Student Historians to Report on Research at Spring Meeting

Two Goshen College history majors and directors of the historical library and church archives at Goshen College, will present programs at the Spring 2015 meeting of Michiana Anabaptist Historians at Goshen College on Saturday morning, March 21, in Newcomer Center.

Seth Miller, a senior from Wellman, Iowa, studying history and social research, will report on his study of the Mennonite Home Mission in Chicago, focusing on how its role was influenced by the community it served, especially in regard to a changing racial constituency. Mennonite churches in Michiana contributed funds, welcomed “fresh air” children in summers and sponsored visits to the mission by MYF and other groups. Some members of the mission church moved from Chicago to Elkhart County.

Micah Helmuth, a senior history and secondary education major from Goshen, will speak on another Mennonite congregation—the Woodlawn Amish-Mennonite church east of Goshen. He will analyze its evolution from the group’s Old Order Amish identity to Beachy Amish to today’s Amish-Mennonite affiliation. Some MAH members with roots in that congregation are Al Bontrager and Dan Beachy.

The second hour of the morning will be devoted to “Resources for Michiana Congregational and Family History on the Goshen College Campus.” Joe Springer, curator of the Mennonite Historical Library, will be joined by Colleen McFarland, director of the Archives of Mennonite Church USA, in calling attention to print and manuscript records in both research collections. Joe will also demonstrate the use of internet sources in studying family history.

The morning program will follow the regular schedule: 8:30 a.m., registration and coffee; 9:00, business meeting; 9:30, Seth Miller and Micah Helmuth; 10:30 break, with refreshments; 11:00, Joe Springer and Colleen McFarland. In addition, from noon to 12:30, the archives next door will be open for a quick tour and introduction to its services.

The meeting is free and open to the public.