Community News

Juniata Mennonite Historical Society 40th Annual Meeting: Celebrating 40 years

July 15, 2017 – Note date change!

At Brick Mennonite Church, 37322 Rt 35 S, Richfield, Pennsylvania 17086

Moderator – Harold Saner; Songleader – David Gingrich

Why the Historical Society Began – John Graybill, Port Trevorton, PA


  1. Donald Lauver – Finkbinder family, McAlisterville, PA
  2.   Roy Graybill – Clayton Graybill – Richfield, PA
  3. Noah L. Zimmerman – Henry Benner, East Lampeter, PA

Lunch – 12:00donation to Juniata Mennonite History Center

1 p.m.  – Forty Years in Pictures- Power Point Presentation

Any questions, please call Juniata Mennonite Historical Society at (717) 694- 3211; Daniel & Mary Alice Charlton (717) 436-3953 or Betty Ann Landis (717) 444-3466

Alleghany Mennonite Historical Association

You are invited to attend the Outdoor Historical and Inspirational Service at the 1855 Alleghany Mennonite Meetinghouse on Sunday, July 16 at 6:30 PM.  A chorus will present several of Martin Luther’s familiar hymns and Jeff Bach, Director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, will speak on “The Sure Foundation”. He will focus on how the wisdom of God reveals the cross of Jesus Christ as the sure foundation for transformation, renewal and reform. For more information or for directions, e-mail or call 717-278-8459.

Landis Family Reunion

The 106th year of the Landis Family Reunion will be held Sunday, July 23, 2017, at the Reedy Pavilion, Litiz Springs Park, Litiz, Pa. All Landis family members and their descendants are welcome to attend. We will be showing a film about the first 300 years in America, since August 24, 1717 of Pioneer Jacob Landis. For further details, please call (717) 926, 4829.

300 Years of Brubakers in North America

August 3 – 6, 2017,  Millersville University in Millersville, PA

Join a celebration of 300 Years of Brubakers in North America!  Enjoy days of celebration, education, reminiscence, and catching up with friends, family, and cousins. The centerpiece of the celebrations will be the unveiling and dedication of the 300th Anniversary Monument, which will be situated on a portion of the original Land Grant acreage that was purchased from William Penn’s family.

We look forward to seeing you!  Take a tour of some of the original lands of the Brubaker Family.  See some of the local Brubaker landmarks in the Lancaster and southcentral PA area.  Contribute to the 300th Anniversary Memorial Fund. See photos and gravesites; learn of the history of the Brubaker-Brubacher Family’s ancestors.

Some of the activities and opportunities that you can look forward to:

  • Artisan stands featuring arts and crafts, including products and wares made by Brubakers
  • Lectures and presentations
  • Break-out sessions
  • Tours of both Brubaker lands and other wonderful tours of areas in historic and scenic Lancaster County, PA
  • Children’s activities available, if there are enough participants (**A parent must accompany their child/children for the children’s activities)
  • Sunday morning non-denominational worship service
  • Unveiling of the 300th anniversary monument

All of this will take place with Millersville University.  Lodging and meal plans are available on campus so you can make your reservation!

Learn more at

300th Hershey Anniversary: Celebration of Family Heritage

Friday, September 15, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm

Join a Hershey history bus tour with stops at various family farms, churches, and mills. Additionally, tour will visit Native American burial site at Kreider farms where Maryann Robins will speak. Robbins is president of the Circle Legacy Center and a member of the Onondaga tribe. Limited to 110 people, costs $40.

Saturday, September 16, 2017, 9 am to 4 pm

Join reunion festivities at Manor Church. Events will include a capella singign, historical presentations, storytelling, a catered buffet lunch, and fellowship. Local speakers adn special out of town guests will share information abuot hershey connections with Switzerland roots adn Native American relationships. Costs $40 adults, $20 kids 12-17; kids under 12 free.

Visit for more information.


