North Carolina (USA)
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North Carolina, a state in southeastern United States on the Atlantic Coast, borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. The state is comprised of 53,865 square miles (139,509 km²) with a population estimated in 2008 at 9,222,414. In 2007, the U.S. Census estimated that the racial makeup of North Carolina was as follows: 70% White American, 25.3% African-American, 1.2% American Indian, and the remaining 6.5% are Hispanic or Latino (of any race). In 2001 the religious affiliations of people in North Carolina were reported to be as follows: Baptist: 38%; Methodist: 9%; Presbyterian: 3%; Lutheran: 2%; Other Protestant: 5%; Roman Catholic: 10%; Other Christian: 12%; Judaism: 1%; Other religions: 3%; and Non-religious: 10% (7% were not reported).
Until 1955 no Mennonite congregations had ever been established in the state, except the African-American congregations established through the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren mission work in the far western part of the state near Elk Park since 1899. In 1956 there were six preachers and eleven deacons in these congregations, with an attendance of about 180 at the Sunday morning services. This group was, however, not directly a part of the KMB conference. In 1955 the Virginia Mennonite Conference established a mission in Hickory, 45 miles northwest of Charlotte, in the west-central part of the state, which in 1956 had 22 members.
Traces of resident Mennonites in North Carolina might be seen in the following facts. In 1778 the Colonial Assembly of North Carolina adopted a resolution stating "that all Quakers, Moravians, Dunkards and Mennonists . . . shall be admitted to the rights of citizens." Again in 1779 a resolution was adopted that the same categories of persons be exempted from the draft. There are other references to "Mennonists," all noted in Records of the Moravians in North Carolina III (Raleigh, NC, 1926). Further the Herald of Truth for May 1866 reports a conversation with a soldier who knew of a Mennonite congregation in the state. J. F. Funk reported that John S. Coffman was once sent to visit the supposed Mennonite congregation in North Carolina about 1880. According to Funk's oral report to the writer in 1926, Coffman found the group very much disorganized and not recognizable as Mennonites. -- HSB
The small groups resulting from the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren conference mission work were transferred to the General Conference of the Mennonite Brethren (North Carolina District Conference [MB] when the two conferences merged in 1960. In 1987 the membership of the six congregations was 189. Since 1955 other Mennonite conferences have established congregations in North Carolina with the number of congregations and membership in 1988 as follows: Virginia Conference (MC; 7 congregations, 261 members); Atlantic Coast Conference (MC; 2, 74); Fellowship Churches (1; 51); One of the Virginia Conference congregations, Durham, also belonged to the Eastern District Conference (General Conference Mennonite).
See also Wiebe, Elizabeth Pauls and Henry V.
Bender, Harold S. "Mennonites in North Carolina." Mennonite Quarterly Review 1 (July 1927): 69-71.
Horsch, James E., ed. Mennonite Yearbook and Directory (1988): 30, 48-49.
Wiebe, Elizabeth. "The Founding and Pioneer Work of the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Mountain Mission in North Carolina." Christian Witness 10 (15 March 1950): 5-7.
Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1978: 146.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 915; vol. 5, p. 638. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S., Reynold Sawatzky and Richard D. Thiessen. "North Carolina (USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2009. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N67712.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S., Reynold Sawatzky and Richard D. Thiessen. (February 2009). North Carolina (USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N67712.html.