Zion Mennonite Church is a congregation within the Virginia Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Church USA. Zion originated as one of several early Mennonite churches built north of Harrisonburg. The first meetinghouse for the Zion congregation was constructed in 1885. During this time, regional worship services were rotated weekly between a number of locations. Prior to 1947, worship services were held in the Zion meetinghouse on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Trissels Mennonite Church and Lindale Mennonite Church were two other congregations that were involved in this rotation. After 1947, Mennonites were encouraged to attend weekly services at Zion or Trissels, depending on their proximity to the meetinghouse with Route 42 becoming the dividing line.
Zion Mennonite Church continues to seek ways to be a missional church that shares the good news of Jesus Christ and calls forth and trains leaders for the ongoing needs of the church. The current music style for worship is a blended style of worship that values congregational singing with both hymnal and contemporary music. There is an important emphasis on Christian Education that occurs each Sunday for all ages. The congregation encourages and supports short-term and long-term mission assignments for their members. Finally, the pastoral staff is available to members of the congregation, their friends, and the community in times of crisis and for other spiritual needs.
125th Anniversary Celebration (in 2010)
Zion Mennonite Church has its origins in 1885. It is a time when Mennonites in the Shenandoah Valley are engaged in rebuilding after the effects of the Civil War. In the political history of the United States, Chester Arthur (1881-1885) and Grover Cleveland (1885-1889) serve the country as presidents. Eastern Mennonite School and Virginia Mission Board did not exist. Sunday school at Zion Mennonite Church occurred as a summer event in 1890. Needless to say, the beginning of Zion Mennonite Church is very different than the current practices and life of its members. At the same time there is recognition that vision, the practices, and values of its members have common threads even though the forms of ministry have evolved through various generations.
May 30, 2010 was the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the meetinghouse. This is an event that was celebrated through a year-long celebration by the congregation with the grand finale on May 23, 2010.
An article written by Mandi Stoltzfus tells the story: “Zion Celebrates 125 Years.”
The celebration concluded on Sunday, September 12 when Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director for MC USA, brought the morning worship service message, “Projecting the Future, 2035” – 150th anniversary.
The book, We’re Marching to Zion, written by Elwood Yoder is available for $10.00. Contact the Zion church office at 896-7577 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing a copy.
125 Anniversary Video Presentation
Clay Showalter produced a video, “This is Zion”, which explores the Zion of today by hearing from several current members and attenders.