The Mennonite Heritage Center tells the story of Mennonite faith and life in eastern Pennsylvania. It is home to the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania (MHEP).
The building’s architecture, with lines modeling the simplicity of traditional Pennsylvania Mennonite meetinghouses, points toward the spiritual center of Mennonite life. The concept was that “church” was the congregation, not the building in which they met. The building also suggests rural images of mill, barn and house, while exhibits show the movement toward a more urban society, giving contemporary expression to a deep-rooted heritage.
Begun in 1525 in Switzerland, the “Anabaptist” fellowship (a radical, nonviolent wing of the Christian Reformation) was later named for a leader, Menno Simons, from the Netherlands. In 1683, the first Mennonite couple helped to settle the village of Germantown near Philadelphia, the oldest continuing Mennonite community in the New World. The story of local Mennonites and their neighbors is introduced through an interpretive video presented in a room designed to resemble an early meetinghouse.
“For the last few years as a part of our Faith and Membership Class, Deep Run East has been taking a ‘field trip’ to the Mennonite Heritage Center in an effort to discover more about our local history and faith tradition. It continually proves to be a fun and enlightening experience for our entire class, both youth and adults alike, and provides us with great jumping-off points for class discussion. To have a local resource that is dedicated to preserving heritage while also inspiring faith in new generations is a real blessing.”
–Brent Camilleri, Associate Pastor, Deep Run East Mennonite Church
The mission of the Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania is to collect, preserve, and interpret the Anabaptist-Mennonite heritage in order to educate, inspire, and witness to the church and broader community.
Sarah Wolfgang Heffner, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel D. Alderfer, Collections Manager email@example.com
Ivan L. Derstine, Custodian
Steven P. Diehl, Director of Advancement firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy L. Kennel, Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com
Forrest L. Moyer, Archivist firstname.lastname@example.org
Rose A. Moyer, Assistant Director email@example.com
Board of Trustees
Christopher J. Detweiler, President
J. Oliver Gingrich, Secretary
Natasha J. Alderfer, Treasurer
Kathy Q. Bauman
Gerald A. Benner
Jeffrey T. Hackman
S. Duane Kauffman
Edith J. Landis
Andrew S. Lapp
Donald L. Nice
John L. Ruth
Stuart R. Suter
Ray K. Hacker
Mary Jane Lederach Hershey