Central District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)
The Central District Conference was the second largest district of the General Conference Mennonite Church in the United States It was created by a merger of the Central Conference Mennonite Church and the Middle District (GCM) at a joint session in Normal, IL, 27 April 1957. It had 41 congregations from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, and a membership of 8,361. Its original purpose, to promote unity, offer guidance, and provide a channel for the united mission efforts among its constituent churches, continued to be a focus of the conference in the late 1980s.
Each member congregation had one delegate vote for every 30 members. Delegates met yearly for a three-day session of business, worship, seminars, and fellowship at various locations around the district. An elected president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, and two members-at-large made up the board of directors. Forty other elected people made up the standing committees: Ministerial; Program; Historical; Missions; Education and Publication; Camp Friedenswald ; and Peace, Service, and Justice. A nominating committee was appointed. The district also elected six Bluffton College board members, three General Conference commission members, and five board members of the Chicago Mennonite Learning Center. The district board and committees guided ministries in church planting and evangelism, prison and law offenders, youth, Christian camping, teacher training, marriage and family, leadership development, worship and music, and peace education. The budget for 1987 was $242,000. The Reporter, the monthly conference paper, was published 11 times each year.
The following have served as conference ministers: Raymond L. Hartzler, 1957-64; Gordon Dyck, 1964-69; Jacob T. Friesen, 1970-75; Stanley Bohn, 1975-79; and Mark Weidner, 1980-. Membership in 1987 was 62 congregations with 8,247 members. Twenty-six of the congregations were also affiliated with other conferences, primarily those of the Mennonite Church (MC).
In 2010 the following congregations were members of the Central District Conference:
Central District Yearbook, annual reports, conference minutes, directory, and statistics.
Handbook of Information, General Conference Mennonite Church (1988): 111-12, 139-40.
Pannabecker, Samuel F. Faith and Ferment: The History of the Central District Conference. Newton, KS, 1968.
Minutes, correspondence, records, etc., are retained in the Bluffton College Archives, Bluffton, Ohio.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 130-131. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Weidner, Mark. "Central District Conference (Mennonite Church USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C458859.html.
APA style: Weidner, Mark. (July 2010). Central District Conference (Mennonite Church USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C458859.html.