Southwest Mennonite Conference

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Southwest Mennonite Conference

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On 6 September 1948 the California and Arizona congregations of the Pacific Coast Mennonite Conference (MC) formed the South Pacific Mennonite Conference (MC). On 24 November 1966 the name was changed to Southwest Mennonite Conference.

In November 1987 the conference had 21 congregations and a membership of 1,482. Five congregations were members of both the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM). Nine congregations were in Arizona, 12 in California, and one in Tijuana, Mexico. The largest concentrations of Mennonites were in the Phoenix (748) and Los Angeles (503) areas. Other congregations in Arizona were located in Tuscon, Prescott, and on the Navaho Indian reservation. There was one congregation in San Francisco, and one in Fresno, CA.

There was a rich cultural and ethnic diversity in the conference including Navaho congregations, African-Americans, and persons from Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador, as well as those of European origin. An Indonesian congregation was an associate member of the conference. A conference paper,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Southwest Messenger,<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>was published quarterly.

In 1994 the Southwest Mennonite Conference merged with the southern half of the Pacific District Conference (General Conference Mennonite) to form the dual-conference Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference. At the same time the northern half of the Pacific District Conference merged with the Pacific Coast Conference (Mennonite Church) to form the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. After the 1999 restructuring of Mennonite Church, the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Conference of Mennonites in Canada into Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest became part of Mennonite Church USA.

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