Leetonia Mennonite Church (Leetonia, Ohio, USA)
Leetonia Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), in Leetonia, Columbiana County, Ohio, is one of three Mennonite churches lying within a 7 miles (12 km) radius and extending across the boundary line of Columbiana and Mahoning counties. In 1954 all were members of the Ohio Mennonite and Eastern Conference (MC). For the first three quarters of a century the three meetinghouses—Metzler's or North Lima and Oberholser's or Midway three or four miles southwest, both in Mahoning County, and Nold's or Leetonia three or four miles south of Midway— served as meeting places for church services for one congregation. This Mennonite settlement was one of the oldest as well as one of the largest in Ohio. Services were held at each church once a month. The fourth Sunday was kept open for visiting. Metzler's was erected in 1824, Oberholser's in 1825, and Leetonia in 1828. Jacob Oberholzer, a Mennonite minister, and his family of 21 children were among the first settlers to arrive in 1807 from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He donated a plot of ground for the first log church. Jacob Nold, also from Bucks County, settled in the southern part of the settlement, organized services there in 1819, and donated the land on which Nold's was erected in 1828. Metzler and other settlers from Lancaster County settled in the northern part, where he donated a plot of ground for Metzler's near North Lima. Bishop Nold and his friends from eastern Pennsylvania were not accustomed to practice the ordinance of feetwashing. But wishing to have fellowship with the other Ohio ministers, Nold made strenuous efforts to persuade his friends to practice the ordinance. He made many visits to the Mennonite settlements extending across northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, preaching, ordaining ministers, and administering communion.
Beginning in 1892 services were held at Midway every other Sunday for the entire settlement and on the intervening Sundays at both North Lima and Leetonia. Beginning in the 1940s Leetonia had a separate Sunday-school organization and met every Sunday. North Lima and Midway each had its own Sunday-school officers but the entire Sunday school met at the two churches on alternate Sundays. Since about 1950 each of the three has been considered as a separate congregation with not only its own Sunday-school officers and its own ministers but also its own bishop. Following Jacob Nold, Joseph Bixler served as bishop, then John Burkholder, then for many years A. J. Steiner. In the 1940s and 1950s he assisted in the ordination of Paul Yoder, bishop at Midway, his son, David, at North Lima, and Stephen A. Yoder at Leetonia. Communion services were customarily held at Midway in the fall but in 1946 by vote of the Leetonia congregation communion was held there for the first time. The 1954 membership at Leetonia was 113, at Midway 159, and at North Lima 149.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 308. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Umble, John S. "Leetonia Mennonite Church (Leetonia, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L4301.html.
APA style: Umble, John S. (1957). Leetonia Mennonite Church (Leetonia, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L4301.html.