Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)

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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.

2018 Update

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:

Congregation City State
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

Bibliography

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.

Additional Information

Address: 35 S Beneva Road Ste A, Sarasota FL 34232-1452

Phone: 941-373-9459


Author(s) Martin W Lehman
Sam Steiner
Date Published October 2018

Cite This Article

MLA style

Lehman, Martin W and Sam Steiner. "Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2018. Web. 15 Jul 2019. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southeast_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=164152.

APA style

Lehman, Martin W and Sam Steiner. (October 2018). Southeast Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 July 2019, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Southeast_Mennonite_Conference_(Mennonite_Church_USA)&oldid=164152.




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Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 847. All rights reserved.


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