Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA)
The Newtown Gospel Chapel (Mennonite Church USA) of Sarasota, Florida, began as a mission outpost among the African Americans of Sarasota. Bible classes followed by Sunday school were conducted for a period of about eight months in this community by the Tuttle Avenue Mennonite Church. In the winter of 1952-1953 a block building was constructed to seat 200. After this an addition for Sunday school classes was built. Workers were supplied by the home congregation. In the fall of 1953 Michael Shenk, of Denbigh, Virginia, was called to serve as pastor. He was replaced in 1956 by Mervin Shirk, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The attendance averaged 75 in 1956. There were 12 baptized members and several more under instruction at that time. The program made progress among the African-American people and overcame many barriers. Newtown Gospel Chapel was under the Virginia Mennonite Conference, and is currently a member of the Southeast Mennonite Conference and the African American Mennonite Association.
In 2009 the congregation had 56 members; the pastor was Walter Lewis Crawford.
Address: 1815 Gillespie Avenue, Sarasota, Florida
Southeast Mennonite Conference
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 868. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Augsburger, Myron S. and Sam Steiner. "Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N4996.html.
APA style: Augsburger, Myron S. and Sam Steiner. (2009). Newtown Gospel Chapel (Sarasota, Florida, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N4996.html.