Rossmere Mennonite Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Rossmere Mennonite Church was begun as an outreach of the East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA). Two weeks of tent meetings conducted by C. Z. Martin in the summer of 1935 were well attended so the decision was made to begin a Sunday School in the Rossmere area of Lancaster City. The first superintendents were A. Nissley Rohrer and Jere Fenninger. Clayton White was secretary-treasurer and Samuel Zook, chorister. Earl W. Mosemann was ordained as the congregation’s first minister in 1941, although he was serving at the Civilian Public Service camp in Grottoes, Virginia at the time. Prior to 1941 ministers from East Chestnut Street took turns preaching.

Initially Sunday School was conducted in the home of Jere and Ruth Fenninger (1101 Francis Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania). By the start of October 1935 a store-room on the corner of Janet and Marshall Avenues was rented and converted to a chapel. A property was purchased at 741 Janet Ave., Lancaster, Pa. and a brick building constructed in 1939 under the supervision of Gideon Fisher, who was a deacon in the congregation. That building was dedicated 31 December 1939 and was renovated and expanded in 2008. A fire in 1954 caused the church to temporarily close until repairs could be completed. During this time, members attended worship services at other churches.

In 2016 there were 74 active members, most of whom were professional and urban. Few members lived in the Rossmere community. Hymns sung from the three Mennonite hymn books (Hymnal: A Worship Book, Sing the Journey, and Sing the Story) were sometimes accompanied by musical instruments and the lectionary was used to guide worship.

In April 2017 Rossmere transferred its membership to the Atlantic Coast Conference of Mennonite Church USA. This decision was taken after the Lancaster Mennonite Conference decided in 2015 to withdraw from Mennonite Church USA before the end of 2017.


Landis, Ira D. The Missionary Movement among Lancaster Conference Mennonites. 2nd ed. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Publishing House, 1938: 80-81.

Mosemann, Earl. “Rossmere Mission.” Missionary Messenger 17, no. 3 (7 July 1940): 2-3.

Zook, Luetta. "This Is Your Life Jere and Ruth Fenninger." Unpublished paper available in the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Library.

Archival Records

The congregation's records are located at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, Pa., 17602

Additional Information

Address: 741 Janet Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601

Phone: 717-397-7854


Denominational Affiliations:

Atlantic Coast Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Rossmere Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Earl W. Mosemann 1941-1946
Daniel E. Miller 1946-1987
Lester A. Blank 1976-1992
Marvin L. Weaver 1987-1996
Mark & Mary Hurst
Lester Denlinger 1998-2006
Marilyn Kurtz
Marilyn Kurtz 2006-2011
Lay Team Ministry
Don Sharp
Todd Gusler 2014-present

Membership at Rossmere Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1945 55
1955 40
1965 52
1985 74
1995 79
2005 102
2015 74


Map:Rossmere Mennonite Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA)

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Ira D. Landis. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 362. All rights reserved.

Rossmere Mennonite Mission (Mennonite Church), in the northeastern sector of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was opened by David B. Groff in 1935. He with Jere Fenninger, under the East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, conducted the work in rented quarters until their brick meetinghouse, 30 x 50 ft., on Janet Avenue was dedicated on 1 January 1940. Earl W. Mosemann was ordained as pastor on 21 December 1941, and was followed by Daniel E. Miller, ordained 3 November 1946, who was still serving in 1957, with a membership of 42.

Author(s) Steve Ness
Date Published May 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Ness, Steve. "Rossmere Mennonite Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2017. Web. 6 Aug 2021.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=148576.

APA style

Ness, Steve. (May 2017). Rossmere Mennonite Church (Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 August 2021, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=148576.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.