Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches)
The Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church, created in 1913, included 22 congregations with a total membership in 1957 of 5,070 distributed as follows: Washington one congregation with 187 members; Oregon two, 507; and California nineteen, 4,376. Most of the congregations were located in the San Joaquin Valley of California, with the center in Reedley. The Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary was established in Fresno in 1955 alongside the previously (1944) established Pacific Bible Institute, a junior college and Bible institute (now Fresno Pacific University). The first congregations in the conference were established in 1905 at Reedley. In 1942 an Old People's Home was established at Reedley. The Pacific District Mennonite Brethren Youth Fellowship was set up in 1948. In 1957 the conference organization included among others the Executive Committee, the Home Missions Committee, and the Sunday School Committee. -- Harold S. Bender
The Pacific District Conference, established in 1912 at Reedley, California, consisted of 43 congregations with an approximate membership in 1986 of 7,350. Two congregations were located in Washington, three in Oregon, thirty-seven in California, and one in Arizona. Nineteen other congregations have existed at various times but had closed by 1987. During its first few decades, the Pacific District received new members primarily through migration from mid-western Mennonite Brethren congregations, especially during 1915-1920 and 1935-1940, when the conference experienced its most significant growth. In 1987 the conference supported Fresno Pacific College (now Fresno Pacific University), a liberal arts college founded in 1944 as Pacific Bible Institute. A high school and five retirement homes were supported by various congregations within the conference, although they were not formally affiliated with the conference as a whole. Since the mid-1950s the conference has engaged in significant ministry among Hispanics in California's San Joaquin Valley; eight Pacific District congregations were primarily Hispanic in membership (1986). A Bible school, Instituto Biblico del Pacifico (Bible Institute of the Pacific) was founded in 1984. The archives of the Pacific District Conference were housed in the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Fresno, CA. -- Kevin Enns-Rempel
At the beginning of 2010 the following congregations were members of the Pacific District Conference:
Lohrenz, J. H. The Mennonite Brethren Church. Hillsboro, KS, 1950: 159-176.
Toews, John A. History of the Mennonite Brethren Church, ed. A. J. Klassen. Fresno, CA: Mennonite Brethren Board of Literature and Education, 1975: 146-149, 202, 205, 209.
Year book of the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (1912 and following).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 104; vol. 5, p. 666. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Bender, Harold S. and Kevin Enns-Rempel. "Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2010. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P332.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. and Kevin Enns-Rempel. (June 2010). Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (United States Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P332.html.