WELCOME TO FIRST MENNONITE’S WEB SITE
Thank you for visiting. You are invited to join us in person for any of our services and activities. Feel free to call the office with any questions or just to chat.
Who We Are
First Mennonite Church of Hillsboro is a part of the Mennonite Church USA.
INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
If you are visiting for the first time, you may have a few questions about our church. We hope this page can help answer some of those questions. Please check out our resources section for additional information if you would like.
Where are you located?
We are located in downtown Hillsboro, KS. Our church sits on the SE corner of Grand and Ash. Our address is 102 S. Ash, Hillsboro, KS 67063.
What can I expect on a Sunday morning?
Feel free to come through any of our doors, but the front doors (on Ash street) may be the best option for newcomers. There you will find ushers waiting to greet you. The ushers and other friendly members of the congregation standing around visiting can show you where the restrooms, nursery, sanctuary or anything else is that you are looking for when you arrive.
The sanctuary is immediately to your left when you enter through our front doors. The ushers will hand you a bulletin that lists the order of our service as well as our announcements for the week. Feel free to sit in our beautiful sanctuary either in the main part downstairs or upstairs in our balcony.
Typically on the first Sunday of every month, we have a carry-in meal following the service. If you attend on one of these Sundays, please feel free to join in at the meal. We love to have others join us and there is always plenty of great food! Check the bulletin or our website for carry-in meal dates.
Is there a staffed nursery and children’s programs?
Yes! Our nursery is fully staffed and you can take your children ages 3 and under there prior to the service. Older kids are included in the church worship and usually sit with their parents until they head to the front during Children’s Story. They are typically dismissed after that to head to Children’s Time. This is for children ages 4 through 2nd grade. Children older than that are encouraged to stay in church and be a part of the larger gathering.
If you come for our Sunday School hour, there are programs for all ages, including our fully staffed nursery.
What should I wear?
Our members tend to wear “dressy casual.” Some of our men wear ties while many do not. Women often wear dresses or skirts as well as pants. Many of our youth and adults wear jeans. We want you to be comfortable however you are dressed!
What is a worship service at First Mennonite Church like?
Our worship style is formal and traditional. The prelude music is usually played on our pipe organ. We also occasionally have music on the piano and the guitar, by other musicians and special guests. As is typical of many Mennonite congregations, we often enjoy four-part hymn singing. Occasionally, we also include a contemporary worship song.
The worship service usually includes readings, hymns, sharing and announcements, scripture, Children’s Story, offering, a message, and times of prayer. During parts of the worship, the congregation is invited to stand if able and willing to do so. If you are uncomfortable with this, or if standing is difficult for you, please feel free to remain seated. These times of standing are usually marked with an asterisk in your bulletin.
Our practice is to share communion four times a year. The Pastor will give the instructions so that you are able to follow along. If standing is difficult for you or you are unable to go to the front to partake, a server will bring the elements to you.
OUR SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES
Sunday School Classes – 9:30 A.M.
Sunday School Classes – 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday Evening Activities include a meal at 6:15 with classes for all ages starting at 7 p.m. These typically run from the beginning of September to the end of March.
Join us the first Sunday of every month for a carry-in Fellowship Meal after the morning worship service.
Pastor: Tom Harder
Tom Harder has significant historical connections with Hillsboro. His great-great-grandfather Johann Harder was one of the original settlers of the Gnadenau village just south of Hillsboro, having come from the Ukraine by ship in 1874. Johann is buried in the Gnadenau cemetery two miles south on Indigo Road (as are both Tom’s parents, Leland and Bertha). Tom’s great-grandfather David Harder was one of the early faculty members at Tabor College (and is buried in the cemetery on D Street). Tom’s grandfather Menno also taught at Tabor, while his grandmother Katherine had a beauty shop in town.
Tom grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, where both of his parents taught at the Mennonite seminary. He attended Bethel College (as did his parents and older brother John), majoring in music. His plan was to teach music at a major university, and to that end earned a master’s and doctorate in classical guitar performance. But God had other plans.
Tom and Lois met at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan (a very important place in both of their lives), had their wedding there, and two of their three daughters were born there. After serving six years as coprogram directors of the camp, they moved to Wichita in the fall of 1996, where they began serving as copastors at the Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church. During that time, they both earned their Master of Divinity degrees from AMBS (2006). They resigned just this past August after twenty-two years at the church.
Tom and Lois continue to perform together as a duo, but unfortunately their family band (“Five Times Harder”) is at least three times harder to get together, as all three daughters have now left home. Meanwhile, Tom feels very much at home in pastoral ministry.
Youth Pastor: Hank Unruh
Stay tuned for his bio!
Secretary: Becky Gage
Becky grew up in Hillsboro. After she and husband Jackie married they decided to make Hillsboro home, with their two sons, Harper and Jack.
Office Phone: 620-947-5662
Please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.