United Bethel Mennonite Church (Plain City, Ohio, USA)

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The United Bethel Conservative Mennonite Church near Plain City, in Madison County, Ohio, USA began in 1938 when several Old Order Amish families began to meet for Sunday school, an innovation not permitted by the Amish. The group sought assistance from the Conservative Mennonite Conference's Pleasant View congregation in Holmes County and the Maple Grove congregation in Stark County.

In 1943 the Conservative Mennonite Conference decided to create a formal congregation, authorizing an ordination for a congregational leader. In September 1944 Andrew Farmwald was ordained as minister for the new congregation which was then composed of nine families.

The group met in homes and then a local schoolhouse for several years. In 1946, with 56 members, the congregation planned a building that was dedicated in January 1949.

Andrew Farmwald was ordained as bishop on 29 March 1953, but resigned on 26 February 1956 because of some financial entanglements. In December 1959 he was reinstated as a preacher. He later served as bishop again from 1961 to 1968 when he again resigned his ministerial duties.

In October 1960 fourteen families withdrew from United Bethel and formed the New California Mennonite Church (laster called Gospel Light Mennonite Church) in New California, Ohio. This group was led by preacher Enos Yoder.

In 1971 United Bethel planted the Shiloh Mennonite Church in London, Ohio. It was also after 1970 that the congregation dropped "Conservative" from its name.

In February 2000 the congregation withdrew from the Conservative Mennonite Conference and joined the Biblical Mennonite Alliance.

In 2019 the leading minister was Lonnie J. Miller and the associate pastors were Wesley D. Helmuth, Doran Gingerich and Wendell Gingerich. The congregational membership was 215 and the average weekly attendance was 200.


Biblical Mennonite Alliance. Directory (August 2015); (2019): 47.

Biblical Mennonite Alliance. "BMA Directory 2012." Web. 15 May 2012. http://www.biblicalmennonite.com/support-files/2012-bma-directory-updated-mar-12-for-web.pdf.

Hershberger, Brenda. Anabaptist (Mennonite) Directory (2006): 44; (2009): 40; (2011): 40; (2012-13): 42.

Miller, Ivan J. History of the Conservative Mennonite Conference, 1910-1985. Grantsville, Md: I. J. Miller, 1985: 203-207.

Additional Information

Address: 11342 Lafayette P. C. Road, Plain City, OH  43064

Phone: 614-873-5112

Website: United Bethel Mennonite Church

Denominational Affiliation: Biblical Mennonite Alliance

Ordained Pastors at United Bethel Mennonite Church

Name Years
of Service
Andrew Farmwald (1916-1986)(Minister)
Enos Yoder (1916-2003) 1948-1960
Mark Peachey (1916-1979)(Minister)
Walter A. Beachy (1934- )(Minister)
David Showalter (Bishop) 1968-1974
Allen Yutzy 1972-2000s
Daniel C. Gingerich 1983-2010s
Lonnie Miller 1995-present
D. Clyde Byler 1997-2014
Wesley D. Helmuth 2005-present
Doran Gingerich 2014-present
Wendell Gingerich 2016-present

Membership at United Bethel Mennonite Church

Year Membership
1945 18
1950 90
1955 140
1960 161
1965 170
1970 202
1975 136
1980 182
1985 231
1990 238
1995 263
2000 279
2006 219
2011 245
2019 215


Map:United Bethel Mennonite Church (Plain City, Ohio, USA)

Original Mennonite Encyclopedia Article

By Andrew D. Farmwald. Copied by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 774. All rights reserved.

United Bethel Conservative Mennonite Church, located near Plain City, in Madison County, Ohio, a member of the Conservative (Amish) Mennonite Conference, was started by a few Amish families who met for Sunday school, beginning in 1938. Andrew Farmwald was ordained as minister, and Harry Stutzman, of Holmes County, Ohio, was given bishop oversight of the church. Enos Yoder was ordained to the ministry on 26 January 1948, and was still the minister in charge in 1957. The meeting house, built in 1948, was a frame structure seating 300 persons. In 1957 the membership was 164, with Ray F. Miller as bishop in charge.

Author(s) Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published July 2019

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J.. "United Bethel Mennonite Church (Plain City, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2019. Web. 28 May 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=United_Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(Plain_City,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=164380.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J.. (July 2019). United Bethel Mennonite Church (Plain City, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 May 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=United_Bethel_Mennonite_Church_(Plain_City,_Ohio,_USA)&oldid=164380.

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