... sent Jesus into the world to live and die for our salvation,

... raised Jesus up from the dead,

... made Jesus both Lord and Christ,

... and established the church as the visible body of Christ in the world.

Our response and mission as a congregation is...

...to worship God,

...to be transformed by God's Word and Spirit,

...to communicate the good news of the Kingdom of God in word and action,

...to make disciples of Jesus Christ from among all people, and to invite them into the fellowship of the community of believers.

Our Vision:

Passionately Following Jesus

East Goshen Mennonite Church is a community of Anabaptist Christians. This is not a brand of church or a denominational label as much as it is a movement of Jesus’ followers. We are Christians who understand our primary call is to be disciples of Jesus who live out the gospel in our everyday lives. Our vision challenges us to Passionately Follow Jesus, discovering Jesus’ practices of loving, inviting, equipping and living. We desire to love and look like Jesus in our world.

When Jesus called the first disciples (Matt 4: 19) he offered an invitation ("Follow me...") and a promise of transformation ("I will make you..."). These words of Jesus contain the essential definition of what it means to be a disciple. The word "disciple" literally means "a follower." As followers of Jesus, we need to model our lives after his: do what he did, and practice what he practiced.

At the end of the gospel of Matthew (28: 19), Jesus speaks to those who years before had responded to his call of “Come and follow”; but now, he tells them to “Go” (the invitation reversed) and “Make disciples” (the transformation passed on). Disciples making disciples is essential reproduction for the church, which is a growing edge for us.

This vision of the church is about movement rather than an establishment fixed in perspective, practice, and place. If the church is a community of followers who are on the move with Jesus, then we must learn the way of Jesus so that we know the path to follow, and then we must follow with passionate abandon.


Early in the New Testament we discover that Jesus was on a mission carried out through his attitude and actions of love. His love for others connected him to people at the point of their need: a woman at a well, a paralytic, a leper, a bleeding woman, a deaf man, a boy with a spirit, etc. Jesus connected with people by joining life with them (eating with them, hanging around and walking in their towns).a

Just as Jesus lived in ways that were consistent with the Kingdom of God, he invited others to authentically embrace his way in full commitment of their everyday lives. Jesus sends his disciples to embody God’s passion for the world.


Jesus’ time with his disciples was given to teaching, modeling the way of God’s Reign, and preparing them to go. The first disciples, regardless of their own understanding, were being spiritually formed and nurtured into the likeness of Jesus. Ephesians 4.11-12 speaks of Christ’s gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for the equipping of the church.


Just as Jesus lived in ways that were consistent with the Kingdom of God, he invited others to authentically embrace his way in full commitment of their everyday lives. Jesus sends his disciples to embody God’s passion for the world.

Statement of Belonging

We believe all people are: created in God’s image1, called to repentance2 and discipleship in Christ,3 and able to receive and be transformed by the Holy Spirit4. As followers of Jesus, we are committed to living in community and worshiping in unity.

Rooted in God’s Word, revealed through Scripture and Spirit, we recognize those beliefs and commitments call us to discern and proclaim how we see God moving in our present context, sometimes in new ways.5 As people of God seeking to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading to care and serve in justice and loving kindness,6 we feel called to express clearly that:

All who seek God are welcome at East Goshen Mennonite Church. We strive to be a welcoming place where a diverse body of believers can experience belonging, honoring the image of God in persons of every: age; ethnicity; race; gender identity; sexual orientation; marital status; education; intellectual, emotional, or physical ability; and economic or immigration status. We affirm that all who commit to Passionately Following Jesus as disciples are welcome to fully participate in the life of our congregation.7

As a faith community made up of unique individuals, we hold diverse perspectives, practices, and Biblical understandings and, in love, we extend grace to each other on our shared journey of Passionately Following Jesus.8 Together we seek to Love, Invite, Equip, and Live as Christ-followers, while bearing witness to God’s work in us for the wholeness and peace of all of God’s Creation.

1 : Genesis 1:26-27

2 : Mark 1:15

3 : Matthew 4:19

4 : Acts 2:38-39

5 : Acts 15, Isaiah 42:9

6 : Micah 6:8

7 : Full participation involves mutual sharing of gifts and responsibilities. Everyone who participates in the life of the congregation is eligible to receive all types of pastoral services (including, but not limited to: pastoral care, counseling, weddings, funerals, baptism, and membership), as well as to be considered for leadership positions for which they have gifts. Spiritual discernment will continue to play a vital role in determining who fills various roles and shows readiness for Christian commitments.

8 : Learn more about our Vision Statement at eastgoshenmc.org/about

Our Staff

Nathan Pauls

Office Administrator

Office Hours

Monday - Friday

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Contact Information

Email: egmc@eastgoshenmc.org

Phone: (574) 533-7161

Jenny Van Daele and Assistants


Our Pastors

Naomi Yoder

Office Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Contact Information

Email: naomiy@eastgoshenmc.org

I was born in West Lafayette, IN, and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. As the middle of five children, I was surrounded by the activities of family, close neighborhood friends, and the small Mennonite church in which I was raised. At Carleton College (a small liberal arts college in Northfield, MN) I studied history with a focus on the Renaissance and Reformation Eras. That study of early Anabaptist history during college deepened my commitment to the Mennonite faith.

