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First Mennonite Church of Iowa City (Mennonite Church USA), for­merly Iowa City Gospel Mission, began as the Mennonite Sunday School on 27 November 1927 in the old Cartright schoolhouse on Orchard Street on the west side of the Iowa River in Iowa City. The work began as a result of the vision of Will Guengerich, Chris Hershberger, Joe C. Brenneman, and others, in part to provide a church home for Mennonites who had moved to the city. The first meeting ­house was erected in the summer of 1939 at 614 Clark Street (corner of Clark and Seymour) on the east side of the Iowa River. A building program in the mid-1960s allowed the membership to grow to 300. Now located close to the University, First Mennonite ministers to patients, students and faculty.The pastor in 1954 was Virgil J. Brenneman. As a mission it was operated by the Iowa-Nebraska District Board of the Mennonite Church. In January 1952 Norman Hobbs, who was then pastor, left the Mennonite Church. Taking about 20 members with him, he organized a new congregation (Grace Missionary) which became affiliated with the United Missionary Church. In October 1954 the Mission became an independent congrega­tion assuming the entire support of the program and its pastor. At that time it was also decided to change the name to Iowa City Mennonite Church.

Additional Information

First Mennonite Church of Iowa City website

Author(s) Virgil J Brenneman
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Brenneman, Virgil J. "First Mennonite Church of Iowa City (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 29 Apr 2017.,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=80825.

APA style

Brenneman, Virgil J. (1957). First Mennonite Church of Iowa City (Iowa City, Iowa, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 April 2017, from,_Iowa,_USA)&oldid=80825.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 51-52. All rights reserved.

©1996-2017 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.