Montezuma Mennonite Church (Montezuma, Georgia, USA)
The Montezuma Amish Mennonite congregation was the first Beachy Amish church that came from Kempsville, Virginia. Like all the subsequent exoduses, the main issue was urbanization pressure coming from the expansion of Virginia Beach. Because of financial pressures, the Beachy Amish farmers sold their farms, which were then turned into housing development. In addition, the Montezuma group began searching for a new home because they did not care for the direction they felt the church was going.
During the time the group was looking for a new home, six families split from Kempsville Amish Mennonite and started a Conservative Mennonite Conference church nearby. The group leaving for Georgia was more conservative and remained conservative longer than Kempsville did on practices such as the use of German in services (which was changed in 1974 with English preaching and 1979 with the purchase of English hymnals).
Montezuma has directly and indirectly given birth to numerous Beachy, Amish-Mennonite, and non-Amish-Mennonite congregations throughout Georgia (especially in the Montezuma area), yet in 2018 remained the largest Beachy Amish congregation in the South.
In 1959 the membership was 112, with Jonas H. Hershberger serving as bishop. In 2017 the congregation had 185 members. The ministerial team included Bishop Donny Swartzentruber and Ministers David Lee Yoder, Irvin R. Yoder, and Morris Yoder.
"Amish Mennonite Churches in Georgia." The Beachy Amish Mennonites. 2013. Web. 22 February 2018. http://www.beachyam.org/churches/ga.htm.
Anderson, Cory. The Amish-Mennonites of North America: a portrait of our people. Medina, New York: Ridgeway Publishing, 2012: 66.
Anderson, Cory Alexander. "The Diffusion of Beachy Amish Mennonite Congregations in the US South: A Regional Chronicle and Spatial Analysis." Unpublished paper, 2006: 29. Web. 22 February 2018. http://www.beachyam.org/librarybooks/Anderson(2006)_Diffusion.pdf.
Garvey, Jane. "Into a Promised Land: Georgia’s Amish-Mennonites Keep the Faith." Georgia Magazine (June 2004): 14-20. Available in full electronic text at: http://www.beachyam.org/librarybooks/Garvey(2004)_Into.pdf.
Mennonite Church directory (2017): 45.
Smith, William L. "Continuity and Change in a Southern Beachy Amish-Mennonite Congregation." Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies 1, no. 2 (2013): 48-68. Available in full electronic text at: https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/57703/JAPAS_Smith_vol1-issue2_pp48-68_rev.pdf?sequence=5.
Yoder, Elmer S. The Beachy Amish Mennonite Fellowship Churches. Hartville, Ohio: Diakonia Ministries, 1987: 313-314.
Yoder, Kelli. "Settled in the South: Amish Mennonites grow quietly in Georgia." Mennonite World Review 29 October 2012. Web. 22 February 2018. http://www.mennoworld.org/archived/2012/10/29/settled-south/?print=1.
Address: 2307 White House Road, Montezuma, Georgia
|Richard D. Thiessen|
|Date Published||April 2014|
Cite This Article
Gingerich, Melvin and Richard D. Thiessen. "Montezuma Mennonite Church (Montezuma, Georgia, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2014. Web. 23 Jan 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Montezuma_Mennonite_Church_(Montezuma,_Georgia,_USA)&oldid=156921.
Gingerich, Melvin and Richard D. Thiessen. (April 2014). Montezuma Mennonite Church (Montezuma, Georgia, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 January 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Montezuma_Mennonite_Church_(Montezuma,_Georgia,_USA)&oldid=156921.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1110. All rights reserved.
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