Sterling Mennonite Church (Sterling, Ohio, USA)
Sterling Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite Church [GCM]), Wayne County, Ohio, was founded by Peter Rich and his friends after he had been excommunicated by the Oak Grove Amish Mennonite Church in 1869 for refusing to quit his business of brewing beer. After his excommunication Rich attended services in Butler County, Ohio, and between 1896 and 1901 while H. P. Krehbiel was attempting to revive the Canton Mennonite Church as a GCM congregation he attended there. Finally in 1900 the Rich-Krabill group in Sterling was organized as a congregation by GCM ministers and held services in a small church near the Amwell (Sterling) cemetery where Rich and a number of his relatives are buried. When that building was sold and moved away the congregation in 1906 erected a small church at the south edge of Sterling but depended on supply ministers sent by the Home Mission Committee of the Conference or on the ministers of the Wadsworth First Mennonite Church. The congregation is first listed in the 1905 Mennonite Yearbook and Almanac as a member of the Middle District Conference. In H. P. Krehbiel's statistical computation of 1911 (Mennonite Churches of North America) the congregation appears without a minister but with Peter Krabill as deacon and with 40 members. From that time until 1920 the membership fluctuated between 38 and 43. During the decade following 1920 the congregation disbanded, sold their meetinghouse to a Progressive Brethren congregation, and most of the members united with the Wadsworth Mennonite (GCM) Church. Their strong Swiss-Alsatian Mennonitism brought new emphasis and strength to that congregation.
Kreider, Rachel. "One Hundred Years in Wadsworth." Mennonite Life VIII (1953): 165-66.
Umble, John. "The Oak Grove Amish Mennonite Church." Mennonite Quarterly Review XXXI (1957): 150-53.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 629-630. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Umble, John S. "Sterling Mennonite Church (Sterling, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/sterling_mennonite_church.
APA style: Umble, John S. (1959). Sterling Mennonite Church (Sterling, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/sterling_mennonite_church.