Franklin County (Ohio, USA)
Franklin County, Ohio, organized in 1803, was the home of two Mennonite (Mennonite Church) congregations during the middle and later years of the 19th century, the Jacob Bowman Church near Canal Winchester and the Sternen Church near Pickerington on the border between Fairfield and Franklin counties. The burial ground of both congregations was near Canal Winchester. The founders had moved from nearby Fairfield and Perry counties to improve their economic status after the opening of the canal from Portsmouth to Cleveland. John M. Brenneman, a miller, moved near Canal Winchester from Fairfield in 1848 and was ordained bishop here in 1849 but moved again to Allen County in 1855. The stress of the Civil War period further reduced the membership. In the later years poorly qualified leadership, protracted retention of the German worship service, and the lure of the more spirited religious activities in the United Brethren. and Methodist Episcopal churches drew the Mennonite young people away from the simple faith and worship of their fathers. Some became prosperous farmers and businessmen. In a final effort to perpetuate the Mennonite faith Benoni Stemen, a wealthy Mennonite farmer and stock raiser, built for himself and the families of his four sons and three daughters a Mennonite meetinghouse near Pickerington, but could not stem the decline. When the church building fell into disuse after his death, the benches were moved to the Turkey Run Church in Perry County south of Bremen.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 377. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Umble, John S. "Franklin County (Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/franklin_county_ohio_usa.
APA style: Umble, John S. (1956). Franklin County (Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/franklin_county_ohio_usa.