Former Steffisburg, Switzerland official Hans Jakob Joder and his son Andreas, a prominent engineer, will be featured at the 2017 National Yoder Reunion (20-23 Sept),  in Shipshewana, IN. Steffisburg, where Joders have lived for more than half a millennium, is the origin point for all American Yoders. The Joders will talk about the “Joder- Steffisburg Connection” using many photographs and illustrations from the town.

The first of the Anabaptist Yoders to come to America, Mennonite “Hans Yoder of Great Swamp”, is thought to have arrived with other members of his congregation in August of 1717. This reunion is therefore a “celebration of 300 years of Anabaptist Yoders in America”, so the Anabaptist branches of the family, and Anabaptist traditions and culture will be a focus of the event. Shipshewana, Indiana is a key tourist area in the heart of northern Indiana’s “Amish Country”.

Another confirmed speaker is Mr. Joe Springer, curator of the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College since 1986. Mr. Springer will give an outline of Anabaptist history, with emphasis on the Swiss Anabaptists and the formation of the Amish. He recently published a two volume Montbéliard Mennonite Church Register, 1750-1958: A Sourcebook for Amish Mennonite History and Genealogy, a work which will certainly become a classic reference on the Amish Mennonites in Alsace. He will detail his findings on the different Yoder family branches who lived there from the late 1600s, many of whom immigrated to the United States in the 19th century.

Local Amish historian Floyd Miller, librarian of the Northern Indiana Amish Library, will tell about the first Amish settlers to northern Indiana, which include members of the Yoder family.

Chris Yoder, Editor of the Yoder Newsletter since 1983, will provide an overview of the various Yoder branches in America, and will also discuss the results of the Yoder DNA study and what over 100 tests have revealed about the family connections.

Past National Reunions since 1983 have all been held in the Eastern part of the country, in: Pleasantville, PA; Newton, NC; or Grantsville, MD. The Shipshewana reunion will be the first one to be held in the Midwest since the founding of the Yoder Newsletter ( .

Activities will center around the Blue Gate Garden Inn and the Shipshewana Event Center. Major local features we plan to take advantage of include: the Menno-Hof Amish/Mennonite history museum, buggy rides, Amish Home Dinners, Amish and Mennonite singers, the 50th Annual Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale, and much more.

For more program and registration details contact Chris Yoder, or call him at 616-212-3443.

Mennonite Immigration exhibit opens at the Mennonite Heritage Center

The Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, announces a new exhibit: Opportunity & Conscience: Mennonite Immigration to Pennsylvania that will be on display from April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018.

The exhibit commemorates the three hundredth anniversary of Palatine Germans arriving at the port of Philadelphia. The three ships carrying the Palatines included numerous Mennonite families and was the first large group of Mennonites to immigrate to Pennsylvania.

Opportunity & Conscience highlights the experience of 18th century Mennonite immigrants, their motivations and process of migration, and how they settled in eastern Pennsylvania. Between 1683 and 1775, at least 3,000 Mennonites arrived in Pennsylvania. They were part of a much larger story of European mass migrations to the mid-Atlantic colonies. The main causes for this migration were:

  • Continual religious war in the 17th century
  • Religious and economic oppression and restrictions
  • Burdensome taxation
  • Severe weather events and crop failures
  • The promise of religious toleration, land ownership and economic opportunity.

The exhibit includes a fascinating simulation of a passenger compartment on an 18th century immigrant ship, and a depiction of a sitting room in an early immigrant home, furnished with original artifacts of the 18th century. Enlargements of scenes and images from the period further illustrate the theme.

Another feature of the exhibit is a collection of stories of recent immigrants to the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys, some of whom have connected with local Mennonite churches. Many similarities can be observed between the motivation and experience of today’s immigrants and those of the 18th century from whom many Americans are descended.

Throughout the year, our blog at will feature stories and artifacts related to families descended from 18th century Mennonite immigrants. In addition, programs are planned on themes of immigration. To schedule guided group tours and for information about the exhibit, visit