Small historic church in central Kansas will close

PAWNEE ROCK, Kansas (AP) – A small Mennonite Church that opened in 1915 in central Kansas will close in June and then be torn down.

Bergthal Mennonite Church near Pawnee Rock in Barton County will hold its final service June 30. Before that, the congregation is planning a memorial gathering on May 26.

Membership peaked at 260 in 1953 but only about 14 people regularly attend services.

Part-time pastor Lynn Schlosser says church members decided to have the church torn down because they did not want to watch it deteriorate.

The church began when Russian Mennonites established a colony near Dundee in 1875. They built a wood frame church near Pawnee Rock in 1899, which was replaced by the current structure in 1915.

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