New video on Elkhart innovator John F. Funk

Press release by Prairie Street Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Indiana. June 2021

“The Life and Legacy of John F. Funk,” featuring the innovator whose blend of Anabaptist and evangelical theology influenced nineteenth-century Mennonites across North America, is now available online. Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indiana, for which Funk was founding pastor in 1871, produced the film as part of the congregation’s 150th anniversary.

“Stories—even those hidden or untold—shape congregations in powerful ways,” says Professor John Roth of Goshen College. “This creative effort by Prairie Street Mennonite Church to recognize the legacy of Funk is a model for cultivating congregational memory. The story told is relevant and inspiring.”

Early collaboration with Dwight L. Moody in Chicago gave Funk an evangelical perspective, which he integrated with his Anabaptist roots. His early support of the antislavery Union cause in the American Civil War turned to disillusionment with military solutions, and he became a prominent voice of Mennonite peacemaking. 

Funk moved to Elkhart in 1867 and became the leading publisher among North American Mennonites, producing denominational magazines and theology books for decades. He promoted mission, advocated for mutual aid, and helped thousands of Russian Mennonite immigrants settle in the United States and Canada. His work was formative for what today are Menno Media, Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Central Committee, and Goshen College.

Find the new video, written and narrated by J. Nelson Kraybill, on YouTube or here:

Narrated by J. Nelson Kraybill for the 150th anniversary of Prairie Street Mennonite Church

Celebrating 150 years!

2021 marks 150 years of life for the congregation of Prairie Street Mennonite Church! (You can read about our history here.) This is a jubilee year for us: 50 + 50 + 50 years, and we plan to celebrate. We invite you to join us on the last Saturdays of June, July, and August from 4-8 p.m. for a party in our parking lot (1316 Prairie Street, Elkhart).

Stay tuned to this page for posts about our history and current life together, as well as information about our celebrations.

Easter Worship at Prairie Street MC

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1
You are invited to join us at Prairie Street Mennonite Church for an Easter Sunday celebration, Sunday, April 1. There will be an Easter breakfast in the Fellowship Hall at 8:45am that will include fruit, eggs and quick breads. Singing will begin in the sanctuary at 9:45am. Worship of our Risen Christ begins at 10:00am; and we look forward to two baptisms as well as Communion around the Lord’s table.

Christmas and New Year happenings

Several special events are taking place at Prairie Street over the holidays.

Saturday, December 23 at 5:30pm: “Ray of Hope”, a candlelight vigil remembering victims of gun violence in Elkhart, will take place at Prairie Street Mennonite Church. A brief program in the church Fellowship Hall will include testimonies of survivors, poetry, song, scripture, and prayer. Participants will process with candles to the nearby parking lot where Devonte “Ray” Patrick died in 2013. After prayer, silence, and a reading of the names of gun violence victims in Elkhart in 2017, participants will return to the church for hot beverage and conversation. Planners for this event include Prairie Street Mennonite Church, local survivors of gun violence, and a representative of Every Town for Gun Safety.

Sunday, December 24, 9:30am: Advent Worship, week 4. Join us as we worship and anticipate the birth of the Messiah.

Sunday, December 24, 5:30pm:
Christmas Eve service including scripture readings, singing and candle lighting. Cookies and hot drinks will be served in the Fellowship Hall following the service.

Sunday, December 31, 9:30am: Christmas Music Sunday – a traditional time of Christmas music celebration during our morning worship time. All are welcome!

Interdenominational Ministers Alliance Worship

On Sunday, October 29, Prairie Street Mennonite Church was pleased to host the 5th Sunday worship service of the Elkhart County Interdenominational Ministers Alliance. Elder George Bostic, Jr. was the speaker and there was a variety of music shared from the different churches in attendance. You can listen to the service in the link.

Funk Celebration Sunday

On Sunday, August 6, 2017, Prairie Street Mennonite Church celebrates the legacy of John and Salome Funk, founders of Prairie Street church (1871) and prominent leaders of the Mennonite denomination. Historian Rich Preheim will speak at 9:30am and 11am, followed by a meal at noon to which visitors are welcome. At 1:30pm the congregation will join representatives of Michiana Anabaptist Historians to unveil a historic marker about Funks in front of the church building. At 2pm Ervrin and Phyllis Beck will join any who wish to see the “Outsiders” exhibit of folk art from marginal peoples–including Mennonites and Amish–at the nearby Midwestern Museum of American Art.

