Shope Mennonite Church (Highspire, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
The Shope Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), located a few miles southeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, one mile east of the Lancaster Pike at Steelton, was first called the Mumma Mennonite congregation, since they worshiped in Frederick Mumma's home. By 1815 a church-schoolhouse, 20 x 30 ft., of log with comb roof was erected, and later weatherboarded. It was replaced in 1873 by a brick church. The cemetery was started in 1877 on the elevation. Bishop Nathaniel Shope was the first to be buried there. It was a part of the Strickler-Shope circuit of the Lancaster Conference, with communion at the Strickler church. The total membership in the circuit in 1957 was 87. Harry L. Longenecker was the minister at the Shope church. A separate Sunday school of 50 was maintained at that time.
In 1965, the joint congregation decided to conduct all Sunday services at Strickler's. The Shope's meetinghouse did not meet the standards of more rigid building codes for an increasingly suburban community, and the declining membership did not provide an incentive to renovate the building. It continued to be used occasionally, especially for prayer meetings during the summer months. In 1976 the congregation donated the building to the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions for the development of a new, community-oriented congregation named Garden Chapel. This congregation renovated and enlarged the building and occupied it for 15-20 years, after which they built a new and larger church a few miles away near Highspire just off Rosedale Avenue. After standing vacant for several years the former Shope meetinghouse became a residence.
In 2000 Strickler's Mennonite Church left the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. Issues of difference with the Conference included such issues as women in leadership, divorce and remarriage, and the prayer veiling. Strickler's remained unaffiliated until 2006, when they became a part of Biblical Mennonite Alliance. In 2010 the congregation had 33 members and an average attendance of 48.
Zeager, Lloyd. "History of Strickler's Mennonite Church." Strickler's Mennonite Church. http://www.stricklersmennonitechurch.org/History.aspx (accessed 17 December 2009)
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 516. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Landis, Ira D. and Lloyd Zeager. "Shope Mennonite Church (Highspire, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2010. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/shope_mennonite_church_highspire_harrisburg_pennsylvania_usa.
APA style: Landis, Ira D. and Lloyd Zeager. (September 2010). Shope Mennonite Church (Highspire, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/shope_mennonite_church_highspire_harrisburg_pennsylvania_usa.