Flatland Mennonite Church (Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA)
Flatland Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite) of the Eastern District Conference is located in Richland Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In 1837 Mennonites of the Swamp and Springfield congregations living in this community built a small stone meetinghouse, which with subsequent interior changes, remained to the 1950s. In the early days the congregation sometimes was known as "Tohickon," the name of the nearby stream. In 1847 most of the congregation followed Jacob Benner out of the Franconia Mennonite Conference into the new conference, while George Landis and perhaps a few others remained with the old conference and went elsewhere. In 1857 a portion of the congregation left the conference and with William N. Shelly joined the Evangelical Mennonites, later known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ.
Known ministers and their terms of service (up to 1955) are as follows: George Landis 1837-1847, John H. Oberholtzer ca. 1842-1870, W. N. Shelly ca. 1847-1857, L. O. Shimmel (?) ca. 1858-1869, A. B. Shelly 1864-1913, Harvey W. Shelly 1914-1918, Harvey G. Allebach 1919-1921, Peter E. Frantz 1922-1925, Seward M. Rosenberger 1925-1929, Arthur S. Rosenberger 1930-1934, A. J. Neuenschwander 1934-1949, William Denlinger, beginning service in 1949.
A Sunday school was begun perhaps as early as 1853, although it was not continuous. A later Sunday school was organized in 1886. The membership just before 1847 is reported to have been about 50; in 1864 it was 30; in 1908 it was 44, and in 1954 it was 61. The common names in the 1950s were Frei, Ahlum, Fluck, Kilmer, and Yeakel.
In the 1980s Flatland merged with the Bethany Mennonite Church to form the United Mennonite Church in Quakertown. The latter congregation withdrew from the Eastern District in 2002 and became a founding member of the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations, a conservative group of congregations opposed to the theological diversity within the new Mennonite Church USA.
"Building the Flatland Meetinghouse." Yearbook of the General Conference (Berne, 1918)
"Flatland Mennonite Church." Mennonite Yearbook and Almanac (Quakertown, 1899)
Wenger, J. C. History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference. ScottdaLe, Pa: Mennonite Pub. House, 1938.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 336-337. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Fretz, J. Herbert. "Flatland Mennonite Church (Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/flatland_mennonite_church_quakertown_pennsylvania.
APA style: Fretz, J. Herbert. (1956). Flatland Mennonite Church (Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/flatland_mennonite_church_quakertown_pennsylvania.