our beginnings

The First Mennonite Church of Berne, Indiana, dates back to 1852 when a company of approximately 70 Swiss Mennonites immigrated from “Muensterberg” of the Bernese Jura Mountains. They landed in America on April 28, 1852, along with their minister the Rev. Peter Lehman. They immediately organized as a church. These pioneers had heard of the beauty and freedom in America from some of their relatives who had arrived in America as early as 1838 in the Vera Cruz area.

The church building was erected in 1856. The congregation grew rapidly. New churches and alteration and enlargement programs were necessitated in 1879, 1886, and 1899, until the new Mennonite church of Gothic design was constructed from 1910-1912 [the sanctuary of this building is the largest in North America] and was dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1912, debt free. The education building, which includes an open fellowship area, was added in June 1959. It provides a chapel, radio control room, library, kitchen, prayer and council room, Sunday school rooms, and staff offices.

Church Chronology

Our Confession of Faith

This congregation acknowledges and confesses that, “…other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11). 

We believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is obtained through the New Birth commanded by Jesus in John 3:3. This is accomplished by repentance of sin and a conscious, personal, voluntary commitment to and trust in Jesus Christ (John 1:12, 3:16-17).

We accept the Holy Scriptures under the Lordship of Christ as the final authority in matters of faith and practice. (For a complete statement see Article III of the  Constitution.)

For a complete list of our beliefs, check out The Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective here

If you would like to discuss any of these core beliefs, please contact us at info@firstmennonite.org.