History of First Mennonite Church of Allentown, PA
Picture of 1st Mennonite
A Christ-Centered Peace Church

A Little About Our Church and Us:

The above image is First Mennonite Church. Our congregation organized in 1903 and built the first building on the existing lot in 1904. A new chaple was built in 1915 and the fellowship hall, kitchen and classrooms were added in 19xx. The chapel has large beautiful stain glass windows, oak pews, and a pipe organ that dates back prior to 1915. This is a structure not typical of the early Mennonites and a must see and hear (we enjoy singing).

On some Sunday mornings (about twice a month) we sing with the accompaniment of an orchestra ensemble (strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion, ...); at other times we sing A Capella or with piano or organ accompaniment.

At the turn of the millenium our active congregation was about 100 members strong. We are not the black hat Mennonites most people think of but consist of young to old everyday people from all walks of life. Besides the wisdom offered by our older church members there were plenty of young families with children, and we offered a children's time during Sunday worship for children who sometimes overflowed the front pews.

During 2004-2005, the congregation is in transition, with active membership of about 35 people. (Look for updates here during 2005.)

Our church is a Member of the Lehigh County Conference of Churches and the Eastern District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA.

Our Statement of Faith and Purpose:

This congregation is committed to the historic evangelical christian faith and peace witness as understood and witnessed to by the Mennonite Church. This congregation affirms the beliefs and standards of the Mennonite Confession of faith, as adopted by the Mennonite General Conference in August of 1963.

The purpose of this congregation is to bring glory to God through worship, the spiritual nurture of our members, and witness and service of the kingdom of God both within and beyond history. We shall promote the message of salvation and knowledge of the word of God in the Lehigh Valley and among people of all cultures and languages, individually, and through our conference missions at home and abroad. We stand in agreement with the four goals of the General Conference Mennonite Church: To increase evangelism, To teach and practice biblical principles, To develop and train church leadership, and to achieve christian unity.

Pastoral Leadership

During the fall of 2003 we began a formal review of our mission and ministry. David Bartow was called to to serve as interim pastor--until March 2005--and to play a significant role in the review process. Joseph J. Kotva Jr. PhD, our pastor for ten years (1993-2003), accepted the position as Director of the Anabaptist Center for Health Care Ethics in Elkhart, Indiana.

Beginning in January, 2005, Samuel Claudio accepted a half-time pastoral appointment at First Mennonite, with the expectation that he will lead First Mennonite in building a neighborhood-based congregation.

Contact webmaster: webfmc@ppjr.org

Location: http://fmc.ppjr.org/history.htm
Last Updated: 01/23/05
Created: 07/01/00