Southern District of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches)

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1959 Article

Southern District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America was organized in 1909, comprising the churches of Kansas, Oklahoma, and California. The California churches, however, withdrew the following year and organized their own conference. The first convention of the Southern District was held in 1910 in the Ebenezer Church near Buhler, Kansas, with Johann Foth chairman, Martin M. Just vice-chairman, and Abraham L. Schellenberg secretary.

The purpose for the organization of the district conferences was to stress chiefly the home mission work and evangelism in the churches. At its organization this Conference had a membership of 2,100 with a total of 21 churches. The Colorado and Texas churches soon were added to the Southern District.

A number of leaders made valuable contributions in the early days of the Conference. Among these were Johann Foth, Martin M. Just, Heinrich Adrian, and Abraham Schellenberg. Later leaders include H. W. Lohrenz, H. H. Flaming, P. E. Nickel, J. K. Hiebert, P. P. Rempel, J. S. Regier, and P. C. Hiebert. Soon the sphere of labor of the conference expanded. Home mission work occupied the chief attention and called for the greatest efforts on the part of the Home Missions Committee. A Committee of Reference and Counsel was created and charged with looking after the spiritual welfare of the Conference and assisting the individual churches in the event of difficult problems. The evangelism project for the churches was another important factor to which much emphasis was given. The Home Missions Committee secured qualified evangelists and presented them to the churches for engagement.

A third project of the Conference is extension work. At first this work was confined to the fringe areas of the churches. In 1936 the Conference opened a field of mission work in Texas along the Mexican border with Mr. and Mrs. Harry Neufeld as missionaries. Other stations have been created there since, and also in Arkansas and Wichita missionary projects are carried on with good success.

Although a General Conference project, Tabor College is located in the Southern District, and the Oklahoma churches support a full four-year academy at Corn with a strong Bible department. A church school committee promotes the Sunday-school work as well as the religious education work of this district, and a youth committee has charge of the Christian fellowship work and the youth retreat.

In 1947 a constitution was adopted and in 1948 the Conference was incorporated in Kansas. Thirty-five churches belong to the Conference (1956) with a total membership of 4,763. -- P. H. Berg

1989 Article

In 1987 the Southern District Conference (Mennonite Brethren) consisted of 40 congregations in the following states: Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and Arkansas. In 1960 the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Churches in these five states joined the Southern District Conference through merger. The total membership of the Southern District in 1987 was 6,598.

The Southern District Conference had five commissions: Stewardship; Youth; Church Extension and Evangelism; Christian Education; and Faith and Life. They were coordinated through a Coordinating Board, an executive committee, and a district minister.

In addition to the commissions there is an active Women's Missionary Service organization. Tabor College, a regional Christian liberal arts college, was owned by four districts: Southern, Central, Latin American, and North Carolina districts. The Tabor College Senate, with representatives from the churches of the four districts, operated the college. The college made annual reports to the four district conferences.

Other Southern District ministries were managed through cooperative arrangements with the United States Conference of the Mennonite Brethren and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches in North America. The records of the Southern District Conference are housed in the archival center at the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Tabor College. The Southern District Conference maintained an office in Hillsboro, Kansas. -- Wesley Prieb

2010 Update

In 2010 the following congregations were members of the Southern District Conference:

City State Congregation
Marshall Arkansas Martin Box
Aurora Colorado Ethiopian Evangelical Church
Denver Colorado Garden Park Mennonite Brethren Church
Franktown Colorado Holy Spirit Church
Littleton Colorado Belleview Community Church
Littleton Colorado Trailhead Church
Buhler Kansas Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church
Cimarron Kansas Valleyview Bible Church
Garden City Kansas Garden Valley Mennonite Brethren Church
Hays Kansas North Oak Community Church
Hesston Kansas Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church
Hillsboro Kansas Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church
Hillsboro Kansas Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church
Hillsboro Kansas Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church
Inman Kansas Zoar Mennonite Brethren Church
Marion Kansas Good News Christian Fellowship
Newton Kansas Koerner Heights Mennonite Brethren Church
Olathe Kansas Community Bible Church
Olathe Kansas Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church
Topeka Kansas Cornerstone Community Church
Ulysses Kansas Ulysses Mennonite Brethren Church
Wichita Kansas First Mennonite Brethren Church
Wichita Kansas Lighthouse Community Church
Kansas City Missouri Watershed
Adams Oklahoma Adams Mennonite Brethren Church
Balko Oklahoma Crossroads Bible Fellowship
Collinsville Oklahoma Discovery Bible Fellowship
Cordell Oklahoma Bible Mennonite Brethren Church
Corn Oklahoma Corn Mennonite Brethren Church
Edmond Oklahoma Memorial Road Mennonite Brethren Church
Enid Oklahoma Enid Mennonite Brethren Church
Fairview Oklahoma Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church
Indiahoma Oklahoma Post Oak Mennonite Brethren Church
Lawton Oklahoma Faith Bible Church
Meno Oklahoma New Hopedale Mennonite Church
Okeene Oklahoma Okeene Mennonite Brethren Church
Tulsa Oklahoma The Heart
Weatherford Oklahoma Pine Acres Church of the Mennonite Brethren


Mennonite Brethren General Conference Yearbook (1981): 174, 192-195.

Additional Information

Address: 7348 W 21st Street, Suite 115, Wichita KS 67205-1765

Phone: 316-722-8680

Web site:

Author(s) P. H. Berg
Wesley Prieb
Date Published June 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Berg, P. H. and Wesley Prieb. "Southern District of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2010. Web. 19 Jun 2024.

APA style

Berg, P. H. and Wesley Prieb. (June 2010). Southern District of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2024, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 588-589; vol. 5, pp. 847-848. All rights reserved.

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