This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Oregon beginnings

We read with fascination Rich Preheim’s article on West Coast Mennonite church beginnings (History, May 27). We are most familiar with the Oregon story and Zion Mennonite Church of Hubbard, as this is our home congregation. Our question is the date of 1903.

Zion’s written records begin with minutes dating from July 1893 identifying as an Amish Mennonite Church, taking the name Fir Grove and making the decision to build a church building at that site. Prior to this the group met in homes but with a church building meeting weekly for Sunday school and preaching every two weeks. We also have a wonderful story of the reason to move from the Woodburn address to the present Hubbard address. Our files include the Articles of Incorporation dated 1900.  We find meticulous and detailed financial records held by the cemetery association.

The roots of many or perhaps most of this first congregation were in the Sycamore Grove congregation in Missouri. A number of the first family names are still present in the current congregation, plus many other names far different from those early Amish Mennonite family names.

Thank you for keeping our stories in front of us.

Pat Hershberger
Margaret Shetler
Hubbard, Ore.

Hershberger is president of the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Historical Society. Shetler is PNMHS archivist emerita.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!