All are welcome to join us for worship and the noon meal!

Summer Sunday

This Sunday, July 16, 2017, we will have an informal time of song and sharing in our Fellowship Hall. Please plan to join us at 9:30am for coffee, singing and sharing of stories. Pastor Nelson Kraybill and others will share stories from the Mennonite Church Convention that took place in Orlando, Florida from July 4 – 8. There will be no Sunday school this week.

A Service of Worship & Thanksgiving for the life of Alan Kreider

Alan Kreider funeral bulletin

Alan Kreider’s Memorial service, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Prairie Street Mennonite Church.

Ross Ringenberg’s Memorial Service

February 23, 1983 – December 6,2016

Ross Ryan Ringenberg, 33, of Elkhart, died peacefully Tuesday, December 6 at Western General ICU Edinburgh, Scotland. He was traveling with friends in Scotland when he became ill. Despite increasing physical disability Ross loved opportunities for adventure, learning and meeting people.
Ross was born February, 1983 in Minneapolis, MN to Ron & Frances (Valberg) Ringenberg. The family moved to Wheaton, IL where his physical challenges began at the age of eight. Ross progressed from using a walker to occasionally needing a scooter during high school and college. Later came a power assist wheelchair and finally a joystick-directed power wheelchair. In recent years Ross cheerfully asked friends at the dinner table to feed him.
Ross attended Wheaton- Warrenville HS (2001) and was active at Lombard Mennonite Church where he served on two pastoral search committees and traveled with the youth group to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. He also traveled with his family to Israel Palestine, Ecuador, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Ross attended Taylor, University, Upland, IN. With increasing physical needs through those years, graduation in 2005 became a reality for him through the support and caring of many friends on campus, particularly those who lived with him in community at Bergwall Hall.

After graduation Ross lived with family in Middlebury, IN and worked at Everence for almost ten years where he took great satisfaction in his work as a web designer, participated in Toastmasters and earned certifications in various programming skills. Increasing physical limitations forced retirement from full time work but Ross continued to find ways to make a difference, connecting with people and volunteering.

Ross was instrumental in moving the family to Elkhart where he enthusiastically embraced city life and participated in many downtown activities. He was involved with Church Community Services and the Center for Community Justice. Taking friends and visitors to the Wellfield Botanic Garden was a favorite Ross activity. He was always ready for a potluck get together, game night or movie outing. He took pride in keeping in touch with old friends and made a point of reaching out to quieter members in his community. The beginnings of a fun and lively reunion could often be traced back to the idea and plannings of Ross.

Ross took classes at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, embracing the opportunity to think ethically and make more people connections.

Ross attended Prairie Street Mennonite Church where he loved to sing and worship, where he served as an Elder and promoted stewardship of creation, recently connecting with the Indiana Urban Forest Council’s program ‘Leaves of Faith’ providing native trees and education to congregations.
Ross is survived by parents Ron and Frances Ringenberg, brother Joe (Rachael) Ringenberg and nieces Lux, Joan Bea and Alma Ringenberg as well as paternal grandfather Ralph Ringenberg. Ross made lifelong friends at every stage of his journey and is remembered by a wide circle.
Visitation will be Friday, December 16 from 5 to 7 pm and Saturday, December 17, from 10 am before the 11:30 memorial service at Prairie Street Mennonite Church, 1316 Prairie Street, Elkhart. Memorial gifts may be made to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary to begin funding a scholarship in Ross’s name for persons with disabilities or to Prairie Street Mennonite Church where Ross cared about creating space and welcome for persons in South Central Elkhart.

You can listen to Ross’ memorial service which was held on Saturday, December 17 here:

Renovations are underway!

After months of discussion, design and prayer by the congregation, the church building is undergoing some major renovation to the main hallway, restrooms and fellowship hall. Ancon Construction has been hard at work since July 18 and they hope to be finished before December. If you come to visit during this time, please be aware that improvements are on the way!

PSMC reno 2

PSMC reno 1