Wellman Mennonite Church history is a very small portion of “His story”. Because of God’s transforming acts of grace and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, a new congregation came into existence in Daytonville, Iowa. A small band of believers desiring spiritual nourishment requested people from West Union Mennonite Church to take leadership in this missionary effort. In 1906, Abner G. Yoder and H.W. Miller organized a weekly Sunday School meeting in the Daytonville school house. The leadership and teachers would travel by horseback, on foot, or horse and buggy every Sunday afternoon to conduct Sunday School and enjoy the fellowship. A year later, worship services were held once a month.
By 1911 the small band of believers desired a meeting house of their own. An abandoned Amish Mennonite church building in Wright County, Iowa was purchased for $1,500, disassembled and moved by rail to nearby Wellman and erected on several lots in Daytonville; dedication was June 18, 1911. Melvin Gingerich states in his book, The Mennonites in Iowa, “The work has been successful and members have been won who had never been in contact with church influences before”. By 1935, Daytonville Mission became an independent organization with 90 charter members. Three years later, membership had grown to 108.
It became apparent in early 1940 that Daytonville Mission had growing pains. In July of 1940, ground was broken for a new meeting house in the north part of Wellman. Under the able leadership of Pastor George S. Miller as foreman of the building committee, dedication of the new meeting house was held November 10, 1940. The congregation adopted a new name along with a new building; Wellman Mennonite Church.
Several additions to the original structure have taken place in 1974 and 1989 due to an increase in attendance. A congregation is visually identified by the building it assembles in for worship and fellowship. How do our neighbors view the people who gather apart from the building? It is our purpose and intent to present the Good News of salvation in action and deed to our neighbors near and far. “Wellman Mennonite Church has meaning only because it is a part of God’s great saving work through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ronald L. Kennel, Wellman Mennonite History 1906-1986)
~ Barb Troyer