Lydia Gross’s unknown marriage

Written by Forrest Moyer on May 15, 2020

The first part of this article, about Lydia Gross’s leadership in the Doylestown Mennonite Sewing Circle and proposed Women’s Missionary Society, was written by Mary Jane Hershey and published in the MHEP Newsletter in March 1996.

The second part, written by myself, is about Lydia’s unknown or secret marriage.

I don’t tell the story to cast aspersions on her character. Rather, it is an example of how complex life could be in the old days, even for conservative Mennonites who

Continue Reading


Communion at Deep Run, 1877

Written by Forrest Moyer on April 29, 2020

Title image: Women cleaning benches before annual communion at Deep Run in the 1940s.

Until the mid-20th century, Deep Run East Mennonite congregation — like many Anabaptists — held communion only once a year. Some members viewed the Lord’s Supper as a Christian version of the Jewish feast of Passover, which occurs annually (Timothy Rice, Deep Run Mennonite Church East: A 250 Year Pilgrimage, 1746-1996, p. 43).

The following interesting account was published in the newspaper Bucks County Intelligencer (Doylestown), May

Continue Reading


Reflections from the journal of Alma K. Ruth

Written by Forrest Moyer on April 24, 2019

Alma Ruth (1900-1975) was the daughter of bishop Joseph and Mary Kratz Ruth of Line Lexington. She was a long-time worker at the Diamond Street Mennonite Mission in Philadelphia. These memories were transcribed by John L. Ruth from a manuscript purchased at the auction of the property of Clarence Ruth, Alma’s nephew. The manuscript is now archived at the Mennonite Heritage Center, along with Alma’s scrapbooked memories of Philadelphia mission work (Hist. Mss. 518).

Alma Ruth (front left) with a group

Continue Reading