Mountain States Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)
Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church (MC)) was organized as a conference district in September 1961, at the first annual meeting in La Junta, Colorado. In a Colorado Springs meeting the previous July steps were taken to form a district conference with the encouragement of Harold S. Bender, guest speaker. Christian workers conferences and regular ministers meetings preceded the conference organization. Fourteen congregations formed Rocky Mouintain Conference with eleven congregations in Colorado and one each in Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas. These congregations had earlier been a part of South Central Mennonite Conference with E. M. Yost as area overseer. Yost became the first overseer of Rocky Mountain Conference.
Health care and human services have been important in the witness and ministry of Mennonites in the Rocky Mountain region. Six communities in Colorado have been served by Mennonite-operated hospitals and nursing homes. Frontier Boys Village, a facility for emotionally disturbed boys, emerged from the Rocky Mountain Camp ministry. The Prince of Peace Chapel in Aspen and the Mennonite Urban Ministry in Denver also provided significant ministries. Voluntary service workers from across the Mennonite Church have served in these settings with most congregations including former voluntary service workers among their members.
In 1987 the district had 19 congregations in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. One congregation was also affiliated with the Brethren in Christ; two congregations are also members of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Membership in the conference is 1,308. The official organ of the conference is the Echo.
Following the realignment of the General Conference Mennonite Church, the Mennonite Church (MC) and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, the Rocky Mountain Conference became part of Mennonite Church USA. Further restructuring took place in 2005/2006, when the Rocky Mountain Conference restructured as the Mountain States Mennonite Conference. This new conference also included several congregations that had been part of the Western District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. The new structure formally began 1 January 2006.
In 2010 the following 22 congregations were members of the Mountain State Mennonite Conference:
Horsch, James E., ed. Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House (1988-89): 77-78.
Bartel, Barry. "Birth of a Conference." Conference Connections (January 2006): 2-3.
Thomas, Everett. "Mountain States Mennonites Welcomed." MPress online. Accessed 29 May 2006. <http://www.goshen.edu/mPress/July_8>
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 776. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Jantz, Wallace and Sam Steiner. "Mountain States Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M6911.html.
APA style: Jantz, Wallace and Sam Steiner. (July 2010). Mountain States Mennonite Conference (Mennonite Church USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M6911.html.