South Atlantic Mennonite Conference

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The South Atlantic Mennonite Conference has its origins in the Virginia Mennonite Conference. In the mid-1970s, tensions developed in the Virginia Conference over its policies. Some churches felt that the larger part of the conference was abandoning many of its former beliefs and practices, and that there was an increasing lack of support for the Rules and Disciplines of the Virginia Mennonite Conference. The leaders of West Valley District requested a release from organizational ties with Virginia Conference on 30 May 1970. The request was granted, and Southeastern Mennonite Conference (SMC) was formed in June 1972. The conference initially included seven congregations in Virginia, four in West Virginia, and the Hephzibah and Burkeland congregations in Georgia. In 1973 the Barnwell congregation was established in South Carolina, and it along with the two congregations in Georgia constituted the Georgia-Carolina District of the Southeastern Mennonite Conference.

By the mid 1990s, the Georgia-Carolina District felt the need to establish its own conference so that the local membership could be more readily involved in the work of the church organization. In June 1994 a formal request was submitted to Southeastern Mennonite Conference by the Georgia-Carolina District asking release from SMC for the purpose of forming a new conference. The conference body gave its blessing, and in April 1995 South Atlantic Mennonite Conference (SAMC) was formed with the Barnwell, Burkeland, and Hephzibah congregations as charter members. The impetus for forming SAMC was not doctrinal or practical disunity, but a desire to have a more local church administration, enhancing the participation and loyalty of its membership. SMC and SAMC have jointly administered a mission program, Puerto Rico Mennonite Council in Puerto Rico, and publish a periodical, Life Lines.

In 2010 the South Atlantic Mennonite Conference had 255 members in 4 congregations:

Congregation Location State/Country Founded Members
Barnwell Mennonite Church Blackville South Carolina 1973 109
Burkeland Mennonite Church Waynesboro Georgia 1970 58
Hephzibah Mennonite Church Hephzibah Georgia 1963 59
Lighthouse Mennonite Church Monticello Georgia 1997 29
Total 255


"History of South Atlantic Mennonite Conference." South Atlantic Mennonite Conference. Web. 26 April 2014.

Mennonite Church Directory 2010. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2010: 114.

Additional Information

Conference Website: South Atlantic Mennonite Conference

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published April 2014

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "South Atlantic Mennonite Conference." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2014. Web. 5 Feb 2023.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (April 2014). South Atlantic Mennonite Conference. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 February 2023, from

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