After college, I spent a year teaching English to kindergarten and pre-school children in Nazret, Ethiopia with the Mennonite Central Committee's SALT program. That time expanded my understanding of God's creation and my interest in the church's work in the world. My college and SALT experiences led me to pursue religious studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN. My time there—and particularly internships at a Mennonite church in Virginia and as a chaplain at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital—helped me explore my emerging sense of call to ministry. I graduated with a Master's of Divinity degree in 2015, and in the summer of 2016 was delighted to accept a call to join the pastoral team at East Goshen Mennonite Church.

Outside of ministry, I enjoy chances to visit family and friends far and near, exploring Goshen's greenways, and dinners and games with friends.

Merle Hostetler

Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Contact Information

Email: merleh@eastgoshenmc.org

I was born and raised in the Kalona, Iowa community. I graduated from Iowa Mennonite High School in 1978, attended Rosedale Bible Institute (OH) for 3 terms, graduated from Hesston College (KS) in 1981 (AA degree in Agriculture), and Eastern Mennonite College/University (VA) in 1983 (BS in Camping/Recreation & Youth Ministry and Christian Ministries), attended Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) for one year (1998-99) before attending and graduating from Denver Theological Seminary (CO) in 2000 (MA in Youth and Family Ministries and Counseling Ministries).

From November 1983 to November 1984, I served in voluntary service for one year in Ocean City, MD at Diakonia, a residential crisis shelter. Following this I was camp director at Bethel Mennonite Camp in southeastern Kentucky from May 1985 through August 1987. It was from this point on to the present that I have been involved in congregational ministry, except for the three years in seminary.

From September 1987 through August 1998, I served as Director of Youth Ministries at Souderton Mennonite Church, Souderton, PA. In June 2000, I joined the pastoral team at East Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.

Mary Yoder and I were married November 30, 1991. We live in Goshen, IN. Mary is an elementary school teacher. She enjoys teaching, as well as spending time working around our home, gardening, walking, cruising antique shops, and traveling. Our son Ian finds great joy in miniature people, horses and other animals, looking at books and being read to, being outside, and roughhousing with mom and dad. Austin was born November 22, 2002, and his adoption was finalized February 13, 2003. As a family we enjoy riding bike together, traveling to visit our families, day hiking if we’re in Colorado, and hosting people in our home.

East Goshen's History

The East Goshen Mennonite Church can trace its origins back to a Sunday School first started by the Christian Workers Band at Goshen College. During 1929 these students laid the groundwork which led to a temporary Sunday School which was organized on July 20, 1930. In the first Sunday there were 14 persons attending with a high attendance of 112 being reached five months later. At that time the only church in the community was a Dutch Reformed congregation which held services in the morning and Sunday School in the afternoon. Many people who did not speak Dutch began to attend the East Goshen Sunday School. For some time there was an average attendance of 84 but this dropped later when the North Goshen Sunday School was opened and persons being bussed in from North Goshen began to attend there. After several years the East Goshen Sunday School was closed and did not reopen until 1941 when the present work was begun.

During the 1941-1942 school year student members of the YPCA at Goshen College conducted a survey of the East Goshen area. This survey in which Martha Koch participated led to the formation of the church which began later that year. The first service was held on October 18, 1942, in a 16' X 24' building owned by Chris Schrock. Some time later the work outgrew this small house and a basement church was constructed with the idea of building onto it later. Paul M. Miller, a student at Goshen College, was the pastor; Paul Minninger was the bishop and Roy Roth was the first Superintendent. These men visited each of the Mennonite families living in the area and invited them to help support the new church. Five families began attending and supporting the church.

Because of the need for parking space they decided not to build on the basement but to move to another location. Simon Frey (Darlene Martin's father) donated the present site which was then a peach orchard. The lot was on a hill about the same height as on the south side of Rt. 4. Approximately 14 feet were bulldozed off the site at a cost of $3,000. Gospel teams of East Goshen members visited churches as far away as Illinois telling of the need and raising funds for construction. When the new building was constructed, several businesses in the area donated money because they were pleased with the work the church was doing to improve the community. That first building on the present site included only the main part of the sanctuary up to where the tee begins. Salem Bank, which was then remodeling, contributed the front doors which are now at the lower rear entrance.

As the church developed, "...more and more people attended to enjoy the love and fellowship...", according to Martha Troyer. Sunday morning and evening services as well as Wednesday night prayer meeting were well attended, and many other activities involved the people in a variety of ways. Evangelistic meetings were held in a tent because the church was too small to hold the crowds. Many other evidences of the warmth and love of the people soon led to a large influx of people from other areas, and unfortunately the local people no longer felt comfortable in the congregation. Eventually the Light House was formed and many of the community people began to attend there.

The church continued to outgrow its facilities and several additions to the building were made until the building reached its present dimensions. Many of us can remember the Sunday morning we met in the parking lot for the ground breaking ceremony for the fellowship hall. Each of us carried a brick, and we placed them on the ground tracing out the future foundation for that addition. This act symbolized the statement on the brochures used for fund raising for the first building. The words, "Building a Church for God in East Goshen," have become the theme of our church's growth throughout its history.