Skippack Mennonite Church (Skippack Township, Pennsylvania, USA)
Skippack Mennonite Church in Skippack Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, is affiliated with the Franconia Mennonite Conference. Skippack was settled in 1702 by Johannes Custer, Claus Jansen, Jan Krey, and others. In 1717 the wealthy Matthias van Bebber, Mennonite owner of the 6,000-acre tract on which the Mennonites settled, conveyed 100 acres to 7 Mennonite trustees named Sellen, Jansen, Ziegler, Custer, and three Kolb brothers, Henry, Martin, and Jacob. A meetinghouse was built here circa 1725, replaced in 1844 by a new one.
Preacher Martin Kolb had settled at Skippack by 1709, and Jacob Godshalk, who functioned as a bishop, arrived three or four years later. Henry Kolb also served as a preacher. Jacob Kolb was probably a deacon, for he was treasurer of the church funds. Claes Jansen and Michael Ziegler were preachers. The congregation has kept an alms book since 1738, which is a valuable source of information because the ordained men audited and signed it annually. Perhaps the ablest minister in the history of the congregation was Bishop Henry Hunsicker (1752-1836), ordained preacher 1781/82 and bishop soon thereafter. His son John Hunsicker (1773-1847) was the senior bishop in the Franconia Conference in the division of 1847 and with Oberholtzer withdrew from the conference. John Hunsicker's younger brother, Abraham Hunsicker (1793-1872), was ordained as preacher at Skippack on New Year's Day of 1847. He followed Oberholtzer in the division. In 1848 he and his son Henry A. Hunsicker established Freeland Seminary at Collegeville, Pennsylvania, (now Ursinus College). (See also Hunsicker.) The history of the portion of the congregation which withdrew from the Franconia Conference in 1847 is given under Lower Skippack. The portion which remained with the conference built a new meetinghouse one and one-fourth miles northwest of the old meetinghouse site in 1848. This building was replaced in 1950. The most prominent minister since 1847 was Jacob B. Mensch (1835-1912), preacher from 1867, antiquarian and unofficial secretary of the Franconia Conference from 1880. In 1958 the ministers were Jacob T. Landes and Daniel Reinford; the membership was 102.
Wenger, J. C. History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference. Telford, 1937.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 536-537. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wenger, John C. "Skippack Mennonite Church (Skippack Township, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/skippack_mennonite_church.
APA style: Wenger, John C. (1959). Skippack Mennonite Church (Skippack Township, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/skippack_mennonite_church.