Our History

In 1908 a group of people living in this community, because it was very difficult for them to get their own denominational Sunday School or any church, started a Union Sunday School. Two brothers, the Revs. Jacob G. and Herman Snyder of Roaring Spring, directed the work of organizing the school. The erection of the present was undertaken in July 1908 by the contractor, Henry Eckard of Roaring Spring. The building was dedicated in October of the same year with the Rev. S.D. Yoder who preached the dedicatory sermon. His text was from the Prophecy of Jeremiah, “Let us arise and build.” In those early days there was no organized church, and the Sunday School was under the direction of the Sunday School Association. It was known as the Smith Union Sunday School.
Two years later work came under the direction of the Roaring Spring Mennonite Church, and the local church became known as Smith Chapel. It continued thus under the direction of the Roaring Spring Church until 1921, when the Home Mission Board of the General Conference Mennonite Church of North America took charge of the work. The Rev. Daniel Gerig of Oregon was sent here as director and pastor. He served the charge consisting of Smith Chapel and Poplar Run Chapel from 1921 to 1929.
The Rev. Sylvan Lehman of Berne, Indiana, served the charge from 1929 to 1935. It was during his period of service that the work at Poplar Run Chapel was discontinued by the Home Mission Board because of a lack of funds during the depression years.
The Rev. John S. Raugh, a son of the mother church at Roaring Spring, served the church from May 1935 to December 1947. Brother Raugh died of a heart attack just a few hours after delivering his morning message on December 21, 1947. During his pastorate, the church was fully organized.
The Rev. David Miller, pastor of the Roaring Spring congregation, served as supply pastor for the month of January 1948. The Rev. Arthur Keiser served the church as supply pastor from February to July 1948, then left to return to the mission field in Columbia, South America. During the remainder of the year, the pulpit was supplied by local ministers.
The Rev. Randall A. Heinrichs came to Smith Corner and served the congregations at Smith Corner and roaring Spring from February 1949 to February 1953. The work on the present church basement was started prior to his coming, and was completed in the fall of 1949.
Brother Leon Schanely supplied the pulpit from February through June 1953 when he left to begin work with Wycliff Translators in Bolivia, South America.
The Rev. Adrian Sprunger of Berne, Indiana accepted a call to the Roaring Spring Mennonite Church in August 1953 to February 1954.
Brother Harold Nussbaum came to Smith Corner from Berne, Indiana, in the fall of 1951 and served as church worker until the end of 1954. He left to continue his studies in Christian Education.
In February of 1954, Pastor Walter D. Fry came to Smith Corner from Lancaster County, PA. He served the congregation in June 1965. Renovations to the church building were begun in 1955 with a new heating system installed. In 1956 the joists and the floor of the auditorium were replaced. An addition was added to the church in 1963.
In June of 1965, Emmert Frederick came to Smith Corner Mennonite Church and served till September 1966.
Rev. Grover Stockenus served in Smith Corner Church from October 1966 to 1984. During this time, 1970, the church auditorium was remodeled.
In August 1984, Pastor Terry Holmes came to Smith Corner Church. It was during his ministry that we began the process of withdrawing from the Mennonite Convention. Pastor Terry Holmes left the church in April 1989.
Pastor Roy Kifer ministered in Smith Corner Church from August 1989 to May 1998.
The Smith Corner Mennonite Church purchased a clear deed for the church from the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church in January 1991. The deed was recorded at Blair County Courthouse at that time.
The Smith Corner Mennonite Church voted and withdrew from the Eastern District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church in March 1991.
In May 1991 the congregation agreed to add Independent to change the church’s name to Smith Corner Independent Mennonite Church.
In 1992, plans were made for a new addition. The Smith Corner Independent Mennonite Church had a groundbreaking service on Sunday morning November 15, 1992.
Ground was broken for an 18′ x 32′ addition to the west end of the church. The sanctuary was enlarged and the fellowship hall expanded beneath the sanctuary. A new kitchen was relocated to the new addition. The existing church building was also renovated. New pews and pulpit furniture were purchased. An air conditioning and heating system was installed. A bathroom and nursery were built on the first floor.
Construction was started the day following the groundbreaking service. A new church sign was purchased and installed. The upper parking lot was repaved and landscaping completed. A dedication service was held on May 2, 1993.
Pastor David McClanahan came to Smith Corner June 1998 to present. In the summer of 1998, the parking lot was expanded. In 2000, the church went through a large addition to the sanctuary and four more classrooms. A large nursery and four more bathrooms were also added.
On November 27, 2006, the church took on their first associate pastor. Pastor Ben Hoover began his ministry to children, youth, and young families.
Because of growing attendance, in January 2007, the church went to two Sunday morning services.
In April 2010, Smith Corner Church finished construction of a new fellowship hall which included 6 new classrooms, gymnasium, kitchen and a large basement gathering area with a coffee bar.
Rev. S.D. Yoder – preached the dedicatory sermon in 1908
Rev. Daniel Gerig – 1921-1929
Rev. Sylvan Lehman – 1929-1935
Rev. John S. Raugh – May 1935 to December 1947
Rev. David Miller – served as supply pastor for the month of January 1948
Rev. Arthur Keiser – February to July 1948
Rev. Randall A. Heinrichs – February 1949 to February 1953
Brother Leon Schanely – February through June 1953
Rev. Adrian Sprunger – August 1953 to February 1954
Brother Harold Nussbaum – Fall of 1951 to end of 1954
Rev. Walter D. Fry – February 8, 1954 to June 1965
Rev. Emmert Frederick – supplied the pulpit from June 1965 to September 1966
Rev. Grover Stockenus – October 1, 1966 to April 15, 1989
Pastor Terry Holmes – August 21, 1984 to April 9, 1989
Pastor Roy Kifer – August 13, 1989 to May 1998
Senior Pastor Dave McClanahan – June 1998 to Present
Associate/Youth Pastor Ben Hoover – November 27, 2006 to September 2011
Associate/Youth Pastor Rodney Ingram – August 5, 2015 to Present