Wayland Mennonite Church (Wayland, Iowa, USA)

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The Wayland Mennonite Church, Wayland, Iowa, USA, began as the town building of the Eicher Emmanuel Mennonite Church, serving those members who lived in Wayland. The Eicher Emmanuel congregation purchased a lot in 1899 for $200 and constructed the church building at a cost of $3260.71. It dedicated the new meetinghouse on 11 February 1900. The young people of the congregation purchased the carpet, the organ, and the church bell. The Wayland congregation enlarged its building in 1911. One pastor served both churches though they kept separate membership records. The congregation completed another major building project in 1961.

Pastor Samuel M. Musselman described a typical winter week in 1905. The Wayland choir practiced on Wednesday evenings; it did not sing every Sunday but did so on many Sundays. On Thursday evening, Musselman conducted a class for Sunday school teachers in the Noble church, with a similar meeting in Wayland on Friday evening. The Women's Missionary Society met monthly on Thursday afternoons in the Wayland church. Three Sunday mornings a month, Musselman led worship at the Eicher church, with an evening worship service in Wayland. On the fourth Sunday, the order was reversed. Both locations held Sunday school each Sunday morning at 10:00, with the preaching service following. Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the Junior Christian Endeavor group met in Wayland. At 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, Christian Endeavor met at both locations, though occasionally, there were combined meetings. The preaching services on Sunday evenings in Wayland followed the Christian Endeavor meeting. Musselman was able to preach in both German and English.

Oddly enough, the Wayland congregation re-introduced once-a-month German worship services in 1915 during World War I. The Eicher Emmanuel congregation also had German preaching one Sunday morning a month. It's not clear how long these services continued.

In 1927 Henry J. Schrag resigned from the Wayland church but continued to serve the Eicher Emmanuel congregation. This marked the final separation of the two churches. Forty-six persons who had been members at Eicher Emmanuel then transferred their membership to Wayland since they lived closer to that church.

In 2000 when the Northern District of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Iowa-Nebraska Conference of the Mennonite Church (MC) merged to form the Central Plains Conference of Mennonite Church USA, Wayland Mennonite shifted from the Central District Conference to the new Central Plains Conference.

In 2023 the congregation remained part of the Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA.


"A new Mennonite church...." The Mennonite 15, no. 6 (March 1900): 41.

"The Noble and Wayland, Iowa, churches...." The Mennonite 42, no. 29 (28 July 1927): 8.

Boller, Marty. "Our Iowa heritage: 1896-1900 – Welcome to Wayland, Iowa." Web. 21 February 2023. https://ouriowaheritage.com/1896-1900/.

"Quite a shift in membership...." The Mennonite 42, no. 42 (27 October 1927): 8.

Rich, Elaine Sommers, ed. Walking Together in Faith: The Central District Conference, 1957-1990. Bluffton, Ohio: The Conference, 2003: 41-43.

"Work of one week in the Wayland and Noble pastoral charge." The Mennonite 20, no. 8 (23 February 1905): 2.

Additional Information

Address: 104 West 2nd Street, Wayland, Iowa 52654

Phone: 319-256-2743

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/waylandmennonite/

Denominational Affiliations: Central Plains Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Pastoral Leaders at Wayland Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Benjamin Eicher (1832-1893)
William B. Eicher (1869-1936) 1894
Harvey G. "H. G." Allebach (1869-1921) 1894-1897
Peter E. "P. E." Stuckey (1844-1929) 1897-1902
Samuel M. "S. M." Musselman (1875-1938) 1903-1920
Louis L. "L. L." Miller (1886-1981) 1920-1922
Peter K. "P. K." Regier (1891-1973) 1922-1924
Henry J. "H. J." Schrag (1897-1988) 1924-1927
Elmer Basinger (1882-1958) 1927-1936
Kenneth Neuenschwander (1913-2005) 1936-1938
William J. Penner (1893-1972) 1939-1942
Irvin W. Bauman (1897-1986)(Supply) 1942
Claude C. Hobson (1884-1946)(Supply) 1942-1943
Ezra S. "E. S." Mullett (1882-1981)
Loris A. Habegger (1918-2009) 1954-1960
Omer Nisley 1960-1964
Walter P. Neufeld (1927-2019) 1965-1971
Nick Kassebaum 1972-1976
Douglas Reichenbach 1977-1992
Steven Good 1992-2002
Pamela Gerig Unruh (Co-Pastor) 2003?-2015?
Gerry Klopfenstein (Co-Pastor) 2003?-2008?
Kelly Slagel (Co-Pastor) 2009?-2019?
Michael M. Swartzendruber 2016-

Membership at Wayland Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1910 165
1920 262
1930 358
1940 334
1950 346
1960 350
1970 291
1980 261
1990 240
2000 211
2009 195
2020 193

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Loris A. Habegger. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 900. All rights reserved.

Wayland Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite), a member of the Middle District, is largely an out growth of the Eicher Emmanuel Mennonite Church near Wayland. The present wood structure, dedicated in 1900, was enlarged in 1911 to seat about 250. The church was organized with 56 charter members on 8 March 1900, with Peter E. Stuckey as the first pastor. Loris A. Habegger has been the pastor since 5 June 1954. The membership in 1957 was 345. The members are largely of Swiss, Alsatian, and French background, but have intermarried with other ethnic groups. Secret orders and military participation are no longer a deterrent to membership.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published February 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Wayland Mennonite Church (Wayland, Iowa, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2023. Web. 17 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wayland_Mennonite_Church_(Wayland,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=174923.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (February 2023). Wayland Mennonite Church (Wayland, Iowa, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wayland_Mennonite_Church_(Wayland,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=174923.

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