First Mennonite Church (Woodlake, California, USA)
Woodlake Mennonite settlement, now extinct, was established in the eastern part of the San Joaquin Valley of central California. Before World War I numerous Mennonites became stockholders of the Woodlake Citrus Development Company, some of whom never moved to Woodlake. The virgin land of the Woodlake area was gradually transformed into orange groves. Some of the families who founded the town of Woodlake came from Reedley and Upland. The spiritual needs were taken care of by visiting ministers from Mennonite communities in California.
In 1915 H. A. Bachmann came to Woodlake and on 13 June 1915, the First Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite) was organized with 18 members who met in the local school. In 1916-18 F. J. Isaac served as minister, followed in 1918-19 by J. J. Engbrecht. After this the Reedley Mennonite Church provided for occasional services. In 1926 some young people were baptized. The last meeting of the congregation was held on 20 January 1929, attended by three families. In 1953 there were only three families living at Woodlake who had once belonged to the Mennonite Church of that place.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 977. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Krahn, Cornelius. "First Mennonite Church (Woodlake, California, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/first_mennonite_church_woodlake_california_usa.
APA style: Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). First Mennonite Church (Woodlake, California, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/first_mennonite_church_woodlake_california_usa.