Weavertown Church dates back to 1909, when thirty-five families withdrew from the local Old Order Amish Church. The group disagreed with the Amish practice of shunning members who left the church to attend other churches. Aside from the shunning issue, the dissenting group wished to remain Amish at first. According to Amish practice, church services were held every other week. Services were conducted in German, and church families took turns hosting the service in their homes. Ministers from the Belleville Amish Church assisted the group for a few years until they ordained their own men to carry out ministerial duties.
A Sunday school was organized in 1928, and it was first held in a one-room public school building. Sunday school was held every other Sunday, alternating with preaching services. In the spring of 1928, several visionary church members bought the Weavertown Brethren Church building for $1,000. This structure was built by the German Baptist Brethren in 1888, and it had been vacant for several years. Sunday school met there for the first time on July 22, 1928, with an attendance of 115, but regular worship services were still held in homes until April 1930. Sunday school and preaching services continued to alternate until 1976.
As time brought various changes, the church at Weavertown began to differ more and more from the Old Order Amish. The use of cars was approved in October 1928. Telephones and electricity never became church issues. These things gradually came into use as they became practical parts of everyday life. English gradually replaced German in church services during the 1960s.
By the grace of God, Weavertown Church has continued to grow through more than a century of change. We as a church are grateful for the dedication of visionary leaders over the years and for the heritage of faith that has been passed on to us.
–Contributed by Rosalie Beiler, April 2017. Excerpted from Weavertown Church History (2003) by Aaron Lapp, Jr.
Statements of Faith
Excerpted April 2016 from Weavertown’s Statement of Faith and Practice.
Section 1 – God
We believe in the one triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) who is united and indivisible. God is eternal, infinite, holy, omniscient, unchanging, omnipresent, and good. We acknowledge that God cannot be completely understood or defined in finite terms. (I Corinthians 8:6; II Corinthians 13:14; I John 5:7; Job 11:7-9; Romans 11:33-36; I Timothy 1:17)
- We believe the Father is life-giving and relational. The Father gives believers eternal life through His Son. He relates to His children as the Heavenly Father. He is both love and consuming fire. (Matthew 6:9; John 5:26; John 6:57; I John 5:11, 20)
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe that He came to earth, was born of a virgin, and lived among men, yet without sin. Jesus, as the Lamb of God, took away the sin of the world by His death on the cross. All who believe in Him, His shed blood, and the power of His resurrection shall have eternal life. We believe that Jesus is now ascended to glory and intercedes for the believer. (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 5:24; II Corinthians 5:14, 21; Romans 5:8-11; Hebrews 7:25)
- We believe in the deity and person of the Holy Spirit. We believe that He reproves the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. We believe that He is the comforter for the believer to guide into all truth and that He empowers believers for a life of righteousness and service. (John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8)
Section 2 – Bible
We believe the Holy Bible is the Word of God. It is authentic in its content, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in its original writings, and that it is the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20, 21)
Section 3 – Creation
We believe the Genesis account of creation is historically accurate and literally true. We believe that all creation is sustained by God. Human life is a sacred creation of God, begins at conception, and shall be terminated only by His divine authority. (Genesis 1:1, 21, 27; Hebrews 1:10; Colossians 1:15-19)
Section 4 – The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. We believe that man was created in a state of perfection and that he was the crowning work of creation but by disobedience is now fallen into a lost estate of sin and death from which only God can save. (Genesis 1:26-27; 3:1-7; Romans 3:23; 5:8; Ephesians 2:1-3)
Section 5 – The Church
We believe the true church is the faithful body of Jesus Christ. It is composed of all those who have been born again by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:23; 2:8; 5:30; I Peter 1:18-23)
We believe the Church’s divinely appointed mission is to preach the gospel to all people; teaching obedience to all God’s commandments and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19, 20)
