Argentine Mennonite Church, Kansas City, Kansas
In 1905, under the direction of a local mission board, appointed by the Missouri-Iowa and the Kansas-Nebraska district conferences, a Mennonite Gospel Mission was established in Kansas City. The work was later taken over by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities.
In 1917 the Mennonite Children’s Home was established in response to many requests for child care that came to the workers in the Mennonite Gospel Mission. J. D. Mininger, the mission superintendent, was one of the initiators of this venture in child welfare. The Home was owned and operated by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities, which delegated the actual administration to the local Board of Directors.
The Home was licensed by the state of Kansas to care for 46 children ranging in age from two to twelve. The Home was also licensed to place children in foster and adoptive homes. Over 1200 children were either placed in homes or given temporary care in the Children’s Home between 1917 and 1956. The children’s home eventually evolved into Argentine Youth Services, which continues to operate in Kansas City as Associated Youth Services.
In February of 1946 the Mennonite Gospel Mission was discontinued and the Argentine Mennonite Church was organized as its direct successor, beginning with 130 members in 1946 and (according to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online) having a membership of 74 in 1958. Argentine Mennonite Church is a member of the South Central Mennonite Conference with a current membership of 26.
–Kurt Horst, Regional Conference Minister
Posted on May 2, 2017 in Congregational Stories Weekly Word