Willow Creek Mennonite Church (Russellville, Kentucky, USA)

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Willow Creek Mennonite Church is located in Russellville, Kentucky. The church was organized in 2000.

In 1987, Lester Gingerich, the bishop at Sunnyside Mennonite Fellowship in Sarasota, Florida, published The Church: A Theocracy. The book prescribed a form of church government, dubbed "theocracy," that gave church leaders increased governing power over individual members as an alternative to the traditional method of allowing popular vote to determine decisions in the church. In the late 1990s, members of the Plainview Mennonite Church, a Beachy Amish church in Auburn, Kentucky, began to implement this polity in their congregation. Families that did not agree with this "theocracy" interpretation moved to Franklin Amish Mennonite Church in Franklin and to Providence Fellowship in Auburn. However, the "theocracy" movement spread to these churches as well. Members of these two congregations that did not agree with this theological direction established the less conservative Willow Creek Mennonite Church in 2000.

At its start, the church did not have any ordained men and a three-person bishop committee was formed to assist them. Eventually, Elwood Yoder from Illinois came to preach regularly, and eventually moved to Russellville to become the minister. He was joined by Oliver Hess, also from Illinois, who served as bishop. The church chose not to join the Beachy Amish Mennonite Fellowship.

In 2014 the church had 70 members. The ministerial team included Bishop Felix Hershberger, Minister Paul Miller, and Deacon Mose Eigsti.


Anderson, Cory Alexander. "The Diffusion of Beachy Amish Mennonite Congregations in the US South: A Regional Chronicle and Spatial Analysis," 2nd draft (2006): 44-45.

Mennonite Church Directory 2014. Harrisonburg, VA: Christian Light Publications, Inc., 2014: 137.

Additional Information

Phone: 270-725-8922

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published March 2015

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Willow Creek Mennonite Church (Russellville, Kentucky, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2015. Web. 22 Feb 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willow_Creek_Mennonite_Church_(Russellville,_Kentucky,_USA)&oldid=131807.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (March 2015). Willow Creek Mennonite Church (Russellville, Kentucky, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 February 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Willow_Creek_Mennonite_Church_(Russellville,_Kentucky,_USA)&oldid=131807.

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