History

A church built on prayer:

About 1858, a small group of believers from the Old Order Mennonite Church met in homes for weekly prayer meetings. Frowned upon by that church, this group separated from the Old Order and became known as Evangelical Mennonites. By 1879, these believers had changed their name to Evangelical United Mennonites and were meeting in a converted stable across the street from the present church. Abner Clime was their first preacher. While preaching in Mount Joy, he met William Gehman, the founder of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. Their friendship and oneness in Christ opened the way for William Gehman to preach in Terre Hill.

Prayerfully seeking the guidance of the Lord, this body of believers joined the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church in 1882. The original portion of our present church was built in 1882 at a cost of $3,000, which was fully pledged by the members on a rainy Sunday in 1882.

For many years, Terre Hill shared a pastor with several other churches. In 1947, after 53 years on the circuit and after much prayer and holding on to God, the believers in Terre Hill asked the Annual Conference to have a full-time pastor. Robert C. Reichenbach was assigned to Terre Hill, and the present parsonage was built. During the 1950s, the church was remodeled twice as God answered prayer and added new members to the church.

In 1966, a group of 42 members from the Ephrata area had the vision of starting a new outreach there. God blessed this new sister church in Ephrata, which has since grown to a peak attendance of over 400.

On November 7, 1971, the Terre Hill congregation voted to purchase an acre on the west side of the church to expand the parking lot. On January 17, 1973, plans for the new building were discussed and approved. The new sanctuary of the church was dedicated on March 31, 1974.

The church saw many children and teens ministered to as its summer day camp and teen week continued to expand and become a main thrust of the church’s ministry. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the church experienced some lean years, taking a drop in attendance. A long-term plan was implemented in the fall of 2000, with a goal of doubling the church’s attendance in the next five years. The board of elders called former missionary, Kevin Kirkpatrick to lead the church in October of 2000.