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Sites of Interest

The Bender House

The Bender House has historical significance in the Greenwood Mennonite Church History. Lester and Mary Lou Beachy owned the house which was first purchased by Lester’s grandfather, Valentine Bender on January 1, 1914. Their plan was to raze the old house after they built their new one.

Providentially, a Val Bender reunion was being held in Greenwood in 1993 and a groundswell of interest to save the old building began to grow. Money was raised and a Bender steering committee was formed to explore a plan to save the old house.

The house was dismantled, secured and moved to the property of Millard and Lura Benner, (the original homestead of the Neven Bender family), where it was repaired and restored. It stands like a sentinel several hundred yards from road 36, at the edge of the woods where the little brown school house once stood. It beckons visitors with its simple grace to come and take a backward look in time.

While this house is important in the lives of many Mennonites in Delaware, the Board agrees that we do not want this important icon to crowd out the other significant places, events and people in Delaware’s unique history. Yet, this simple building, about to be destroyed, became the catalyst that helped bring about the birth of the Delaware Mennonite Historical Society.


DMHS, in keeping with its mission statement intends to provide a vibrant and accurate presentation of Mennonites in Delaware. At present this includes:

Mennonite Church

Greenwood 1914

Mennonite Church

Bridgeville 1976

Mennonite Church

Harrington 1953

Mennonite Church

Dover 1955

Mennonite Church

Greenwood 1935

Mennonite Church
Wilmington 1959-1972.

Maranatha Fellowship

The Board of Directors

Paul Bender

Amy Schlabach

Jesse Bontrager

Harvey Mast

Buildings and Grounds
Titus Schlabach

Truman Schrock

Millard Benner
Harold Huber
Vernon Zehr, Jr.