Yoder, Elmer S. (1925-2007)
|Esther & Elmer Yoder, 1996. Family photo.|
Elmer S. Yoder was born 6 October 1925, near Somerset, Pennsylvania, the oldest son of Simon and Lydia Yoder. Elmer grew up in the Beachy Amish Mennonite Church and moved with his family to Kempsville, Virginia, where he lived from 1936-1950. Elmer taught in the Kempsville Amish Mennonite School from 1947-1950.
In 1950 he married Esther J. Yoder (21 November 1926- ), and he moved to her home community of Hartville, Ohio, where they lived together until Elmer’s passing 14 September 2007. They had three children, Dorcas (Eberly), Elwood, and Jason. Elmer earned a B. A. and an M. Ed. in sociology from Kent State University, Ohio. He was a longtime school teacher who spent many years on the boards of Eastern Mennonite University, Rosedale Bible College, Central Christian School, and Lake Center Christian School.
Elmer was ordained as Mennonite minister in the Conservative Mennonite Conference on 8 July 1956, and as a bishop on 27 August 1978. He served as minister for many years at Marlboro Mennonite Church, Marlboro, Ohio, and also at Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Hartville, Ohio. He was ordained as overseer and served as overseer of Pleasant View Mennonite Church near Berlin, Ohio, for six years. From 1991-2007, Elmer served as Conservative Mennonite Conference Historian. He worked for six years as editor of Missionary Bulletin, a Conference paper, and edited its successor, Brotherhood Beacon, for 12 years. He wrote six entries for Volume 5 of The Mennonite Encyclopedia.
Elmer began writing congregational and community histories around 1980. Having taught world history and geography in various schools, he turned his attention to local Mennonite history and began writing books and publishing articles. He became known as a distinguished historian of the Stark County Amish and Mennonite communities of northeast Ohio. Elmer served as president of the Stark County Mennonite and Amish Society for 27 years and established and edited Heritage, the Society’s publication. Elmer wrote 12 books and co-authored two more. A commemorative issue of Heritage, June 2010, summarized Elmer’s life work, listed his writings, and provided a comprehensive index of Heritage, many of the articles which he wrote, from 1994-2007.
Books by Elmer S. Yoder
Yoder, Elmer S. Celebrating God’s Faithfulness, Lake Center Christian School, 1947-1997. Lake Center Christian School, Hartville, Ohio, 1997.
Yoder, Elmer S. Cornerstone Mennonite Church: Celebration of 50 years, 1955-2005. Cornerstone Mennonite Church, Hartville, Ohio, 2005.
Yoder, Elmer S. From Das Buchenland to the Beech. Beech Mennonite Church Historical Committee, Louisville, Ohio, Schlabach Printers, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1991.
Yoder, Elmer S. I Saw it in The Budget. Diakonia Ministries, Hartville, Ohio, Schlabach Printers, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1990.
Yoder, Elmer S. Introducing Lake Township: Rooted in the past, Reaching for the future. Lake Township Historical Society, Uniontown, Ohio, 2003
Yoder, Elmer S. Lake Center Celebrates Forty Years. Lake Center Christian School, Hartville, Ohio, 1988.
Yoder, Elmer S. Pathways to Portgage: Aurora Mennonite Church, 1905-2005. Aurora Mennonite Church, Aurora, Ohio, 2005.
Yoder, Elmer S. Simon L. & Lydia E. Yoder: 20th Century Pilgrimage. Diakonia Ministries, Hartville, Ohio, Schlabach Printers, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1993.
Yoder, Elmer S. Sixty Years at Maple Grove (Hartville), 1922-1982. Diakonia Ministries, Hartville Ohio, The Knowles Press, Hartville, Ohio, 1982.
Yoder, Elmer S. The Amish and Mennonites of Northern Stark County: A Centennial History, 1905-2005. Stark County Mennonite and Amish Historical Society, Hartville, Ohio, 2005.
Yoder, Elmer S. The Amish Mennonites of Macon County, Georgia. Diakonia Ministries, Hartville, Ohio, The Knowles Press, Hartville, Ohio, 1981.
Yoder, Elmer S. The Beachy Amish Mennonite Fellowship Churches. Diakonia Ministries, Hartville, Ohio, Schlabach Printers, Sugarcreek, Ohio, 1987.
Yoder, Elmer S. and Paton Yoder. The Hartville Amish and Mennonite Story, 1905-1980. The Stark County Mennonite and Amish Historical Society, The Knowles Press, Hartville, Ohio, 1980.
Yoder, Elmer S. and Jewel Showalter. We Beheld His Glory: Rosedale Bible Institute, The First Forty Years: 1952-1992. Rosedale Bible Institute, Irwin, Ohio, 1992.
Zook, Leon R., edited by Leroy Miller. The Amish-Mennonites at Kempsville, Virginia, 1900-1970. Donning Company, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1995. Elmer S. Yoder wrote chapter 11, “The Simon L. and Lydia E. (Yoder) Yoder Family,” pages 83-90, and chapter 16, “Kempsville Mennonite School: Its Beginnings,” pages 115-128.
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MLA style: Yoder, Elwood. "Yoder, Elmer S. (1925-2007)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2012. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/yoder_elmer_s._1925_2007.
APA style: Yoder, Elwood. (March 2012). Yoder, Elmer S. (1925-2007). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/yoder_elmer_s._1925_2007.