MENNONITE CHURCH (written 1881)

The Mennonite Church one of the early churches of Chester County.  Between the years 1725 and 1785, 3 Mennonite churches had been built on the Schuylkill, as appears from the name-lists of the Mennonite preachers.  These must have been in Chester County, as the Montgomery County churches are included in other districts.  Probably the oldest of these is the one on the Schuylkill Road, in East Coventry Township, , about 3 miles from Pottstown....(there was a date of 1728 on the wall).  On each side is situataed a graveyard.

The first Mennonite church in the vicinity of Phoenixville was located on the ridge near the residence of the Heckel family.  The date of its erection is unknown.  S. W. Pennypacker, Esq, of Philadelphia says there was another 'in the valley, where Israel Beitler use to preach."

In 1772 was erected the Mennonite meeting house in Phoenixville.  It was located on Main Street, near Nutt's Road and since has been known successively as Buckwalter's and Morgan's school-house.  Among the original settlers of Phoenixville, the Buckwalters were all of this faithl  In 1794 they erected a meeting house at the SW corner of Main and Church Streets in Phoenixvile (building torn down after 1890)

By 1880 this sect, driven from the homes of their ancestry by a religious persecution that could not tolerate their virtues, and once so numerous among the German inhabitants of this state, is gradually becoming extinct.  Its membership at Phoenixville has dwindled down to just a few persons.

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Soc. Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

This page was updated on July 22, 2011