Swiss Mennonite History

Anabaptist Origins

The Anabaptists and other groups originated in the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, initiated a series of events beginning on October 31, 1517, which shook, divided, and in some instances revitalized Christianity in Western Europe and which are collectively known as the Reformation.

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Swiss Origins

The early Anabaptists were educated and urban–but the persecution drove them from the cities and towns to the remote and relatively inaccessible highlands and mountain fringes of the fertile areas of the Canton Bern. Here they hid and persisted in spite of persecution, through the centuries to the present time. Persecution, of varying intensity, was the lot of the Swiss Anabaptists (Mennonites) until the middle of the eighteenth century.

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The Palatinate

The severe persecution inflicted on the Swiss Mennonites during the latter part of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, resulted in the migration of several hundred Mennonites to the Palatinate. There had been large movements of Swiss Mennonites to the Palatinate prior to this time, especially in the first years of Anabaptism, but such settlements were largely destroyed by persecution and the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).

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To Volhynia

Two groups of ethnically Swiss Mennonites also proceeded to Volhynia, and met and merged there into a larger community. One group from South Germany, coming as part of the Mennonite movement to Galicia in 1784-86, consisting of nine families (prominent were Krehbiel, Miller, Schrag, and Zerger), left the Galician Mennonite settlement in 1796 and attempted unsuccessfully to integrate themselves into the Hutterite Bruderhof located in the northern Ukraine on the River Desna at Vishenka.

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Historical Documents

SMCHA History

First Incorporators  – Read pdf

Presidents – Read pdf

Officers  1978-2019 – Read pdf 

Board Executive Officers Summary 1979-2019  Read pdf

Board Trustees 1978-2018  Read pdf

History SMCHA Time Line 1999-2018  Read pdf

History of Annual Meetings 1979-2019   Read pdf

Summary of Annual Meetings 1979-2019   Read pdf

History of Annual Banquets 1980-2018  Read pdf

Summary of Annual Banquets 1980-2018    Read pdf 

History of Fall Fest Events  Read pdf

History of “Only Schweitzer Spoken Here” Events 2003-2014 Read pdf

History of Scholarships Awarded 1980-2018   Read pdf

Hopefield Land History

History of SMCHA Significant Activities

History of SMCHA Information from Files at MLA 1973-2000  Read pdf

View township maps, videos, and historical documents.

View Historical Resources

Church Histories

Burns History   Read pdf

Faith Mennonite History Sept 2016    Read pdf

First Mennonite Church, Halstead, KS  Read pdf

Garden Community Church  Read pdf

Hopefield History Oct 2017  Read pdf

Kingman Mennonite Church History

First Mennonite Church of McPherson History


Learn more about past anniversary celebrations.

1943 Memorial Marker
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100th Anniversary
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125th Anniversary
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Celebration at Hopefield Mennonite Church
Celebration at Eden Mennonite Church