Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Mennonite Church USA) of Chicago, Illinois, is located at 14th Place and Laflin Street. It was started in 1944 as a project among the African American people by the Mission Board of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. Under the leadership of Lester Hershey, Walter Yordy and James and Rowena Lark, a successful Bible school was held in the summer of 1944. That August the workers organized the congregation.
James H. Lark was asked to take charge; he in 1946 he was ordained a minister and in 1956 a bishop. He was the first African American minister and bishop in the Mennonite Church. The total membership in 1953 of Bethel, together with that of Dearborn Street Mission (an outpost at 1808 Dearborn Street), was 53 exclusive of workers. A fire in the building where the congregation met meant a new facility was required; the new building was dedicated in September 1954.
Smith, Willard. Mennonites in Illinois. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 427-430.
Address: 1434 South Laflin, Chicago, Illinois
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 310-311. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Lark, James H. and Sam Steiner. "Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Chicago, Illinois, USA) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2009. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48643.html.
APA style: Lark, James H. and Sam Steiner. (August 2009). Bethel Mennonite Community Church (Chicago, Illinois, USA) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B48643.html.