Who we are

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 exhibits on Mennonite faith and life, local history, fraktur and changing exhibits, a historical library and archives, and a Welcome Center with books and gift items for sale. Our campus includes a beautiful reconstructed post-and-beam barn that is available for wedding rentals.


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


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


Joel D. Alderfer, Collections Manager  alderferj@mhep.org

Ivan L. Derstine, Maintenance

Linda S. Francis, Business Manager  francisl@mhep.org

Joel Horst Nofziger, Executive Director  nofzigerj@mhep.org  

Regina B. Wenger, Educational Curator   wengerr@mhep.org

Board of Trustees

Christopher J. Detweiler, President
Gerald A. Benner, Vice President
J. Oliver Gingrich, Secretary
Natasha J. Alderfer, Treasurer
Kathy Q. Bauman
Jeffrey T. Hackman
S. Duane Kauffman
Edith J. Landis
Andrew S. Lapp
Stuart R. Suter

Trustee Emeriti

Mary Jane Lederach Hershey
Arlin A. Lapp
Daniel W. Lapp

John L. Ruth