Upper deer creek mennonite church (wellman, iowa, usa)

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Upper Deer Creek Mennonite Church (formerly Upper Deer Creek Conservative Mennonite Church), located in Iowa County, Iowa, six miles north of Wellman, is a part of the original settlement of Amish Mennonites in this area in 1846. The Upper Deer Creek meetinghouse was built by the Old Order Amish in 1890. Twenty-five years later, in 1915, this congregation was reorganized under the Conservative Amish Mennonite (now called Conservative Mennonite) Conference, by S. J. Swartzendruber of Bay Port, Michigan, and Samuel T. Yoder of Belleville, Pennsylvania. Gideon A. Yoder, a son of Bishop Abner Yoder, was the only preacher at that time. Other ministers who have served were Elmer G. Swartzendruber (ordained 1917) and Amos C. Swartzendruber (ordained 1917), Gideon A. Yoder, bishop 1919-31, Elmer G. Swartzendruber, bishop 1931- . In 1917 the meetinghouse was moved about 75 feet southeast and enlarged. The services were usually conducted in German until the transition period of 1925-45; in 1957 possibly 90 per cent of all services were conducted in English. In 1920 evening meetings were started. Sunday school has been held since 1870, although in the earlier years it was discontinued during the winter months. Women's sewing circle, meeting somewhat irregularly since 1918, at present convenes monthly. Midweek prayer meeting is observed. In the molding of policy for the congregation, probably three men stand out most prominently; viz., the first three bishops, Jacob J. Swartzendruber, Abner Yoder, and Joseph J. Swartzendruber. Among the laity Samuel D. Guengerich was outstanding. The total membership of the congregation worshiping in the Upper Deer Creek and the Fairview meetinghouses in 1957 was 505. In the late 1950s the ministers were Elmer G. Swartzendruber, bishop, Albert S. Miller, Jacob J. Miller, Moses Gingerich, and Morris E. Swartzendruber.

In 2012 the leading minister was Elmer R. Miller and the congregational membership was 92. In 2023 the pastoral team was Elmer R. Miller, Frank Slaubaugh, and Shelby Graber. The congregational membership was 160.


Hershberger, Brenda. Anabaptist (Mennonite) Directory 2012-13. Harrisonburg, VA: The Sword and Trumpet, 2012: 56.

Additional Information

Address: 3369 - 320th Street, Wellman, IA 52356

Phone: 319-656-3843

Website: Upper Deer Creek Mennonite Church

Author(s) Elmer G. Swartzendruber
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published March 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Swartzendruber, Elmer G. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Upper deer creek mennonite church (wellman, iowa, usa)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2023. Web. 28 Sep 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Upper_deer_creek_mennonite_church_(wellman,_iowa,_usa)&oldid=175325.

APA style

Swartzendruber, Elmer G. and Richard D. Thiessen. (March 2023). Upper deer creek mennonite church (wellman, iowa, usa). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 September 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Upper_deer_creek_mennonite_church_(wellman,_iowa,_usa)&oldid=175325.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 788. All rights reserved.

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