Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)
From 1927 to 1967 Mennonite churches in the Southeastern United States belonged to the Indiana-Michigan, Ohio, Lancaster, Virginia, or Conservative Mennonite conferences (Mennonite Church) and had few ties to one another.
The Southeast Mennonite Convention was born on 9-10 August 1967 when a group of 13 ministers and a few lay people representing Mennonite churches in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina met in Tampa, Florida, to discuss mission strategy for Mennonites in the Southeast. For six years the convention was an informal fellowship for Mennonite churches in the Southeast.
In 1973 the convention affirmed a plan to become a regional conference affiliated with the Mennonite Church (MC) General Assembly. Except for those affiliated with the Conservative Mennonite Conference, the congregations eventually chose to discontinue formal ties to the parent conferences.
In 1987 the convention changed its name to Southeast Mennonite Conference. It had 23 congregations totaling approximately 2,000 members. Major conference components were the Board of Congregational Outreach, Board of Congregational Life, Southeast Mennonite Mutual Aid Board, Women's Mission and Service Commission, Congregational Leadership Committee, and Peace and Social Concerns Committee. An executive committee oversees the conference's work. The conference office is in Sarasota, Florida. The official publication was Proclamation, published 10 times each year.
The Sarasota Christian School, Sunnyside Properties and Nursing Home, World's Attic (Ten Thousand Villages), and the Southern Mennonite Camp Association were affiliated institutions which reported to the conference.
Following a three-year discernment process, delegates of Southeast Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA voted on 5-6 October 2018 for the Southeast Mennonite Conference to leave Mennonite Church USA. The reason for the action was attributed to the "forbearance resolution" passed at the 2015 MC USA convention, and its relationship to the issue of homosexuality. That action became effective on 16 March 2019. At that time, all congregations were given one year to determine their future denominational affiliation.
In 2018 the following 25 congregations were members of the Southeast Mennonite Conference, though some congregations were exploring other affiliations:
|Americus Mennonite Fellowship||Americus||Georgia|
|Assemblee de la Grace||Immokalee||Florida|
|Cape Christian Fellowship||Cape Coral||Florida|
|Church of God Prince of Peace||Miami||Florida|
|College Hill Mennonite Church||Tampa||Florida|
|Emmanuel Mennonite Church||Gainesville||Florida|
|Evangelical Garifuna Church||Lauderdale Lakes||Florida|
|Good Shepherd Evangelical||Miami||Florida|
|Homestead Mennonite Church||Homestead||Florida|
|Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer||Apopka||Florida|
|Iglesia Evangelica Nueva Vida||Sarasota||Florida|
|Iglesia Menonita Arca de Salvacion||Fort Myers||Florida|
|Iglesia Menonita Encuentro de Renovacion||Miami||Florida|
|Iglesia Seguidores de Cristo||Sarasota||Florida|
|Luz y Verdad||Lakeland||Florida|
|Luz y Vida Mennonite Church||Orlando||Florida|
|New Beginning Community Church||St. Petersburg||Florida|
|Newtown Gospel Chapel||Sarasota||Florida|
|North Tampa Christian Fellowship||Tampa||Florida|
|Peace Christian Fellowship||North Port||Florida|
|Sarasota Community Church||Sarasota||Florida|
|The Gathering Tree||Key West||Florida|
|Unity Pentecostal Church of God/Mennonite-Homestead||Homestead||Florida|
|Unity Pentecostal Church of God - Miami||Miami||Florida|
|West Palm Beach Anabaptist Family Group||West Palm Beach||Florida|
Good, Sheldon C. "Southeast Churches Weigh New Affiliations." Mennonite World Review. 3 June 2019. Web. http://mennoworld.org/2019/06/03/news/southeast-churches-weigh-new-affiliations/.
Good, Sheldon C. "Southeast Conference votes to leave MC USA." The Mennonite Daily News Updates. 15 October 2018. Web. https://themennonite.org/daily-news/southeast-conference-votes-leave-mc-usa/.
Horsch, James E., ed. Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House (1988-89): 79-80.
"Mennonite Church USA Online Directory." Online Directory, Mennonite Church USA. 15 June 2006. http://directory.mennoniteusa.org/conference.asp?confID=48.
Address: 35 S Beneva Road Ste A, Sarasota FL 34232-1452
|Author(s)||Martin W Lehman|
|Date Published||June 2019|
Cite This Article
Lehman, Martin W and Sam Steiner. "Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2019. Web. 18 Sep 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southeast_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=164153.
Lehman, Martin W and Sam Steiner. (June 2019). Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 September 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southeast_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=164153.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 847. All rights reserved.
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