Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA
The Ohio Conference of the Mennonite Church (Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA after the merger of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church) had its origins in the Ohio Mennonite Conference (1843; some accounts trace the origins of the conference to 1834) and the Eastern Amish Mennonite Conference (1893). These two conferences merged in 1927 to form the Ohio Mennonite and Eastern Amish Mennonite Joint Conference, later shortened to Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference. In 1978 another realignment occurred when the eastern congregations, located largely in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and New Jersey, formed the Atlantic Coast Conference of the Mennonite Church. The remaining Ohio congregations then formed the Ohio Conference by the present name.
In 1986 the conference had 11,136 members (80 congregations) and 164 ministers. The congregations were located in Ohio except for four in western Pennsylvania, one in Michigan, and one in Kentucky. The main settlements of these congregations were in Holmes County, Wayne County, the area around the town of Archbold, Stark County, the area around the town of West Liberty, Logan County, and Columbiana County Some small, rather isolated, rural churches were established in the late 1940s and 1950s. Since then greater effort went into beginning new congregations in urban and suburban areas. In 1987 there were four congregations in Cleveland.
The Kidron community in Wayne County served as a base for many of the conference's programs. Here are located the conference offices with staff serving in administration, youth ministries and nurture, and peace and service work. In the late 1960s a full-time conference minister along with overseers replaced the traditional Mennonite bishop system of pastoral oversight to congregations. Camp Luz, a Mennonite-affiliated youth camp, is located near Kidron, as is Central Christian High School (founded 1961). In 1987 the latter was a 200-student secondary school. The bimonthly periodical of the conference is The Ohio Evangel.
When strong leaders have emerged in the Ohio Conference in the post-World War II period, they have tended to move outside of the conference to where the church-wide institutions are located. For example, the Elida community (Allen County) produced the Augsburger family of leaders (A. Don, Myron, David), and the Oak Grove congregation in Wayne County produced outstanding educational and theological leaders in the Meyer (Albert J.) and Yoder (John H.; Mary Ellen Yoder Meyer) families.
The conference has had theological and social interaction with the three other main Mennonite bodies within the state including joint meetings with the Central District (GCM) in 1984. Four congregations had affiliations with both conferences. Church planting and mission efforts were increasingly coordinated between these two conferences. Various informal contacts with the Conservative Mennonite Conference and the large Ohio Amish population continued.
In 2017 the following 57 congregations were members of the Ohio Conference of the Mennonite Church:
|Agora Christian Fellowship||Columbus||Ohio|
|Beech Mennonite Church||Louisville||Ohio|
|Berean Fellowship Church||Youngstown||Ohio|
|Berlin Mennonite Church||Berlin||Ohio|
|Bethel Mennonite Church||West Liberty||Ohio|
|Central Mennonite Church||Archbold||Ohio|
|Chestnut Ridge Mennonite Church||Orrville||Ohio|
|Community Christian Fellowship||Rio Grande||Ohio|
|Crown Hill Mennonite Church||Rittman||Ohio|
|Emmanuel Mennonite Church||Monclova||Ohio|
|Fairpoint Mennonite Church||Fairpoint||Ohio|
|First Mennonite Church of Canton||Canton||Ohio|
|Friendship Mennonite Church||Bedford Heights||Ohio|
|Gilead Mennonite Church||Chesterville||Ohio|
|Good Shepherd Mennonite Church||Archbold||Ohio|
|Huber Mennonite Church||New Carlisle||Ohio|
|Inlet Mennonite Church||Wauseon||Ohio|
|Jubilee Mennonite Church||Bellefontaine||Ohio|
|Kalida Family Outreach Center||Kalida||Ohio|
|Kidron Mennonite Church||Kidron||Ohio|
|Lafayette Christian Fellowship||West Lafayette||Ohio|
|Lee Heights Community Church||Cleveland||Ohio|
|Leetonia Mennonite Church||Leetonia||Ohio|
|LifeBridge Community Church||Dover||Ohio|
|Lima Mennonite Church||Lima||Ohio|
|Lockport Mennonite Church||Stryker||Ohio|
|Maple Grove Mennonite Church||New Castle||Pennsylvania|
|Martins Creek Mennonite Church||Millersburg||Ohio|
|Martins Mennonite Church||Orrville||Ohio|
|Midway Mennonite Church||Columbiana||Ohio|
|Millersburg Mennonite Church||Millersburg||Ohio|
|New Mercies Community Church||Burton||Ohio|
|Oak Grove Mennonite Church||West Liberty||Ohio|
|Oak Grove Mennonite Church||Smithville||Ohio|
|Orrville Mennonite Church||Orrville||Ohio|
|Peace Mennonite Church||Elyria||Ohio|
|Pike Mennonite Church||Elida||Ohio|
|Pine Grove Mennonite Church||Stryker||Ohio|
|Primera Iglesia Menonita||Helena||Ohio|
|Salem Mennonite Church||Wooster||Ohio|
|Salem Mennonite Church||Elida||Ohio|
|Salem Mennonite Church||Kidron||Ohio|
|Salem Mennonite Church||Waldron||Michigan|
|Sharon Mennonite Church||Plain City||Ohio|
|Sonnenberg Mennonite Church||Kidron||Ohio|
|South Union Mennonite Church||West Liberty||Ohio|
|Southside Mennonite Church||Springfield||Ohio|
|Summit Mennonite Church||Barberton||Ohio|
|Sunnyside Mennonite Church||Conneaut Lake||Pennsylvania|
|Tedrow Mennonite Church||Wauseon||Ohio|
|Toledo Mennonite Church||Toledo||Ohio|
|University Euclid Christ New Testament||Bedford Heights||Ohio|
|Valley View Mennonite Church||Spartansburg||Pennsylvania|
|West Clinton Mennonite Church||Wauseon||Ohio|
|Wooster Mennonite Church||Wooster||Ohio|
|Zion Mennonite Church||Archbold||Ohio|
Gospel Herald (5 April 1988): 234-36.
Horsch, James E., ed. Mennonite Yearbook and Directory. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House (1988-89): 31-33.
Miller, Levi. Our People: The Amish and Mennonites of Ohio. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983.
Stoltzfus, Grant M. Mennonites of the Ohio and Eastern Conference. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1969.
Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA website.
|Date Published||July 2010|
Cite This Article
Miller, Levi. "Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2010. Web. 24 May 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ohio_Conference_of_Mennonite_Church_USA&oldid=148604.
Miller, Levi. (July 2010). Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ohio_Conference_of_Mennonite_Church_USA&oldid=148604.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 650. All rights reserved.
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