About Us

Mennonite Heritage Center Harleysville

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, pacifist 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.

The Mennonite Heritage Center houses a permanent exhibit Work and Hope, fraktur and changing exhibits, an historical library and archives, and a welcome center with complimentary coffee and WiFi, books and gift items for sale. Our campus includes a beautiful reconstructed post-and-beam barn that is available for wedding rentals.

Mission

To educate, inspire and witness to the church and community by collecting, preserving and sharing the Anabaptist/Mennonite story.

Vision

To be a vibrant center of learning, rooted in the Anabaptist/Mennonite faith.

Staff

Sarah Wolfgang Heffner, Acting Executive Director  heffners@mhep.org
Rose A. Moyer, Business Manager  moyerr@mhep.org
Joel D. Alderfer, Collections Manager  alderferj@mhep.org
Forrest L. Moyer, Archivist  moyerf@mhep.org
Ivan L. Derstine, Custodian

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

Trustee Emeriti

Ray K. Hacker
Mary Jane Lederach Hershey