Pennsylvania history group rebrands with name change

Mennonite Life Mennonite Life

Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, based in Lancaster, Pa., has rebranded as Mennonite Life.

In an Oct. 27 announcement, executive director Jean Kilheffer Hess said the name change is an effort to welcome new communities and generations into the Mennonite history movement.

“There’s often a misperception that ‘Society’ means a closed group of insiders,” she said. “To the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society founders in 1958, a society meant shared interest and collective action. Our name change and rebrand is a renewed commitment to clear communication. We are open to everyone.”

The organization’s new name is identical to that of a longtime journal published by Bethel College in North Newton, Kan.

When contacted by Anabaptist World, Hess said Mennonite Life and 14 other history organizations collaborate with Bethel’s Mennonite Library and Archives in the Anabaptist History Today project and that Mennonite Life looks forward to continuing the educational work each organization does differently.

“We value the work Bethel College does through the online-only journal Mennonite Life and are confident in the wide tent that allows our distinct, respective efforts to serve society, without confusion,” she said.

In addition to the Mennonite Life name change, the name of the museum in Willow Street, Pa., has been simplified from 1719 Herr House & Museum to 1719 ­Museum. More than a decade ago the name was changed from The Hans Herr House because the house was built by Christian Herr and there is no definite documentation on whether his father, Hans, ever lived there.

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