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Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Ind.) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Ind.)

Historical Note:

Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA), located in Clinton Township, Elkhart County, Indiana, five miles (eight km) east of Goshen, is a congregation of the Indiana-Michigan Conference of the Mennonite Church. This was the first Amish Mennonite church organized in Indiana. The first services were held on Easter Day of 1842.

The first meetinghouse was built in 1848 at the location where the present church stands, which was built in 1888 and enlarged in 1913 and 1949. Two divisions have occurred in the congregation. The first (Old Order Amish, 1855-1865) was the result of differences on the question of whether to baptize in the  meetinghouse or in a stream. The second division at Clinton Frame came in 1892 when approximately 40 members left to organize the Silver Street Mennonite Church. Among the issues at that time were questions relating to the regulation of attire and open communion.

In July 1944 a church in the village of Benton, also in Elkhart County, about five miles (eight km)) southwest of the Clinton Frame Church, was purchased by the congregation and regular services held since then (1954). In 1948 this Benton mission church became an independent congregation in the Indiana-Michigan Conference. This action took about 40 members out of the Clinton Frame congregation. The 1954 membership was 200. In 2008 the membership was 511; the lead pastor was Terry L. Diener.

Bishops who have served this church were Jonas Troyer, Benjamin Schrock, D. J. Johns, D. D. Troyer, and Edwin J. Yoder. Ministers who have served are Christian Plank, Eli Miller, D. D. Troyer, Silas Yoder, Ira S. Johns, Verle Hoffman, Galen Johns, and Vernon Bontreger. The ministers in the 1954 were Vernon Bontreger, pastor, and Ira S. Johns, minister. Deacons who served up to 1950 were Daniel Schrock, Ira S. Johns, David Yontz, Vernon Bontreger, and Norman Kauffman.

The first Sunday school was organized in 1876. The first Mennonite Church Sunday-school conference in the United States was held at the Clinton Frame Church in 1892.

Sources: Johns, Ira S. "Clinton Frame Mennonite Church (Goshen, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1954. Web. 09 February 2011.
Note Author: Johns, Ira S.

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