Our Church's history
Life Mennonite Fellowship began in 1997 under the leadership of Lester Miller with a vision of a place for long-term clients of Life Ministries to have a local safe place to worship. Initially the church was a type of ’hospital church’ where congregants would come to grow in their walk with God and also find healing in relational struggles through the power of the Lord.
As Life Church grew, it has continued to be a place of healing, but also a place of discipleship, teaching, and equipping for the work of the Lord. It is a place where radical grace is offered and Christ is our common bond of unity in our diversity.
The first church service was held on June 15, 1997 at Life Ministries (250 Meadow Lane Conestoga, Pa) with approximately 25 people present in the upstairs chapel room. For the first 14 years we were affiliated with Lancaster Conference under the Martindale District, with Nelson Bowman giving pastoral oversite.
In 1999 Nevin Forry and Mark Schlabach were licensed to join Lester in Pastoral care of the congregation. On December 26, 2001 Lester Miller went home to be with the Lord. It was a hard time for a young congregation to lose its visionary pastor, but God continued to care for and lead us during our grieving. With Lester’s passing, Mark Schlabach was chosen to be the Lead Pastor. On October 9, 2005 Tim Beachy and Doug Fuhrman were licensed as associate Pastors.
As the congregation grew we started looking for another facility. From 2007 – 2009, the church expanded to several local schools: Pequea Elementary and Martic Middle School. In January 2009, the church purchased our current facility at 732 Millwood Rd, Willow Street.
In February 2011, the congregation joined Biblical Mennonite Alliance with Jay Laughman as overseer. Doug Fuhrman was also installed as lead pastor in 2017, and Galen Beiler was called to be the Associate Pastor (2014). The congregation also added two Deacons, Ervin Barkman in 2012 and Vernon Esh in 2014.
Currently there are approximately 125 members and an attendance of 225-250 on Sunday mornings.