Mennonite Heritage

The Bally Mennonite Congregation lives with gratitude for the many faithful persons who have lived and taught the way of following Jesus in this community for many years.


The roots of the Mennonite Church reach back to the era of the reform movements in Europe in the early 16th century. In 1525 in Zurich, Switzerland a group of diligent students of the Bible decided that baptism should be undertaken upon one’s understanding of, confession of, and determination to live the faith, and not simply because one was born to a Christian family or born in a region that was Christian.

This movement of earnest Christians, called “Anabaptists,” quickly spread to regions beyond Switzerland. In the Netherlands a Catholic priest by the name of Menno Simons joined and became a leader in this emerging reform movement. It was from him that the “Mennonite” name arose.

Bally, Pennsylvania

In the late 17th century a few Mennonites, along with members of the Quakers, emigrated from Europe to America and settled in Germantown (now part of Philadelphia). Later Mennonite immigrants moved up the Skippack and Perkiomen Creeks, and the settlement which is now Bally began around 1720 with the first meetinghouse being built in the 1730’s.

Mennonites, along with early Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed neighbors, have lived and worked together over the centuries in this thriving community of Bally.

Bally Mennonite Church is a member of the Franconia Mennonite Conference, a cluster of forty-three congregations located primarily in southeastern Pennsylvania. We participate in a variety of regional ministries such as retirement homes, schools, camps, and services for the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill.

Mennonite Church

We are also a member of Mennonite Church, USA, with a current membership of over 100,000. Through Mennonite Church, USA, we share in the work of Christian mission in North America and around the world. We support the educational work of our Mennonite colleges and seminaries.

The international relief and service arm of the Mennonite Church family is the Mennonite Central Committee. We aid in response to natural calamities through Mennonite Disaster Service. Through Mennonite World Conference we share in the fellowship of Mennonite churches around the globe.

Throughout the centuries Mennonites have practiced believers’ baptism, have sought to live out the teachings of Jesus, including the teaching of nonviolence and peacemaking, and have held the church as the orienting center of life.