Hopedale Mennonite Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA)
Hopedale Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), approximately 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) southeast of Hopedale, Tazewell County, Illinois, a member of the Illinois Mennonite Conference, was originally named the "Delavan Prairie Church." Preceding the merging of the Amish with the Mennonites of the state, it was known as the Hopedale Amish-Mennonite Church and by the general public as the German Church. Some of the first settlers were Joe Litwiller 1854; Peter and Christian Nafziger 1856, Christ Slagel 1857, David Springer 1858, Simon Bechler 1862, and Christ Birky 1862. Services were held every two weeks in the homes in 1854-1876. The first church building was erected two miles southeast of Hopedale in 1876. Additions to the church were built in 1884 and 1906. A new building, still in use in 1956, with a seating capacity of 450, was erected in 1926.
Christian Nafziger (1819-1899) was ordained as the first minister in 1856 and as bishop in 1860. John C. Birky served as bishop 1896-1920, Samuel Gerber 1920-1925, and Simon Litwiller 1925-1956. Others who have served as ministers are Joseph Litwiller, Simon Bechler, William Unzicker, Joseph Hochstetler, J. Nafziger, Noah Augsburger, Andrew Birkey, Joseph Birky, Daniel Grieser, J. Birkey, John Egli, Joseph Egli, Joseph Springer, Daniel Nafziger, Ben Springer, and Ivan Kauffmann, who was installed as pastor in 1956. The membership that year was 370. The first Sunday school services were held in 1885 and were conducted in German.
Weber, Harry F. Centennial history of the Mennonites of Illinois, 1829-1929. Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society, 1931.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 810. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Kauffmann, Ivan J. "Hopedale Mennonite Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hopedale_mennonite_church_hopedale_illinois_usa.
APA style: Kauffmann, Ivan J. (1956). Hopedale Mennonite Church (Hopedale, Illinois, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/hopedale_mennonite_church_hopedale_illinois_usa.