Under Overseer Clayton Swartzentruber, members from FMC and local Mennonite churches formed an advisory council in 1990 consisting of Luke Beidler, Kirk Hanger, John Holloway, Barbara Mansfield and Clayton Swartzentruber to initiate the ministry and to give oversight to James L. "Jim" Maust as pastor pro-tem. Jim’s effective leadership in initiating and serving as pastor of the Branch Fellowship (now Branch Creek Community Church) had been observed by FMC leaders. Word of Joy would be by definition contemporary and pro-charismatic. Jim, who was at the time pastor at Harrisonville Mennonite Church, Harrisonville, Missouri, was invited to give leadership to this new church plant.
In August 1994, Word Of Joy moved to the more spacious 4-H Center in Creamery, Pennsylvania for Sunday services. Mike (and Kelly) Klassen joined the congregation as associate pastor in September. In June 1995, Word Of Joy attendance peaked at an average of 124 for the month. Until the mid-1990s there was consistent growth in attendance and giving. Missions giving frequently exceeded 30 percent of offerings.
Despite these positive experiences, intense opposition from a particular neighbor put strain on the congregation's leadership and sapped energy from the church planting effort. Membership and attendance gradually declined through the late 1990s, and ten years after initiating the work, Word of Joy closed its doors in the year 2000. For a short time before closure, the congregation moved its affiliation from Franconia Mennonite Conference to DOVE Christian Fellowship International.
Denominational Affiliations: Franconia Mennonite Conference
Word of Joy Community Church Pastors
|Name||Years of Service|
|James L. Maust||1991-2000|
Word of Joy Community Church Membership
|Author(s)||James L Maust|
|Date Published||July 2012|
Cite This Article
Maust, James L. "Word of Joy Community Church (Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2012. Web. 4 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Word_of_Joy_Community_Church_(Collegeville,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=86246.
Maust, James L. (July 2012). Word of Joy Community Church (Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Word_of_Joy_Community_Church_(Collegeville,_Pennsylvania,_USA)&oldid=86246.
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