Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of Michael “MJ” Sharp.

Written by admin on June 7, 2022

Disarmed: The Radical Life and Legacy of Michael “MJ” Sharp. By Marshall V. King. Harrisonburg, Virginia: Herald Press. 2022. $17.99.

            The first words we read in Chapter One of Marshall King’s tribute to MJ Sharp are disarming: “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe” (16). We are introduced to MJ’s peace-making story with the disarming words of World War II

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Review – How to Change The World One Penny At a Time

Written by Joel Horst Nofziger on March 1, 2022

Nelson, Dawn Ruth and Beverly Benner Miller, How to Change the World One Penny at a Time: The story of Claude Good and the Worm Project, Morgantown, Pa.: Masthof Press, 2021. 203 pp. Grayscale photos. $14.

Reflecting on an experience of divine leading, Claude Good remembered, “It now dawned on me that the word ‘speak’ is not confined to just ‘words.’ We can also ‘speak’ through our action” (135). How to Change The World One Penny at a Time is a

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Recent Acquisition – Bergey-Johnson-Kulp family fraktur

Written by Joel Alderfer on January 19, 2022

In early 2020, Nan Weber Burch of Skippack, PA donated a significant group of related fraktur that had descended from her maternal grandmother’s ancestry in the Lower Salford-Skippack area.  These include pieces from the Bergey, Tyson, Johnson, and Kulp families.

The oldest piece is a notenbuchlein, or manuscript hymn booklet, with fraktur-style bookplate, dated May 2, 1798, and made by Schoolmaster Andreas Kolb for student Elizabeth Bergey of Lower Salford Township. She was the daughter of Christian & Mary Bergey and

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William A. Derstine: Mennonite entrepreneur and leader

Written by Joel Alderfer on August 17, 2021

Over the last two years, grandchildren of William A. Derstine (1888-1961), of near Sellersville, PA, and a member of the Rockhill Mennonite congregation, have donated a small but interesting collection of his correspondence and photographs.

Derstine was an entrepreneur who owned several automotive garages, as well as a farm; became a lay leader in the Rockhill congregation, the Franconia Mennonite Conference, and in wider Mennonite Church concerns; and was active in civic organizations in the Sellersville-Telford area. Perhaps his most important

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Brunk Revivals: a watershed moment for local Mennonites

Written by Forrest Moyer on July 27, 2021

This essay by Paul Lederach was published in the MHEP Quarterly in 2001. He recalls an event that had far-reaching effects on the practice of local Mennonites in regard to evangelism, salvation, confession/forgiveness, and corporate/individual faith.

When I travel west from Souderton to Harleysville on Pennsylvania Route 113 and stop at the traffic light at Godshall Road – a CVS on the northwest corner and many houses on the northeast corner – I can scarcely remember when the northeast corner was

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New acquisition: Markley-Tyson deed, Skippack, 1803

Written by Forrest Moyer on June 24, 2021

Recently Mary Jane and Hiram Hershey donated several old deeds, including one for the farm where her grandfather Abraham Mensch grew up, in Skippack Township. The address today is 4030 Mensch Rd, Schwenksville, just outside Skippack village.

The deed is from 1803, many years before the Mensch family owned the property. Abraham Markley (1723-1800) purchased this farm of 100 acres in 1751. After he died with no will in 1800, his heirs sold the farm to brother-in-law Mathias Tyson. Each sibling

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Women in ministry in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church

Written by Forrest Moyer on May 19, 2021

This article was written by Jill Davidson, edited by Joel Alderfer, and originally published in the MHEP Quarterly (Spring 1999). Thanks to Jill, a longtime member and supporter of MHEP, for allowing us to republish. Images are courtesy of Archives of the Bible Fellowship Church.

When John H. Oberholtzer and other progressive Mennonites left the Franconia Conference in 1847 and formed the East Pennsylvania Mennonite Conference, or “New Mennonites,” not all were satisfied.

In 1858, Preacher William Gehman of the Upper

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New acquisition: Will providing for indentured children of color

Written by Forrest Moyer on April 19, 2021

Recently, Univest Bank and Trust Co. donated an old wooden box of papers labeled “S. G. Schwenk, Schwenksville, Pa.” Presumably, it was found in the Schwenksville bank building when Union National Bank took ownership in 1962.

Inside the box were papers of the Schwenk family (for whom the borough was named) — Jacob Schwenk (1789-1852) who operated the store and post office there, his father Abraham Schwenk (1759-1843) of Skippack & Perkiomen Township, and Jacob’s sons, Abraham G. Schwenk (1826-1899)

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Early Mennonite Church Records

Written by Joel Alderfer on March 26, 2021

This article was published in the MHEP Newsletter in November 1995, and has been updated to include church records added to the collection since that time.

Researchers at the MHC Historical Library often ask, “Where are the early Mennonite church records?” or “What church records do you have?”

This is not a simple question. First of all, what does the researcher mean by church records? There are membership, baptismal, ministerial, burial records, alms records, property and land records.

I explain that generally,

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Henry and Maggie Mininger, respected builder and hidden artist

Written by Joel Alderfer on February 18, 2021

Last year, a descendant donated several artifacts and digital images of Henry and Maggie Mininger. As I documented these items, and began to research their lives, I became intrigued with their story. Maggie’s nearly hidden talent, expressed in adversity, is fascinating to consider.

Henry H. Mininger (1878-1957) was born and raised in Hatfield Township, Montgomery County, the son of Jonas J. and Annie Hackman Mininger, of the Plains Mennonite congregation. In 1899, he married Maggie Moyer (1879-1949), a daughter of David

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