Shelly, Anthony S. (1853-1928)

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Anthony S. Shelly was born on 28 February 1853, in Milford Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the third of the seven children of Levi Shelly and Barbara (Shelly) Shelly, who were members of the West Swamp Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite Church [GCM] ). He grew up during the leadership of John H. Oberholtzer and Andrew B. Shelly in the West Swamp Church.

Shelly enrolled for one year at the GCM school in Wadsworth, Ohio, in 1870. After teaching in Pennsylvania two years he entered Millersville State Normal School in 1873, graduating in 1875. Again he taught two years in Pennsylvania and then taught English in the school at Wadsworth in 1877-1879. Following a period of teaching in 1879-1884 in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, he taught at the Mennonite Academy at Halstead, Kansas, 1884-1886. He then returned to Pennsylvania and became a partner in the newspaper business with U. S. Stauffer, his brother-in-law in Quakertown. He was married to Percilla S. Stauffer in 1875. They were parents of five children, three sons and two daughters. He began his ministry in Halstead, Kansas. In 1886 he was given an evangelist's license by the Eastern District Conference and assisted Andrew B. Shelly in the West Swamp Church. He became pastor of the Hereford Mennonite Church, Bally, Pennsylvania, in 1890 and served there for 25 years. He was pastor of the Upper Milford Mennonite Church, near Zionsville, Pennsylvania, for 16 years, and the Menno Simons Mennonite Church, Boyertown, for 9 years, serving these churches concurrently with his pastorate at Bally. He was pastor of the Mennonite Church at Upland, California, for three years and the First Mennonite Church of Bluffton, Ohio, for two years. He was superintendent of the Bluffton hospital for one year. His final pastorate was at Germantown, Pennsylvania, where he was pastor for six years. He died on 5 January 1928. The memorial services for him were held in the Germantown and West Swamp churches with the burial at West Swamp.

Shelly's conference activities were numerous. He was president of the General Conference Mennonite Church for five years, twice serving a two-year term and once a one-year term. For ten years, beginning in 1910, he was editor of the Mennonite. He was a member of both the Home Mission and Foreign Mission boards of the GCM Church. In addition he was active in the Eastern District Conference program, serving on the Board of Managers of the Mennonite Home for the Aged at Frederick, Pennsylvania, for a number of years. He translated the Ris Confession into English.


Krehbiel, H. P. The History of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church of North America II. Newton, 1938.

Krehbiel, H. P. The History of the General Conference of the Mennonites of North America. Canton, 1898.

Mennonite Year Book and Almanac. Berne, 1929.

Author(s) Paul R Shelly
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Shelly, Paul R. "Shelly, Anthony S. (1853-1928)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 7 Aug 2020.,_Anthony_S._(1853-1928)&oldid=117860.

APA style

Shelly, Paul R. (1959). Shelly, Anthony S. (1853-1928). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 August 2020, from,_Anthony_S._(1853-1928)&oldid=117860.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 514. All rights reserved.

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