What is Conservative Mennonite Conference?
- Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) is a Christian fellowship of more than 100 evangelical Anabaptist churches in North America. Churches are located in 23 states. The conference also is fraternally related to church groups which grew from conference-related ministries in Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Haiti, India, Kenya, and Nicaragua.
How did the conference begin?
- The roots of CMC go back to the 16th century Anabaptist movement in Switzerland and the influence of Menno Simons (1496-1561) of Holland and a movement among the Swiss-German Anabaptists of the late 17th century to which the name of Jacob Ammon was attached. The more recent history is traced to a meeting in 1910 at Pigeon, Michigan, attended by five Amish Mennonite ministers who focused on the vision and concerns of the churches they represented. CMC was known then as Conservative Amish Mennonite Conference and, since 1954, as Conservative Mennonite Conference.
What does the conference believe theologically?
- As an evangelical body, CMC believes in
- the infallibility and authority of the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament,
- the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus Christ,
- the need of salvation because of human rebelliousness and self-will,
- salvation by divine grace through faith in the sacrifice of the shed blood of Jesus Christ,
- the necessity of preaching Jesus Christ
- as the only way of salvation,
- and the personal return of Jesus Christ, followed by eternal punishment for the lost and eternal bliss for the saved.
- As an Anabaptist fellowship of churches, CMC believes in
- the New Testament as fulfilling and succeeding the Old Testament as the authoritative guide for God’s people today,
- the church as the body of Christ, redeemed by Jesus Christ and visibly consisting of committed disciples,
- voluntary baptism and church membership,
- separation of church and state,
- the way of love in human relations, including refraining from participation in military and other violent force,
- honesty in speech without the use of the oath.
- As a conservative affiliation of churches, CMC seeks to interpret and apply the Scriptures in their full literary sense, believing that the available manuscripts and texts emanated from autographs inspired inerrantly by the Holy Spirit. Further description of CMC doctrine is expressed in various documents available upon request from the CMC office.
What is the conference’s relationship with other Mennonite groups?
- While an autonomous church body within the world Mennonite church, CMC is active in the relief and development programs of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), Akron, Pennsylvania. It also participates in Mennonite World Conference (MWC). Other inter-Mennonite fraternal relationships and projects occur, especially in local communities.
Are there any schools affiliated with the conference?
- Yes, Rosedale Bible College (RBC), an accredited degree-granting junior college-level school in central Ohio, offers studies in Bible and areas related to church life and ministry. The school’s mission is “to provide an evangelical junior Bible college education in the AnabaptistMennonite tradition that equips students to grow spiritually and academically and to serve effectively in the church and society.” A significant range of Christian and secular colleges and seminaries constitute the total educational exposures of students from CMC churches. The education of children and youth of elementary and high school age include Christian schools, public schools, and home-schooling.
How does the conference sponsor missions?
- Through Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM), which sends out missionaries and short-term personnel. Church planting missionaries work in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Churches have emerged in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Germany. Smaller fellowships have developed in sensitive Muslim areas in the Middle East
- The RMM mission statement reads:
- “As the CMC mission agency, RMM seeks to stimulate and facilitate biblical, spirit-led missions vision and action with local
- congregations to launch believers into Christ-centered evangelism, service, and discipleship both at home and abroad.”
What is the relationship of CMC congregations to the conference?
- Each congregation of Conservative Mennonite Conference is local and autonomous. The congregations share the conference’s doctrinal positions. They exercise edification and discipline as needed for the growth and purity of the church, and are active in evangelism and compassionate ministry.
Each congregation provides its own leadership, which typically consists of a pastor or a team consisting of a senior pastor and one or more associate pastors. An ordained deacon serves on the pastoral team in some congregations. In most congregations, a board of elders (or equivalent by an other name), comprised of the pastors and elected elders, provides the primary leadership.
CMC congregations make possible the ministries of the conference and at the same time, draw upon the resources and channels of ministry offered by the conference. In addition to Rosedale Mennonite Missions and Rosedale Bible College, these include the CMC Executive Board and office as well as various committees that give guidance to the congregations on matters of nurture and local education.
How can I get more information about the conference and its programs?
- Feel free to contact the number below. In addition, you are welcome to visit our annual conference gathering (with activities planned for the public of all ages) held in July or August of each year. An annual meeting of the ministers is held each February.
- Locations and specific dates are available from the home office and the CMC web page at www.cmcrosedale.org.
What is the mission of CMC?
- The Conservative Mennonite Conference exists to glorify God by equipping leaders and congregations for worship, teaching,
- fellowship, service, and making disciples by providing resources and conference structures with an evangelical, Anabaptist, and conservative theological orientation.