Village Chapel

District: Groffdale

Location: Voganville, PA

Date of founding: Original building 1848 – this fellowship began 1971

Average Sunday worship attendance: 35-40

Time of Sunday worship service: 9:30 am

Leadership:Tom Philpot (associate pastor), Jeff Horst (lead pastor), and Ellwood Martin (Elder)

In the past year, Village Chapel, along with the Groffdale district, has supported the construction of a new church building in Catel, Guinea Bissau. One of our members, Beryl Forrester, serves  there as a missionary. In his nearly 20 years in West Africa, he was instrumental in the formation of the Catel congregation. A little less than a year and a half ago, the Catel congregation met some local persecution. They were forced out of their meeting house. After a long period of meeting in the tiny lobby of the mission clinic; the congregation finally built their own meetinghouse. Through this time of difficulty, the congregation doubled in size, and they are ready to credential their first pastor. Though this story has played out 4,000 miles from our front door, our little church managed to raise thousands of dollars to help our brothers and sisters have a front door of their own.

Village Chapel actively engages the local community. We collect food for the local food bank. We sing Christmas carols through the village, and we invite town residents to join us. Caroling ends at the meetinghouse sharing cookies and fellowship. We take yearly Mennonite Disaster Service trips, which include six to ten people. Groups travel to Honduras and beyond to serve in short-term ministry. From a group of 40 members, a large percentage of people engage in service. When we volunteer at an event, organizers tend to think that we’re a much larger congregation because of the number of volunteers who come to help.

In recent years, our congregation has started serving with local addiction ministries. From the passion of a few, a corporate sense of love has blossomed for these brothers who have a difficult battle in front of them. The Spirit has been using these relationships to open our hearts to those that others might ostracize.

We’re glad to be a part of LMC, and we very much appreciate the oversight of our bishop, Lloyd Hoover. He exemplifies Christ’s love to us and what it means to walk in the Spirit. Together we journey closer to Jesus, trusting, living and inviting others to join us on the way.

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