Bethel Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA)
The Bethel Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), Rittman, Medina County, Ohio, had its actual beginning with the half-dozen members who refused to follow their ultraconservative bishop, Abraham Rohrer, during the Wisler controversy about 1870. The original congregation had been made up of settlers from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1829, joined later by others from Lancaster and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania and from Canada and Maryland. In 1833 they had organized a congregation and erected the Guilford meetinghouse. The first ministers were Jacob Koppes and William Overholt. After the division about 1870 visiting ministers served the progressive group until 1880 when Martin Leatherman was ordained to the ministry. Even then the congregation lacked qualified workers to carry on a Sunday school until several years later. Names that figured prominently in the history of the congregation after 1880 include Kreider, Rohrer, Lind, Newcomer, Stauffer, Kindig, and Detweiler. Until 1930 the congregation worshiped on alternate Sundays at the Guilford meetinghouse which they owned jointly with the Wisler branch and on the intervening Sunday at the Bethel church which they themselves built in 1893. After 1930 the congregation conducted all of its services at Bethel, remodeled in 1939. The 1953 membership was 129; ministers, Samuel D. Rohrer and J. Robert Kreider.
Address: 2684 Seville Road, Rittman, Ohio
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 313. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Umble, John S. "Bethel Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B486835.html.
APA style: Umble, John S. (1953). Bethel Mennonite Church (Rittman, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B486835.html.