Hopewell Church (Elverson, Pennsylvania, USA)

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The Conestoga Amish Mennonite Church and its bishop, John S. Mast began a Sunday School in Elverson, Pennsylvania, USA, in the former Rock Baptist Church in 1920. It continued as a mission outreach until 1936 when it became an independent congregation known as Rock Mennonite Church. It became part of the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference at that time. The "Eastern" part of that conference became the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1978. Rock Mennonite's membership was counted as part of the Conestoga congregation until 1944.

In 1974 the congregation moved to its Hopewell Road location north of Elverson. At that time it took the name, Hopewell Mennonite Church. It built at least seven additions to the church within the first decade in order to accommodate a rapidly growing group.

The congregation was influenced by the charismatic movement of the 1970s and 1980s. It experienced rapid growth and gave leadership in planting at least eight daughter congregations with a similar orientation. This group of congregations soon became a district within the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hopewell churches also moved towards an apostolic approach to church governance and reduced its identity as an Anabaptist-Mennonite congregation. The apostolic leadership style has decisions made by the pastor and elder leadership, not by the congregation as a whole.

In 1994 Hopewell Mennonite Church began the Hopewell School of Ministry, first affiliated with Chesapeake Bible College and Seminary in Ridgely, Maryland. In 1998 it offered 25 in six campuses of the Hopewell District of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Curt Malizzi, a Hopewell pastor, directed the School at that time.

In 2001 Hopewell was part of the decision to form the Hopewell Network of Churches that left the Atlantic Coast Conference and Mennonite Church USA. The congregation then became known as Hopewell Christian Fellowship, and later as Hopewell Church.

In 2022 the congregation remained part of the Hopewell Network of Churches.

Bibliography

Betz, Lisa and Lester Zimmerman. The handprint of God: History of the Hopewell Network. New Holland, Pa.: Hopewell Network, 2017.

Hanlon, Audrey. "Hopewell dedicates sanctuary." Atlantic Coast Conference Currents 6, no. 3 (May-June 1985): 2.

Hanlon, Audrey. "Hopewell Mennonite Church--Elverson, Pa." Atlantic Coast Conference Currents 3, no. 6 (November-December 1982): 1.

Kurtz, Omar. "Dedication at Hopewell." Atlantic Coast Conference Currents 1, no. 1 (March-April 1980): 1.

Stoltzfus, Grant M. Mennonites of the Ohio and Eastern Conference; From the Colonial Period in Pennsylvania to 1968. Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite history, no. 13. Scottdale, Pa: Herald Press, 1969: 207-208, 333.

"Training up the body of Christ: Hopewell School of Ministry grows rapidly." Atlantic Coast Conference Currents 19, no. 5 (September-October 1998): 2.

Additional Information

Address: 2286 Hopewell Road, Elverson, Pennsylvania 19520

Phone: 610-286-6308

Website: https://hopewellchurch.org/

Denominational Affiliations: Hopewell Network

Pastoral Leaders at Hopewell Church

Name Years
of Service
Conestoga
Ministers
1920-1943
Christian J. Kurtz (1901-1999) 1944-1973
Harry W. Hertzler (1917-2017) 1957-1960
Merle G. Stoltzfus 1963-1968
1975-1989
J. Edward Kurtz 1969-1975
Mark B. Kraybill (1952-2018)(Assistant)
(Associate)
1985-1987
1994-2018
Charles Martin (Assistant) 1988-1992
James A. Wetzel (Assistant) 1988-1991
Richard Weaver (Interim) 1989-1990
Victor S. Dunning (1945-2021)(Associate)
(Senior)
1991-1993
1993-2001?
Mahlon D. Miller (1931-2014) 1990-1993
Curt Malizzi (Associate) 1994-2000s?
Patrick Wilson (Youth) 1996-2000s?

Membership at Hopewell Church

Year Membership
1936 45
1944 41
1950 47
1960 69
1970 72
1980 154
1990 533
2000 327

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Christian J. Kurtz. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 347. All rights reserved.

Rock Mennonite Church (MC), located in Berks County  1/2 mile northwest of Elverson, Pennsylvania, was begun in 1920, when the few remaining members of the Rock Baptist Church asked the Conestoga Amish Mennonite congregation to start Sunday school in this meetinghouse, built in 1845.

In 1936 a congregation was organized by Bishop J. S. Mast, which is affiliated with the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference. The meetinghouse was enlarged in 1937 and 1956. A number of former members are serving the church in other communities. The membership in 1957 was 66, with Ira A. Kurtz as bishop, and Christian J. Kurtz and Harry Hertzler as ministers.


Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published January 2022

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Hopewell Church (Elverson, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2022. Web. 16 Aug 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hopewell_Church_(Elverson,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=172945.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (January 2022). Hopewell Church (Elverson, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 August 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hopewell_Church_(Elverson,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=172945.




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