First Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)
First Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), 305 North 7th Street, Mountain Lake, Minnesota, organized in 1878. Until about 1938 it was called the Mennonite Church of Mountain Lake. It had no conference affiliation until 1917, when it joined both the Northern District Conference and the General Conference Mennonite Church. The first elder, Gerhard Neufeld, arrived in 1878 from South Russia, whence all members in the early years came. The most common names were Neufeld, Harder, Derksen, Dick, Falk, Friesen. About half of the members were farmers in the 1950s.
The first meetinghouse was built in 1882. The second meetinghouse, also a wooden structure, was erected in 1911 with a seating capacity of about 350. It was replaced by a modern brick building with a seating capacity of 710, dedicated in August 1956. In 1947 a brick parsonage was built. As late as 1936 the language of worship was German. In 1937 English was introduced and gradually gained ground, so that by the mid-1950s it was all English, with the exception of a single German Sunday-school class. In 1947-1955 L. R. Amstutz was the pastor. He was the first minister called from outside the congregation. The Sunday school was organized about the middle nineties. The first Christian Endeavor Society was started in 1906. In 1956 there was also a Junior C.E. Society and a Youth Fellowship organization. There were three mission societies, a men's chorus, and a mixed choir.
Outstanding individuals in the history of the church have included Elder Gerhard Neufeld 1878-1910; Jacob Stoesz, elder 1910-1918; I. J. Dick, assistant pastor 1914-1920, elder 1920-1947; D. D. Harder, minister 1892-1940; I. I. Bargen, who taught in the Sunday school for about 50 years. The membership in 1956 was 423. L. R. Amstutz was succeeded as pastor in 1955 by Willard W. Wiebe. In 2005 the membership was 131; the pastor was E. Elaine Kauffman.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 762. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Dick, I. J. "First Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F5664.html.
APA style: Dick, I. J. (1957). First Mennonite Church (Mountain Lake, Minnesota, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/F5664.html.