OUR STORY

Serving the Kinzers Community

We are a warm and friendly group of people. Please come as you are! We have Sunday School for all ages that begins at 9:00 am. Followed by our worship service at 10:00 am. 
The dress on Sunday mornings is often casual. Some of us wear jeans and others wear skirts and head coverings. We sing both hymns and contemporary songs. The worship service usually ends around 11:15am. We are a simple church: a church family that loves Jesus, His word, and the local community we serve.

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HERSHEY MENNONITE CHURCH

by Janet Gehman 2007 (updates by Kate Lab 2021)

HISTORY

Although the present church building, sitting on a hill overlooking the Pequea Creek, dates from 1879, the congregation began many years before that. Mennonites from Europe settled in the area during the last half of the 18th century.  Ministers for the group of believers were ordained before 1800, but evidently services were held in homes until a schoolhouse was built in 1814.  It was used for worship until 1837 when a meeting house was built.  Although the school and church were at first known by the name Hess, by 1862 when the meeting house was enlarged, the name had been changed to Hershey as the number of Hershey settlers outnumbered the Hesses.

A second meeting house was built in 1879.  The building was enlarged in 1947 and again in 1979.

Several major events in the history of the congregation brought significant changes.  For example, after Isaac Eby was ordained in 1876, the church began to hold its services in English since he did not speak German.  The result was new life for the church as young people who had left it, came back.

In 1887, the first Sunday schools were established in the Hershey-Paradise District.  They became the inspiration for mission outreach, both locally and farther afield.

From the beginning of the congregation, ministers were chosen from within the congregation and kept their full time employment, usually farming.  Most of the leaders were descendants from the early settlers. 

PRESENT

Joe Lab became pastor of Hershey Mennonite Church in January 2018. He and his family live in Intercourse, PA. Elders: Elmer Martin, Kyle Weaver, Jerry Metzler, and Cody Hoover were installed in the fall of 2021. 

Hershey Mennonite Church is an LMC church and works closely with other local churches in the Pequea Valley School District. HMC proudly supports The Factory Ministries and EMM

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