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Big City Mennonite Church Directory 2013: Volume 1 (Arizona to Iowa)

Big City Mennonite Church Directory 2013: Volume 1 (Arizona to Iowa)

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Published by Charlie Kraybill
Listing churches in cities with population >50,000 and density >1,000/square mile
Listing churches in cities with population >50,000 and density >1,000/square mile

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Published by: Charlie Kraybill on Jun 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Big City
Mennonite ChurchDirectory 2013
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Listing churches in cities with population >50,000and density >1,000/square mile
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Vol. 1: Arizona to Iowa
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1.Mennonite (MC-USA) Online Congregational Directory;2.Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online;3. Mennonite conference websites;4. Congregational websites.
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June 2013
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A publication of the Marginal Mennonite Tract & Propaganda Department.
Compiled by Charlie Kraybill on behalf of the Marginal Mennonite Society.Visit theMarginal Mennonite SocietyFacebook page, and “like” us.
(Comments, corrections and/or critiques may be sent to: carlosnycity@gmail.com)
Rev. 6/17/13-1-
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City Churches … and
by Charlie Kraybill, Bronx, NYC 
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What distinguishes an inner-city church from a plain old run-of-the-mill city church?An inner-city church is located in or near a city’s downtown area, or in an area as densely populated as thedowntown area. It’s easily accessible by foot and/or public transportation. (If getting there requires an automobile,it’s not inner city.) An inner-city church has the potential to attract “walk-in” visitors, thanks to the flow of  pedestrian traffic outside its doors.Mennonite church-planters started moving into big cities in the late 19th century. Initially the motivation was toconduct mission work in high-needs (i.e., “ghetto” or immigrant) communities. At the time, such communitiestended to be in city centers, where the populations were densest, and poorest.As years passed, most inner-city Mennonite missions fell into decline and closed, or moved out. Some wereforced to move by “urban renewal” projects. Others relocated by choice, to accommodate increasingly affluentconstituencies. There are a few inner-city missions that survive in their original locations, having evolved into“commuter” churches (where members no longer live nearby but still travel to the old neighborhood for Sundayservices).Most “urban” Mennonite churches today are located closer to the outskirts than to the centers of their cities. Sincethey’re within municipal boundary lines they can call themselves “city churches.” But the surrounding landscapesare usually suburban, even rural, in character. It’s amazing how rural the edges of some cities can be. An examplewould be Kern Road Mennonite Church, a large congregation in the medium-sized city of South Bend, Indiana.A look via Google’s “Street View” shows thatKern Road Mennonitesits on South Bend’s sparsely populatedsouthern border, across the road from a large cornfield. Not the stereotypical picture of an urban church.Other examples are the two Mennonite churches in Phoenix, Arizona (Sunnyslope MennoniteandFirst Mennonite), located 8 and 10 miles north of city center. It’s a beautiful region, very pleasing to the eye, and the facilitieslook appealing. But given their remote locations, the chances of these “urban” churches ever being visited by a pedestrian passerby (a poor person, an auto-free person) are precisely: zero.Further, when urban congregations change locations these days, the direction of the move is almost always awayfrom downtown. An example would be Pittsburgh Mennonite Church, which for 40 years was in the Homewoodneighborhood, a few miles east of city center. In 2009, the church moved to new facilities further east, in Swissvale,on the other side of the city line. The group kept their old name, but they’re actually in a suburb of Pittsburgh nowrather than in the city itself.Despite all the urban church-planting projects over the years, Mennonite churches in the inner city are fewand far between today. Even rarer are churches attended by folks who actually live and work in the immediateneighborhoods, and are thus able to
walk to church
on Sundays. By my count there are only 3 or 4 dozenMennonite churches in the U.S. and Canada that can be considered “inner-city.” And these tend to be small, poor,struggling groups, often ignored and/or under-appreciated by the larger church institutions.Mennonites have talked for decades about the importance of developing an inner-city presence. In the minds of some church spokespersons, any city church can be referred to as an “inner-city church,” as if the two things aresynonymous. A glance at the physical surroundings of most of the churches in this directory (utilizing Google’swonderful “Street View” technology) will show that’s just not the case.
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Population (2010): 240,101Land area: 58 square miles Average density: 4,140/square mile
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(founded 1976);96 members(Anglo)
2505 North Dobson Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 (480-963-2416)Minister: Kent Beck (Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference)Website:http://www.koinoniamennonitechurch.com/Email: pastor@koinoniamennonitechurch.comMedian household income for zip code85224: $72,406Population ethnicity for zip code 85224: Anglo: 64.4%; African American: 4.5%; Hispanic: 20.2%Geography: The area around this church is suburban/rural in appearance. You can look at this location via Google Maps bysearching for “2505 North Dobson Road Chandler” and clicking the Street View icon.
Population (2010): 226,721Land area: 56 square miles Average density: 4,049/square mile
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(founded 1962);396 members(Anglo)
4334 West Vista Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301 (623-931-9241)Minister: Hal Shrader (Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference)Website:http://www.trinitymennonite.com/Email:trinity@trinitymennonite.comMedian household income for zip code85301: $37,103Population ethnicity for zip code 85301: Anglo: 26%; African American: 7.4%; Hispanic: 61.4%Geography: The area around this church is suburban in appearance. You can look at this location via Google Maps by searching for “4334 West Vista Avenue Glendale” and clicking the Street View icon.

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