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Holdeman Mennonite Church (Wakarusa, Ind) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Holdeman Mennonite Church (Wakarusa, Ind)

Historical Note:

The first settlers of the Holdeman Family arrived in Wakarusa (known then as Salem), Indiana in 1848.  Pastors from Yellow Creek Church conducted services in the George Holdeman home every four weeks.  In 1851, land was leased to construct the Holdeman Mennonite Church Meetinghouse.  That land was later purchased in 1854.  Because the Yellow Creek ministry continued to preside over services, the Holdeman congregation was considered part of Yellow Creek Church until 1875.

The first Sunday School was held at Holdeman in 1872, and ministers from inside the congregation were appointed from 1875 on. 

Holdeman Mennonite Church began holding revival meetings in 1894, organized a library in 1897, and hosted the first regular sessions of the Mennonite General Conference. 

In 1913, the frame meetinghouse was enlarged.  In 1922, Holdeman Mennonite Church held the first Summer Bible School, thought to be the first held by a Mennonite Church in the U.S.   By the late 1920s, the congregation sponsored both a Young People's Literary Society (1927) and a Sewing Circle (1929).

In 1936, the last lot was held for the selection of a minister (Warren Schaum).  In 1950, Simon Gingerich was voted to be the first paid minister.  The congregation built a new building from 1972-1974. 

Holdeman Mennonite Church is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA.  It is not a congregation of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, also known as the Holdeman Mennonites.

Note Author: Colleen McFarland

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