MINUTES

of the

SPECIAL CONFERENCE

of the

Evangelical Mennonites of Pa.,

and the United Mennonites of Canada, Michigan,

Indiana, and Ohio.

held in

Upper Milford, Lehigh County, Pa. (1)



A special conference of the United Mennonites of the United States and Canada, and the Evangelical Mennonites of Pa., was held according to the previous announcement at the Upper Milford Evangelical Mennonite church, in Lehigh Co., Pa., commencing Nov. 6th, and ending Nov. 8th, 1879.

The conference was opened by singing and prayer, with appropriate remarks by the chairman, Eld. Wm. Gehman, from Psalm 127:1,2.

Conference Members

Ministers.- Wm. Gehman, Daniel Brenneman, David Henning, Abraham Kauffman, Joel Rosenberger, Abel Strawn, Solomon Eby, Samuel Musselman, Samuel Fry, Sidenham Lambert, Jonas Musselman, George Lambert.

Deacons.- David Gehman, Wm. Yeakel, Jacob Ruch, Daniel Kock, Joseph Schneider, Michael Landis (absent).

Solomon Eby (delegate from the Canada Conference), was elected assistant chairman, and Daniel Brenneman (delegate from the Indiana, Michigan and Ohio Conference), was elected assistant secretary.

Eld. John Baer, from the Canada conference, was admitted to an advisory seat.

The conference, now in order, at once proceeded to investigate and weigh the subject for which this special conference was called to meet, namely to endeavor, by the will of the Lord, to effect a union of the two bodies represented by the conference, and as a preparatory step, the two disciplines were read before the conference, compared and, thoroughly weighed and considered, and it was indeed marvelous (only as it is considered that both were drawn from the Bible) to learn how nearly in point of faith and doctrine the two disciplines corresponded. The only material difference being in point of church government. The United Mennonite discipline having the preference, in this respect, after modifying a few sentences, was unanimously and cheerfully adopted by the conference.

There being now a perfect union of spirit, faith and doctrine, the two bodies mutually and unanimously consented to unite in the name and fear of the Lord, when apparently as readily as two drops of water upon coming in contact flow together, the union as we trust, has been inseparably and thoroughly effected. Now that the hearts were united as one, the confession of faith one, it was considered to be only meet that the names as well be combined together also, hence the name Evangelical United Mennonites, was adopted, upon which the conference, with the entire assembly, went down upon their knees in honor to God, and in thanksgiving and praise to his great and matchless name, for thus uniting the hearts of his people, and bringing them together into one fold; and to pray God's blessing persistently to rest upon the union thus effected by his grace. It was indeed a heart-melting and soul-refreshing time as many were praising God with loud voices; there was shouting, leaping, and clapping of hands, to the honor and glory of the great Head of the church. If heathen worshipers may for the space of two hours cry out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians," it is only meet that God's people may likewise give praises to him, for wonders wrought, and blessings bestowed upon them.

To ratify and confirm the union, the following acknowledgment was subscribed to by the conference:

This is to certify, that we the undersigned members of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference of Pennsylvania, and the United Mennonite Conferences of Canada, and Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio upon authority and in the name of the several general conferences

upon due consideration and prayerful investigation, by mutual agreement, have in the fear of God united together as one body, adopting as a name of distinction, Evangelical United Mennonites.

William Gehman, Solomon Eby, Samuel Musselman, Daniel Brenneman, John Baer, Eusebius Hershey, David Henning, Jonas Musselman, Abel Strawn, George Lambert, Joel Rosenberger, Abraham Kauffman, Sidenham Lambert, Joseph Schneider, Jacob Ruch, Daniel Koch, William Yeakel, Michael Landis, David Gehman.

The object for which the conference had been called being completed, and it being decided that the several fields of labor in Pennsylvania constitute a separate conference, designated the Pennsylvania Conference, the following business was now transacted.

John B. Gehman and John Traub, were elected as a committee to transact the business pertaining to the printing office and publishing house, in conjunction with the several committees of the Canada and Ind., Mich., and Ohio conferences. A. Kauffman, M. Winch, and D. Gehman were appointed as a committee to select hymns for the new hymn book.

In view of the surplus ministers in Pa., and the deficiency in this respect in the Ind., Mich., and Ohio conference, a transfer was granted to S. Lambert to the latter conference. Ministers stationed as follows:

Upper Milford and Fleetwood, assigned to Wm. Gehman, and A. Kauffman.

Quakertown and Hatfield, assigned to Jonas Musselman and Joel Rosenberger.

Coopersburg and Springtown, assigned to A. Strawn and S. Musselman.

Bangor and Richmond, assigned to D. Henning.

Lancaster, assigned to S. Fry

Eusebius Hershey to continue his labors as traveling missionary as heretofore.

Pennsylvania Conference adjourns to meet again the first Monday in March, 1880, at Coopersburg, Lehigh Co., Pa.

Resolved, That we the members of this conference, tender a hearty vote of thanks to the dear brethren and sisters, neighbors and kind friends, for their kind hospitality during the sessions of this conference.

Each conference session was opened and closed by singing, prayer and Benediction.

"United we stand, divided we fall."

1. These minutes are taken from The Gospel Banner, December, 1979.