A group of approximately 800 adults and children left the Alexanderwohl community in Russia in the summer of 1874. 475 members of this group traveled on the ship 'Cimbria' and eventually settled near Goessel, Kansas, where they formed the Neu Alexanderwohl church. The rest of the original group traveled on the ship 'Teutonia' and settled on approximately 35 sections of land in Harvey, McPherson, and Reno counties near Buhler and Inman.
On February 22, 1875, Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church was organized near Inman, Kansas. Hoffnungsau (meaning "view of hope") was organized by a group of Mennonite immigrants who originally belonged to the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church and other area congregations in the Molotschna colony in Russia (now Ukraine).
Hoffnungsau was the first General Conference Mennonite church in the Buhler-Inman area and joined the Western District Conference in 1877.
The first meetings were held in the immigrant house that was provided by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, until that building was destroyed by a tornado in 1880.
The first church building was made of adobe and completed in Dec. 1880.
In 1898 the wooden structure seen in this photo was built to replace the the first building.
Buhler Mennonite Church was organized from Hoffnungsau in 1920
Inman Mennonite Church was organized from Hoffnungsau in 1921.
A full basement was put under the building in 1935 and a few classrooms added.
February 14, 1948, at ten in the morning the alarm was sounded: "The Hoffnungsau church is on fire." In a short time a group of more than a thousand people had gathered to save what could be saved, but by noon all was in ashes.
A new brick and stone structure was built on the same location in 1949 and is still in use today.
Thank You,Jason Miller from Newton, Kansas, Marginal
Mennonite Society for researching and writing a summary of our history and allowing us to adapt for our site.
"Prairie People: A History of the Western District Conference" by David A. Haury