California Mennonites by Brian Froese

By Brian Froese

Books approximately Mennonites have headquartered totally on the East Coast and the Midwest, the place the vast majority of Mennonite groups within the usa can be found. yet those narratives overlook the original heritage of the multitude of Mennonites residing at the West Coast. In California Mennonites, Brian Froese depends on archival church files to check the Mennonite adventure within the Golden nation, from the nineteenth-century migrants who got here looking for sunshine and fertile soil to the characteristically agrarian group that struggled with problems with urbanization, race, gender, schooling, and hard work within the 20th century to the evangelically orientated, in part assimilated Mennonites of today.

Froese areas Mennonite reports opposed to a backdrop of significant historic occasions, together with international battle II and Vietnam, and social concerns, from hard work disputes to the evolution of psychological well-being care. California Mennonites comprise those that embody a variety of ideologies: many are traditionally rooted within the sixteenth-century Reformation beliefs of the early Anabaptists (pacifism, congregationalism, discipleship); a few embody twentieth-century American evangelicalism (missions, Billy Graham); and others are devoted to one of those social justice that includes forging sensible ties to secular govt courses whereas protecting a quiet connection to faith.

Through their stories of spiritual range, altering demographics, and struggle, California Mennonites have wrestled with advanced questions of what it skill to be American, Mennonite, and sleek. This book―the first of its kind―will entice historians and non secular reports students alike.

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Los Angeles was in a state of dissonance at the start of the twentieth century. By the measure of church attendance, it was among the most religious cities of the American West, with an ever-growing religious diversity, and yet it was a frontier town replete with much gambling, prostitution, alcohol, and political graft. 11 Jacob Hege was an early GC leader of a congregation near Paso Robles, the first recognized Mennonite congregation in California. He was a pastor N N Mennonites: Southern California, 1890-1970 Going to California W W SS N W E E E S ts.

As I discuss in the next chapter, California was simultaneously Promised Land, Paradise Lost, healer, feverish swamp, fertile, and parched. California was also a place where religious boundaries within conservative Protestantism were porous and geographic distances great—exacerbating existing cultural-religious anxieties. Yet, it provided a natural canvas on which Mennonites illustrated their cosmology. As they set about the dayto-day tasks of settling in a new home, a rich sense of religious identity was unintentionally drawn out.

Despite concerns of the scattered and geographically isolated Mennonite Brethren congregations, PDC became the largest Mennonite Brethren district conference in the United States. Though that was not obvious at the start, due to the small number of Mennonite Brethren in California during the years 1909 to 1911, congregations could choose which district to join—Middle or South. ” The isolation Mennonites experienced along with their lack of influence among the local population heightened their sense of religious mission.

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