After making investigating trips practically all over the Republic of Argentina, J. W. Shank and T. K. Hershey, Mennonite (Mennonite Church) missionaries, began missionary activities in Pehuajó, a city about 250 miles southwest of Buenos Aires. On 23 February 1919, the first Sunday school was conducted with 18 present. On 6 March a hall was rented, and on 27 April the first evangelistic meetings began. Seven new members were instructed and on 10 October baptized. In January 1920 a lot was purchased on which there were two tin shops and a dwelling house. These were remodeled and are still used for the home of the workers and the clinic. In 1923 a church with basement was built. In 1930 a five-room dwelling was built to accommodate additional workers. Practically all of the institutional work was opened in Pehuajó. The orphanage began to function in May 1926 with 12 beds. It was later transferred to Trenque Lauquen and still later to Bragado. The Gospel Printery, purchased in February 1927, began to operate in one of the original tin shops; it has been moved to Trenque Lauquen. The Bible school, organized in 1928, had its beginning in Pehuajó with the local pastor in charge. It was officially organized in 1928. Some of the present national workers were among the first graduates. The Bible institute is now located in Bragado. In 1919 the first kindergarten was begun and Bible reading organized in the homes. Five of the first seven baptized became the first kindergarten teachers and Bible readers.
The missionary activities in Pehuajó are preaching services, young people's meetings, literary society, and visitation work. Most of the people who attend these services represent the working class. Some business and professional men are the product of the Pehuajó congregation. The financial contributions of the church membership show a gradual increase from 11.45 pesos in 1919 to 2,992.55 in 1947.
On 1 January 1948, the records show that 199 have been baptized. Of this number 22 died, 76 moved away (many of whom are members elsewhere), 35 withdrew, and 5 were excommunicated. In 1957 the membership was 58.
The missionaries who have had pastoral oversight are D. Parke Lantz, Nelson Litwiller, L. S. Weber, J. W. Shank, Amos Swartzentruber, T. H. Brenneman, T. K. Hershey, and William Hallman.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 132. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hershey, T. K. "Pehuajó (Argentina)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4418.html.
APA style: Hershey, T. K. (1959). Pehuajó (Argentina). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4418.html.