Richfield Mennonite Church to Richfield Life Ministries Church

The first Mennonites came to Pennsylvania about 1683 at the invitation of William Penn and settled at Germantown, PA. It then took about another 100 years for the settlers to slowly migrate westward from the level, fertile lands of Eastern Pennsylvania through the rough, heavily wooded valleys, hills, and mountains of Central PA to Richfield.

The Mennonite settlement in the Richfield area had its beginning when John Graybill left Lancaster County in 1772-1774 and settled upon a large tract of land south of Shade Mountain. Other Mennonites soon followed and the church group which was started and selected John Graybill, the third son of the pioneer, as their first minister. Another son, Christian, drew a sketch of a village and named it Richfield.

The Mennonite Fellowship first worshiped in homes until a log church was built at the site of the Brick Church west of town. The log church was replaced by the brick one in 1863. In 1883, 125 people withdrew their membership from the Lancaster County Conference of Mennonites, because of strife and discord, to form an independent congregation--The Richfield Mennonite Church. Not having a place of worship, they met periodically for about three years in the Brick Church until the judge of the Juniata County Court ordered their withdrawal from the building because they were no longer members of the Lancaster Conference. 

In 1886, a tract of land at the east end of Richfield was deeded to the congregation "for the purpose of erecting thereon a church or house of worship." A new meeting house was built on this plot which was formally dedicated on November 10. Public worship was then held every two weeks thereafter, with alternating morning and evening services.

In 1928,  our congregation became a part of the Eastern District of the General Conference Mennonite Church. A church council was organized and a constitution was accepted in 1949.

In the mid 1990's the congregation voted to leave the Eastern District Conference and became an independent Mennonite church. In 2016, it was decided and approved by leadership and the congregation to change the name from Richfield Mennonite Church to Richfield Life Ministries Church.  A new church constitution was adopted by the congregation in 2021.