Mennonite Evangelizing Committee (Mennonite Church)
Mennonite Evangelizing Committee, the first organization for evangelistic and mission work in the Mennonite Church (MC), was organized on 28 December 1882, at Elkhart, IN, by members of the Elkhart congregation acting as private persons. The pastor, J. F. Funk, was the leading spirit in promoting it, and the chairman for several years. The report of the organizing meeting states that it was decided to form a "local permanent organization consisting of a managing committee of three, plus a secretary and treasurer." The first election placed J. F. Funk, Martin Wenger, and Henry Brenneman on the managing committee and Joseph Summers and J. J. Hostetler as treasurer and secretary. The Committee actually was an unofficial organization formed to carry out the decision of the Indiana Conference of 13 October 1882, "that means should be collected for the purpose of defraying the expenses incurred in traveling to visit scattered members and churches." A meeting of the Committee on 15 March 1883 decided to enlarge its purpose to include fund-raising, "also to preach the Gospel where our church and doctrines are not known." It decided to activate the conference request to hold quarterly offerings. It also decided that it should work under the Elkhart congregation. At the first annual meeting J. F. Funk and J. S. Coffman were elected president and secretary respectively, Coffman serving a number of years. The members of the managing committee for several years were Martin Wenger, Noah Hoover, and Henry Brenneman. Later A. B. Kolb was a leading member. Although the Committee was local, it held most of its meetings as public sessions in the Mennonite meetinghouses south of Elkhart, and did much to promote interest in evangelism through its programs. The last meeting was held on 20 January 1892 when the Committee was transformed into the Mennonite Evangelizing Board. The work of the Committee was usually small (e.g., 1887, $118.61), although in 1890 it reached a peak of $718.97.
The minutes of the Committee were printed entire in the Gospel Herald (4 March, 1952): 230-233.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 621. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Mennonite Evangelizing Committee (Mennonite Church) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M46668.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1957). Mennonite Evangelizing Committee (Mennonite Church) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M46668.html.