Our History

As the door to the age of Reformation was hammered upon by Martin Luther, October 31, 1517 became a day that would influence religion and world history for years to come. His ideas of salvation through faith instead of good works set off sparks that inflamed many hearts to search out the true teachings of the Bible. Martin Luther started a chain reaction of new discussions on the Bible, and one group focused in on infant baptism.

The belief in adult baptism or believer's baptism was the focus of three men in Switzerland: Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock.

The group decided that if faith and repentance did not come before baptism, it was useless. So on January 25, 1525, Grebel, Manz, and Blaurock were the first people since the dark ages to take part in a believer's baptism. As their ideas spread throughout Europe, they became known as Anabaptist or the "re-baptized”.

While more and more people became re-baptized, Anabaptist beliefs were encountered by a wide variety of people including Menno Simons, a Catholic priest in Holland who was convinced of the beliefs of the Anabaptist. Being a priest at that time, Simons was not required to read the Bible, but he began to look there to find answers to the questions that the Anabaptist proposed to him.

He realized that he was living a hypocritical life, so he resigned from his position in the Catholic Church and began to preach about his Anabaptist beliefs. A group of followers developed and they soon became known as Mennonites.

This newly formed group, under great persecution from the Catholic Church, fled to other countries. Many found Prussia to be a place where they could form independent communities based solely upon Mennonite beliefs.

It was not an easy life, but they knew that the Lord is good, and trusted in Him to provide and protect.

When Frederick William came to the Prussian throne in 1786, Mennonites were asked to take up arms and defend their country, going against their strong beliefs in nonresistance. Soon Prussia would not accept their choice of nonresistance, and they were forced to look for a new home.

An invitation came from Catherine the Great of Russia to settle north of the Black Sea. On arriving, the Mennonites set up two colonies: Chortitza and Molotschna. Yet again they were forced to choose a way that they could show support for their country. Nonresistance was still the answer, and during both the Russian Civil War and World War I, Mennonites were persecuted because of their beliefs. Mennonites suffered more during these years than any others did.

Stories such as this were a common occurrence, and between 1914 and 1921 more than 2,200 Mennonites were murdered either by violence or disease brought by robber bands that lived with the Mennonites.

Eventually, around the end of the nineteenth century, a small group of Mennonites made their way to the United States hoping for political and religious freedom. Here they settled several colonies in the mid-west and sent word back on how "free" America was. Soon thereafter many more settlers followed.

 

They continued to learn the lesson: The Lord is good!

One such colony settled during this time was in western Oklahoma. Those that made it here sent word back for still more of their brothers and sisters to make the transition to America, but no word was heard from them.

Later it was found that many of the Mennonite communities in Russia had been completely eliminated. All types of religions struggled after the years of war because of the communist government. Even in the 1980s the expression of faith was still restricted, but the Mennonite church still survived in Russia.

As for the Mennonites of western Oklahoma, they organized a church in 1893 and around it grew up the small farm town know as Korn.

The church at Korn thrived for many years, and in 1953 they saw a need to start a new Mennonite Brethren church in the town of Weatherford. The church started on Broadway Street under the name of Broadway Heights. And then in 1968 they made the transition across town and became known as Pine Acres Church.

The Mennonites' lives were never simple. They have been persecuted for their culture and beliefs, yet they have not grown weary. As the world changes around them they are forced to make some adaptations, but their belief in God is still the focus of their lives, because The Lord is good.

The new church at Weatherford started as a mission. The Mennonite Brethren Southern District Conference was encouraging evangelism and growth in your home area, and a building was purchased for the new church. The new congregation was known as Broadway Heights. 

Reverend Victor Becker was the first pastor of this new fellowship which experience slow but steady growth, and soon new Sunday School rooms were added to the structure.

By 1968, it was becoming apparent that the church property on Broadway Street was no longer able to accommodate the ever-increasing congregation and so they set out to see what the Lord had in store for them elsewhere.

A new site was purchased across town at 1321 Lark Street and the church moved in January of 1970, becoming Pine Acres Church.

Just as we have already said, the Mennonites' lives have never been simple. Likewise, this church has experienced its good times and its bad times. But they have always been about seeking the will of God and then following Him, knowing He will make a way, because the Lord is good.

He has blessed us with a history of 11 wonderful pastors to lead and guide us in His will. The church has also started paid positions for a Youth Minister and a Minister of Music and Worship. We have made several new additions to the current building as well — first in 1982, then in 1992, and in 1999.

But as it has been said over and over again, the Lord is good. We know that, and we place our trust in that as we embark on a future based on our faith. 

What does God hold in store for the Pine Acres Church of the future? We do not know exactly. Will we remain at this current location or will He have us move? What ministries will continue? What new ministries will we need to start? Who will be the next senior pastor chosen to lead this flock? Music Minister? Youth Pastor? Maybe some other pastor position we don’t even have yet? It could be me, it could be you! We don’t know what is going to happen to tomorrow, much less in another 50 years.

But what we do know is that no matter what hardships and trials we have to face — and there will be some; 
No matter how many pastors we have at the time — and there will be more;
No matter what our style of worship is at the time — and it will change;
No matter what ministries we offer;
No matter who is our church moderator, or head overseer, or leading the children’s choir;
We know that without a shadow of a doubt that God will provide and we will follow.

 

Because The Lord is good!

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Pine Acres Church

Address: 1321 Lark Street

Weatherford, OK

73096

Phone: (580)772-2190

Fax: (580)772-7190

Email: pineacres@pineacres.org

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