Schaefferstown Mennonite Church (Myerstown, Pennsylvania, USA)

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Schaefferstown Mennonite Church, 2016.
Source: Lester M. Burkholder

The Schaefferstown Mennonite Church had its beginnings in the Millbach Meeting House in 1981 near Newmanstown, Pennsylvania when Bishop Earl Horst and Minister Edwin Gehman, along with 53 members, withdrew from the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church (EPMC). The first Schaefferstown meeting house was constructed in the winter of 1982-1983. The first service in the Schaefferstown building was held on 27 February 1983 with 109 attendees. Although the congregation was commonly referred to as Schaefferstown, its official name was Hope Mennonite Fellowship until the year 2000. The name Hope Mennonite Fellowship (HMF) slowly evolved into a group name rather than a congregational name as more congregations were added to HMF.

In December 1981, Elvin Horst was ordained as the first deacon for the Schaefferstown and Muddy Creek congregations. Elvin was subsequently ordained minister in 1986, and bishop in 1989. In June 1983, James Weaver was ordained minister for Schaefferstown. He later served the HMF congregations at Muddy Creek (2004–2009) and Allegheny Valley (2009–present). David G. Martin, ordained in 1995, transferred to serve as deacon at Rehrersburg in 2002. Others who have faithfully served in the ministry at Schaefferstown are listed in the table below.

Early in the morning of 1 April 2000, a fire completely destroyed the original Schaefferstown church building. That story is told in the book Tried by Fire, a photographic journal of the fire and subsequent rebuilding project. No definite cause of the fire has ever been determined. On 17 September 2000, the congregation met for their first service in the newly constructed building on the same site as the original building. The new building included an additional extension on the southeast side of the building to provide accessibility for handicapped persons.

This congregation has been the source of members for the establishment of the Cocolamus, Rehrersburg, and Allentown congregations of HMF. They have contributed much in finances and personnel for the HMF city mission in Allentown and for the services in the Lehigh County Prison in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Hope Christian School, 2016.
Source: Lester M. Burkholder

Hope Christian School stands on the same property as the Schaefferstown Mennonite Church and serves this congregation. The school provides grades one through twelve to approximately 70 students.

On 1 January 2016, Schaefferstown had a membership of 108.


Burkholder, Lester M., compiler. History of Hope Mennonite Fellowship 1981-2015. Myerstown, Pa.: Little Mountain Printing, 2016.

Additional Information

Address: 625 North Market Street, Myerstown, PA 17067

Phone: (717) 949-2310


Denominational Affiliations: Hope Mennonite Fellowship

Schaefferstown Mennonite Church Pastoral Leaders

Name Years
of Service
Earl Horst (Bishop) 1981-2010
Elvin Horst (Deacon)
James Weaver (Minister) 1983-2004
Leon Horning (Deacon) 1987-2000
Jay Dieter (Minister) 1993-2015
David Martin (Deacon) 1995-2002
Melvin Stoltzfus (Deacon) 2002-present
Nevin Zimmerman (Minister) 2006-present
Earl Horning (Deacon) 2012-present

Schaefferstown Mennonite Church Membership

Year Membership
2016 108


Map:Schaefferstown Mennonite Church (Myerstown, Pennsylvania, USA)

Author(s) Lester M Burkholder
Date Published June 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Burkholder, Lester M. "Schaefferstown Mennonite Church (Myerstown, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2016. Web. 30 Sep 2023.,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=134441.

APA style

Burkholder, Lester M. (June 2016). Schaefferstown Mennonite Church (Myerstown, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 September 2023, from,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=134441.

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