Bethesda Mennonite Church (Marion, South Dakota, USA)
The Bethesda Mennonite Church (unaffiliated, but formerly part of the General Conference Mennonite Church), is located at 44354 273rd Street, Marion, Rosefield Township, Turner County, South Dakota. It belonged to the Northern District Conference, but withdrew.
The first arrivals to the community came from Russia in the fall of 1874. Since no minister had come along and the winter was unusually severe, no formal worship services were held the first winter; the next summer services were held in the various homes. The first church was built in the fall of 1879. In 1883 a split occurred and the larger group built another church at the present location, which was replaced in 1909 by the present building. Derk P. Tieszen, who was elected to the ministry by the congregation in 1890, had the distinction of serving until 1 January 1939, 48 years in all, 44 years of this time as elder. Abram Willems and Peter T. Unruh also served as ministers in the congregation for more than 30 years.
The Low German language was still commonly used in the homes in the early 1950s. Most of the members lived on farms, although there was a sprinkling of business and professional people who lived in near-by Marion.
In 1953 the congregation had an active Sunday school, a Christian Endeavor, a women's missionary society, and a choir. There were weekly Sunday morning and evening services but no midweek meetings. The services had become practically all English by that time. Feetwashing and communion services were held once a year. The baptized membership on 1 December 1953, was 234, with T. A. van der Smissen as elder. In 2006 the membership was 100.
Address: 44354 273rd St, Marion, South Dakota
Denominational Affiliation: Unaffiliated
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 317. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Unruh, J. D. "Bethesda Mennonite Church (Marion, South Dakota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4883.html.
APA style: Unruh, J. D. (1953). Bethesda Mennonite Church (Marion, South Dakota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4883.html.