The RiverTown Community Church, Blountstown, Florida, began as the Bethel Conservative Mennonite Church. The first Mennonites to settle in the Blountstown, Florida area came from Greenwood, Delaware and Hartville, Ohio in the fall of 1952. This was the result of a visit to the area by the Colonization Committee of the Conservative Mennonite Mission Board; thus Bethel was a church plant through colonization.
The congregation organized as a mission church on 11 April 1954, with Raymond Byler as the minister. Bethel built a meetinghouse in 1957 that was dedicated on 15 September. Bethel Conservative Mennonite Church, Blountstown, Florida, was first listed in the Mennonite Yearbook of 1955 as the Red Oak congregation, with 33 members. In 1958 the Yearbook listed it as Bethel. Raymond Byler served until 1973 when he moved to Jackson, Mississippi to take charge of a mission there. Other pastors who served here included Harold Weldy (1970-1980), Oscar Schrock (1972-after 1983); Ivan Nissley (1976- ). In 1983 the congregation had 83 members. Paul Smith was the lead minister in 2009.
The congregation was originally a member of the Conservative Mennonite Conference; it is now an independent community church.
Miller, Ivan J. History of the Conservative Mennonite Conference, 1910-1985. Grantsville, Md.: Ivan J. & Della Miller, 1985: 86-88.
Address: 19359 SR-71, Blountstown, Florida
Website: RiverTown Community Church
|Date Published||August 2009|
Cite This Article
Steiner, Sam. "RiverTown Community Church (Blountstown, Florida, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2009. Web. 16 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=RiverTown_Community_Church_(Blountstown,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=84614.
Steiner, Sam. (August 2009). RiverTown Community Church (Blountstown, Florida, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=RiverTown_Community_Church_(Blountstown,_Florida,_USA)&oldid=84614.
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