Worcester Mennonite Church (Worcester Township, Pennsylvania, USA)
Worcester Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), known also in the past as Methacton, is located in Worcester Township near Fairview, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Franconia Mennonite Conference. The date of organization is uncertain. According to Joseph Heebner, a historian of Worcester, the church was started by the Henry Rittenhouse family (grandson of William Rittenhouse) and it is presumed that the first meetinghouse was built a few years after eight trustees in 1739 acquired a burial ground for a union cemetery. Five of these trustees were Mennonites: Henry Rittenhouse, Christopher Zimmerman, Conrad Stem, Peter Keyser, and Peter Custard. It is known that the meetinghouse was there by 1771. In 1873 the third and present meetinghouse was erected. It has never been a large congregation. There were about 50 members in 1890. Sunday school with an attendance of 125 was started in 1898 but by 1920 it was discontinued and the congregation dwindled. Extreme reluctance to adopt progressive methods and the long continuance of the "circuit system" of ministerial leadership are some reasons given for the decline in interest. In 1943 there was one communicant member and the Franconia Mission Board made Worcester a mission station. An annex was added to the church building in 1948 to provide space for Sunday school and for summer Bible school, in which the enrollment had reached several hundred. On 22 January 1950, Paul R. Clemens was ordained minister and Worcester again became an organized congregation, with 80 members in 1958.
Clemens, Beulah. "History of Worcester Church." Mission News (Franconia) (May-June, 1958): 2.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 978. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Clemens, Paul R. "Worcester Mennonite Church (Worcester Township, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/worcester_mennonite_church_worcester_township.
APA style: Clemens, Paul R. (1959). Worcester Mennonite Church (Worcester Township, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/worcester_mennonite_church_worcester_township.