First Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne began as a mission upon the authorization of the Ohio Mennonite Conference in 1902, after the repeated requests of John B. Federspiel and wife, Mennonite residents of the city. M. S. Steiner was appointed to open the work, which began at 1921 South Hauna Street, in 1903. In 1904 the mission was moved to 2237 Oliver Street and from there to St. Mary's Avenue. Two years later a church was constructed at 1209 St. Mary's Avenue. In 1915 the present chapel was built on the adjoining lot. The following pastors were in charge of the work at Fort Wayne up to 1955: J. F. Bressler 1903-1905, Ben B. King 1905-1930, Frank Martin 1930-1934, Newton Weber 1934-1941, Allen Ebersole 1941-1952, Rudy Bontrager, beginning service in 1952. Others have served for shorter periods of time. In the early 1920s the Fort Wayne Mission became an organized self-governing congregation, but with limited support from the mission board, which was continued until September 1953, when the congregation became entirely independent of the mission board. The membership in 1955 was 136.
King, B. B. "Our Mission Work at Ft. Wayne, Indiana." Youth’s Christian Companion. (27 September 1925): 1, 2
Sevits, Esther. "History of the Fort Wayne Mission." Mennonite Historical Bulletin (January 1947): 1, 4.
Address: 1213 Saint Marys Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Cite This Article
Gingerich, Melvin. "First Mennonite Church (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 5 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=First_Mennonite_Church_(Fort_Wayne,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=94639.
Gingerich, Melvin. (1956). First Mennonite Church (Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=First_Mennonite_Church_(Fort_Wayne,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=94639.
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