Stephens City Mennonite Church (Stephens City, Virginia, USA)
Mennonites moved to the Stephens City, Frederick County, Virginia area as early as the 1700s. Joist Hite, one of Frederick County’s earliest settlers, along with 16 other Mennonite families had moved from Pennsylvania. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that Mennonites began to settle the second time in Kernstown and the surrounding area.
Stephens City Mennonite Church began in 1953 when Mark Showalter began holding home Bible study meetings with his friends Maude and Robert Hartley. The group grew, and eventually Showalter rented a basement room in the old Stephens City Post Office on the corner of Main and Fairfax Streets. The Virginia Mennonite Conference recognized the group by 1955. Pastoral leadership was provided by Northern District while Teddy Rollins and J. Otis Yoder preached.
In January 1960 Mark asked the Northern District Council for permission to build a church. There were 217 in attendance when the current building was dedicated on 27 November 1960. The young church included a group of about 30 Mennonite men who were exempted from the draft as conscientious objectors and came to the area to fulfill their alternate service at Winchester Medical Center.
In 2015 the congregation sang a variety of music during worship services. Many people were organized into small groups for Bible study and fellowship. Life Transformation Groups, introduced by Virginia Mennonite Missions, were emerging within the congregation. The Service & Witness Commission collaborated with other churches in the area and coordinated the involvement of congregation in helping meet local community needs.
A Prayer Garden was started in 2002. A pavilion was built in 2004 and was used for meals, worship, Vacation Bible School, the Just4Kidz after school program, and other outdoor events.
The church had one young adult member, Melody Musser, serving in Burundi, Africa with Mennonite Central Committee.
Korean Community Church began worshiping in the building in 2006.
Brunk, Harry Anthony. History of Mennonites in Virginia, 2 vols. Harrisonburg, VA: H. A. Brunk, 1959-1972.
Minutes of the Virginia Mennonite Conference, Vol. II. Virginia Mennonite Conference, 1967.
Notes by Fannie Showalter Heatwole, Mark Showalter’s daughter, using her mother’s diaries and information by Maude Hartley Abrell.
Address: 5540 Valley Pike, Stephens City, VA 22655
Website Stephens City Mennonite Church
Denominational Affiliations: Northern District of Virginia Mennonite Conference
Mennonite Church USA
|Minister||Years of Service|
|Al and Rose Huyard||1997-2000|
|Jim and Aldine Musser||2002-present|
Stephens City Mennonite Church Membership
|Date Published||April 2015|
Cite This Article
Musser, Aldine. "Stephens City Mennonite Church (Stephens City, Virginia, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2015. Web. 31 Mar 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Stephens_City_Mennonite_Church_(Stephens_City,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=133835.
Musser, Aldine. (April 2015). Stephens City Mennonite Church (Stephens City, Virginia, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 March 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Stephens_City_Mennonite_Church_(Stephens_City,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=133835.
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