Oldest Kansas church marks 150th anniversary

Spring Valley Mennonite Church in Canton, Kan. — Spring Valley Mennonite Church Spring Valley Mennonite Church in Canton, Kan. — Spring Valley Mennonite Church

The oldest Mennonite church in Kansas is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Spring Valley Mennonite Church of rural Canton was founded in 1873 when Bishop Daniel Brundage organized a congregation of homesteaders who had migrated from eastern states.

A few years later, the congregation hosted the organizational meeting of the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. The church hosted the conference’s first evangelistic meetings and was one of the first to implement Sunday schools, both controversial at the time in the (Old) Mennonite Church.

The congregation, a member of South Central Mennonite Conference, will hold its main celebration on Labor Day weekend, Sept 2-3. A large tent will be sent up reminiscent of the tents used for large gatherings of bygone days. The story of Spring Valley will be told in two sessions on Saturday, which will also include times of worship and unstructured reminiscing. Some worship modes of the past will be included, such as lining of hymns and kneeling for prayer. A supper will be provided on Saturday. Sunday morning’s worship will be followed by a basket dinner, and Sunday evening a tent revival will be held, with a special invitation for members of South Central Conference to attend the revival meeting.

Everyone is welcome to attend all or part of the celebration. For more information, visit springvalleymennonite.org.

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