heinzekehr, Hannah. "Plow Creek Fellowship closing at the end of 2017." TheMennonite 22 August 2017. Web. 27 December 2022.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 79.

Additional Information

Address: 19183 Plow Creek, Tiskilwa, Illinois 61368



Denominational Affiliations: Central District Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Plow Creek Fellowship

Name Years
of Service
Conrad L. Wetzel (1931-2017) 1972-1987?
Thomas Fleming 1985?-?
Richard G. Foss (1951-2017) 1981-2017
Mitchell L. Kingsley 1987?-?

Membership at Plow Creek Fellowship

Year Membership
1974 20
1980 29
1990 32
2000 25
2009 26
2017 12

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published December 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Plow Creek Fellowship (Tiskilwa, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2022. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174452.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (December 2022). Plow Creek Fellowship (Tiskilwa, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Illinois,_USA)&oldid=174452.

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