Congregational Profile: Perkiomenville Mennonite Church

by Mike Spinelli, pastor

Perkiomenville Mennonite Church Meetinghouse. Photo by Charlie Ness

In 1935, seeds of faith planted on the edge of the Upper Perkiomen Valley took root. The harvest resulted in Perkiomenville Mennonite Church, a now 200-person congregation seeking to live out the same call to plant seeds in places near to home and around the world.

God used Clayton Godshall from Franconia, a feed truck driver, to scatter the seeds that would become Perk.  Clayton’s route brought him to Perkiomenville, PA where he saw no church meeting or other spiritual life.  With the help of Abram Metz and Isaac Alderfer, a Sunday school was formed and soon a church began meeting in a rented farmhouse on Deep Creek Road, about a mile from the current church meetinghouse on Gravel Pike (Route 29).

Others caught the vision and joined these men and their families in various “seed-scattering” ventures such as teaching Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and distributing of printed “good news” papers.  The early hope was to concentrate on the children and then reach the parents. 

Perk’s first called pastor was Abram Metz, who served the congregation for 30 years beginning in 1944.  Four other pastors have served in either a solo or lead role since then – Stanley Godshall, Richard Moyer, Charles Ness, and Michael Spinelli.  Associate ministers have been used from time to time for focused ministry and include Lamar Ness, John Ayars, Dennis Detweiler, and Scott Roth.

Having fun together at a church day retreat. Photo by Tammy Snyder

Today, Perk is a gathering of people from various communities who come from all directions of the compass.  While several families attend from Perkiomenville and Green Lane, people also drive the roads from places like Alburtis, Upper Perk, Hatfield, Telford, Limerick, and Schwenksville. This leads us to encourage people to see themselves as sent to minister in the places where they live.

Perk also continues to live out its seed-scattering DNA by encouraging people to live as people sent to the world.  In recent years, Charlie Ness has taken work crews and ministry teams to Mexico to help the Monte Maria Church in its mission through meetinghouse construction, prayer ministry, and teaching in their school of ministry.  Monte Maria is pastored by Franconia missionaries Bob and Bonnie Stevenson.

Another outgrowth of Perk’s ministry is Men’s Encounter, a weekend gathering held twice a year where men come and hear teaching on walking with Christ, purity in relationships, building strong families, and working through personal issues.  Many men over the last five years have found freedom in Christ and are continuing to grow in that freedom.

Funnel cake makers at Upper Perk’s 4th of July Celebration. Proceeds fund mission trips and projects. Photo by Janet Ness.

Perk has several traditional gatherings such as a Family Fun Day, which opens our doors to our community, a Christmas banquet, and our regular worship services.  We also work to stay connected to the Upper Perk Valley through a pastor’s prayer group and ministerial association. There is the ever-present challenge of shaping our congregational activities to gather as the people of God and minister while scattered in our various neighborhoods.

Perk Church continues to dream about its ability to plant seeds in a world of change.  Our stated purpose is, “Inspiring people to follow Jesus.”  While our message is still the same, we recognize that our world has changed, becoming less inspired by the message of the church.  We would love to see that turned around and with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, we will see a new harvest of believers here in Perkiomenville.

Prayer requests for Perk:

  • Pray that we will live up to our calling as the people of God and inspire others to follow Jesus.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment as we search for a new associate pastor.
  • Pray for wisdom for the implementation of ministry initiatives in 2020.