We believe the church has been vested with the responsibility to comfort, feed, and discipline its members. Those who fall into sin shall be admonished and disciplined. A member who willfully continues to sin and refuses to repent shall be excommunicated after a time of fasting and prayer by the rest of the membership. (Matthew 18:17-19; Acts 9:31; I Corinthians 5:11)
Section 6 – The Home
We believe the Christian home should have regular family worship and live faithfully according to the word of God. The home should loyally support the church in its mission, teaching and training their children in the ways of the Lord. (Psalm 68:6; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Colossians 3:18-21; II Timothy 3:15)
Section 7 – Ordinances
We believe New Testament ordinances are to be practiced by Christians. Therefore …
- Baptism shall be administered upon confession of faith. (Acts 2:38)
- Communion shall be observed as a memorial of Christ’s death, resurrection, and coming again. (I Corinthians 11:17-34)
- Feet washing shall be observed as an expression of Christian love. (John 13:1-17)
- The woman’s hair shall be veiled. Her natural length hair and her veiled head indicate a woman’s relationship to God and man. The covering shall be of sufficient size and design to give affirmation to the principles of headship and modesty. (I Corinthians 11:1-16)
- Anointing of oil shall be administered for healing to the sick and to those who call for it in faith. (James 5:14-16)
- Marriage shall be the union of one man and one woman for life, with Christians marrying only in the Lord. Divorce and remarriage constitute a Biblical violation and therefore are forbidden. (Mark 10:6-12)
- The Holy Kiss is a sign of our love for each other and is to be practiced brothers to brothers and sisters to sisters. (II Corinthians 13:12)
Section 8 – Non-Conformity
We believe Christians shall be separated from the world unto God. Therefore, we are not to be fashioned after the external, superficial, and evil practices of the world.
We believe it is the duty of the church to keep herself detached from all violent and non-violent movements, which seek the reformation of society, independent of the merits of the death of Jesus Christ and the experience of the new birth. (I Peter 2:9; Titus 2:11-14; II Corinthians 6:14-18)
Section 9 – Non-resistance
We believe in the doctrine of non-resistance in every area of life according to Christ’s teaching and example.
- In words
- In actions
- In the church
- In the home
- In the community
- In not promoting war
- In not retaliating against evil
- In not taking up arms
- By loving others
- By doing good
- By praying
(Matthew 5:38-48; John 18:36; Romans 12:17-21; I Peter 2:19-24; 3:8-9)
Section 10 – The Lord’s Day
We believe that Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is a memorial of the resurrection of Christ and is set aside for regular worship and fellowship with other believers.(Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10; I Corinthians 16:2)
Section 11 – Separation of Church and State
We believe the church and state are two separate kingdoms. We believe God has ordained the state under His authority to maintain order and punish the evil-doers.
We believe all Christians should honor, pray for, pay tribute to, and obey the government. Should instances arise in which such obedience would violate the higher law of God, “We ought to obey God rather than man.”
Section 12 – Holy and Sanctified Living
We believe we are called with a high and holy calling to live a life of victory, obedience, and holiness. We need to exercise ourselves in daily Bible reading and prayer. We need to be faithful in church attendance, in support and participation of church activity dedicating our lives to His service. (II Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 10:25; I Peter 1:15-16)
We must be honest always speaking the truth. We shall use no oaths but affirm the truth. (Matthew 5:33-37; Ephesians 4:15)
We believe that it is both our privilege and duty to render faithful Christian service at home and abroad, faithfully sharing our faith with both Christians and non-Christians. We believe it is the responsibility of Christians to give serious thought to utility, stewardship, and consistent testimony. (Ephesians 6:7; Mark 10:43-44; Matthew 20:28; Psalm 126:5-6; Luke 16:10-12; I Corinthians 4:2; I Peter 3:15-16)
Section 13 – Satan
We believe Satan is the arch-enemy of God, the deceiver of mankind, who is at work promoting evil and seeking to draw them away from God. (I Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9)
Section 14 – Future Things
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave. We believe He will return in His glorified body to receive all believers to Himself and to judge the world.(I Corinthians 15:51, 52; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the believer and the unbeliever. The believer will be rewarded, experience peace and glory forever, and will ever be with the Lord.(II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 21:1-27)
The unbeliever will be judged for all his evil deeds and will be cast into a lake of fire with Satan and his demons to be punished forever and ever.(Jude 14-15; Revelation 20:10-15)