Trissels Mennonite Church (Broadway, Virginia, USA)

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An Easter sunrise service. Photo by Harold N. Miller. 
Trissels Mennonite Church, Broadway, Virginia, 2015.
Photo by Elwood Yoder.
Source: Mennonite Archive of Virginia.

Trissels Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located four miles (6.5 km) southwest of Broadway, Rockingham CountyVirginia, is a member of the Virginia Mennonite Conference.

The congregation's roots extend to the mid-1700s when reports of rich farm land encouraged Mennonite families in Pennsylvania to begin moving down the Valley Turnpike into the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. They settled in close proximity to one another and gathered to worship in homes, eventually deciding to build a meetinghouse on land that included a stand of oak trees and a graveyard containing the remains of early families--including folks with the name of Trissel. This was the first meetinghouse to be built entirely by Virginians. The land was purchased in 1823 from Abraham Neff and wife Catherine for $15. Harry Brunk records that the first church was attended by Brennemans, Drivers, Trissels, Rhodes, Brunks, Showalters, Geils, Branners, Funks, Beerys, and Shanks.

One early Mennonite who followed the route from Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley was Daniel Showalter in 1788. Two of his descendants, Howard Daniel Hercus Showalter and Mark Cephas Showalter, were instrumental in building the church community. Eight generations of Showalters were buried at Trissels at the beginning of the 21st century.

A log building, reputedly built in 1822, was enlarged in 1848. In 1900 the congregation replaced that structure with a new white frame church 40x50 ft., built on the opposite side of the cemetery. A third Trissels building was constructed of brick in 1950, along with a new parsonage. Trissels added a fellowship hall in 1964 and a new entryway in 1993.

Trissels' history has featured commitment to mission outreach. Ministers like George Showalter, Perry Shank, and Joseph Geil rode a circuit route in the Highlands of West Virginia to bring God's message of salvation. On horseback and later by car, they witnessed and seeded churches. According to Grace Showalter, daughter of Timothy Showalter, this work became known as “Schoolhouse Evangelism.” By 1920 there were 20 such locations. Another ongoing outreach to the local Cedar Run community was Summer Bible school, first offered at Trissels in 1949.

In 2012 worship services were held every Sunday morning at 10:30 with Sunday school at 9:30. Membership was 112. Trissels Mennonite Women met on the second Wednesday of every month for quilting and sewing projects. Several adult small groups have met regularly, as well as middle school, senior high and young adult groups. Recent congregational leaders included council chairs Chris Burkholder and Kent Kauffman, and elders Tim C. Mumbauer, Jewel Yutzy, and Duane Showalter.

The congregation's commitment is to know Christ and to make Him known, learning to let God's healing and hope flow through them to the world.


Brunk, Harry A. History of Mennonites in Virginia, 1727-1900. Vol. 1. Harrisonburg, Va, 1959.

Wetzler, Jessica. "Local church gets historical highway marker." Daily News Record (5 January 2020). Web. 2 February 2020.

Archival Records

The congregation's archival records are located at the Virginia Mennonite Conference Archives.

Additional Information

Address: 11246 Hisers Lane, Broadway, Virginia  22815

Phone: 540-896-7289

WebsiteTrissels Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliations:

Virginia Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Trissels Mennonite Church

Name Years of Service
Henry Shank 1784-? 
Henry Rhodes   
Daniel Good  1820-?
Bishop 1837-? 
John Shank   
Daniel Showalter  1835-? 
Samuel Shank  1846-?
Bishop 1850-? 
John Geil  1840-?
Bishop 1859-? 
Christian Brunk   
Abraham Shank  c. 1861-?
Bishop 1875-? 
Samuel Shank II  1864-? 
George Brunk  1874-? 
John Geil II  1875-? 
Lewis Shank  1883-?
Bishop 1901-? 
Joseph Geil  1896-? 
George B. Showalter  1901-? 
Perry Shank  1905-? 
Joseph Shank  1905-? 
Abraham G. Heishman  1911-? 
J. Hopkins Turner  1914-? 
Lewis P. Showalter  1922-? 
Wilmer Geil  1922-? 
John R. Mumaw  1928-? 
Samuel A. Shank  1928-? 
Timothy Showalter  1932-?
Bishop 1943-? 
G. Paul Showalter  1936-? 
J. Ward Shank  1938-?
Bishop 1945-? 
Linden Wenger  1945-?
Bishop 1959-? 
John L. Stauffer  1947-1952 
Norman Derstine  1952-1956 
Norman Yutzy  1956-1963
David Augsburger  1963-1971 
H. Michael Shenk  1971-1975 
Carl Mericle  1975-1978 
Richard E. Martin  1978-1981 
Gerald E. Martin  1981-1986 
Don Augsburger  1986-1989 
Eric A. Kouns  1989-1993 
Paul G. Conrad  1993-1996 
Philip C. Kanagy  1997-2007 
Laban Peachey (Interim)  2008-2009 
Harold N. Miller  2009- 

Original Article from Mennonite Encyclopedia

Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 749. All rights reserved.

Trissels Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), four miles southwest of Broadway, Rockingham County, Virginia, is a member of the Virginia Mennonite Conference. This perhaps was the location of the first Mennonite meetinghouse built in Virginia. The first building, of logs, was built in 1822, and enlarged in 1848. In 1900 it was replaced by a new frame church 40 x 50 ft., built on the opposite side of the cemetery. The third church was built of brick in 1950. Since January 1948 Sunday school and preaching services have been held every Sunday. The first ministers serving this church were Henry Rhodes, Henry Shank, and John Geil. The membership in 1957 was 123, with Norman Yutzy, a licensed minister, as pastor. -- Timothy Showalter.


Map:Trissels Mennonite Church (Broadway, Virginia)

Author(s) Eunice Showalter
Date Published July 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Showalter, Eunice. "Trissels Mennonite Church (Broadway, Virginia, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2013. Web. 22 Jul 2024.,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=166466.

APA style

Showalter, Eunice. (July 2013). Trissels Mennonite Church (Broadway, Virginia, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 July 2024, from,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=166466.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.