Springdale traces its history back to 1825. Land deeds as early as 1796 show Mennonite families moving into Augusta County from both Pennsylvania and the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley. These settlements were widely scattered, but two centers developed - one on the lower South River (which became the Hildebrand settlement) and a second on the upper South River in what was known as the Kendig Section of the county.
The first church services were most likely held in homes in the community. In 1825, a school house was brought into use as a church and became known as Kendig's Chapel. The name was changed to Springdale in 1886 when a new building was constructed. The old weather-boarded log church was moved to another location so the new church could be built.
Services were possibly held in Hall's schoolhouse, which stood on the edge of the church property, while the construction was underway. The new white weatherboard church was heated by stoves and lit by kerosene lamps. This building served until the advent of automobiles, through the depression and the introduction of electricity, until the beginning of World War II.
Church services were conducted in German until around 1840. For several decades after that, German and English were both used. After 1880, only English was used.
In the late 1880s, persons from Springdale began making contacts with families near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Singings and worship services were held under trees, and in 1900, a daughter church was built at Mountain View. Other mission work resulted in the development of Stuarts Draft Christian Fellowship) in the 1920s; Greenmonte Fellowship in the 1950s; Signs of Life Fellowship (2010). Springdale continues to be active in church planting efforts, currently working with other Mennonite churches in the planting of Iglesia Cristiana Shalom, a Spanish-speaking Mennonite church in Waynesboro .
Ministers and deacons for Springdale were chosen by the "lot" until the 1950s. Prior to 1964, all of the pastors at Springdale came from within the community or the congregation. After 1964, all of the pastors have come from outside of the congregation.
The Mennonite congregations in the area have made adjustments over the years so that today they resemble many modern-day churches in appearances. Still, it is their intent to be faithful to the principles of Scripture and to some of the original interests and concerns of the early Christian church and the early Mennonites. The Christian life is viewed as a daily walk in the footsteps of Christ. The church organization is structured in such a way that responsibility is shared by many persons. Our congregation is no longer made up of rural people or Mennonite heritage only; instead, many folks from a wide variety of occupations, interests, and denominational backgrounds call Springdale "my church."
Most of the information on this page has been excerpted from documents written in 1997 by Marion Weaver, Springdale's former Congregational Historian, and from the book "Where the River Flows: A History of Springdale Mennonite Church" by Kathryn Huber (1997 - available on Amazon.com, Alibris.com or by contacting the church office).
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