While we are called Reformed Mennonites, our principles and beliefs trace back to the time of the Apostles and we believe there has been a continuity of these beliefs carried on from then until now by groups who often had to meet in secret due to religious persecution. One group, whom we identify with, was known as the Waldensians. They were guided by Peter Waldo around 1200 AD. Small groups would appear from time to time who didn't believe in infant baptism and were called Anabaptists. Not all of these remained faithful but we believe there were always a few that tried to follow the commands of Jesus. These Anabaptists were cruelly persecuted and hunted down for their practices.
A Dutch Catholic Priest named Menno Simons was moved by the plight of the Anabaptists in Holland. He decided to try to understand them better by studying the scriptures. After realizing that his beliefs were not consistent, he relinquished his ties with his former religion and began associating with them. Later he was chosen to be a minister and became a staunch supporter of this group, who would later take his name as their leader. Menno is generally considered the founder of the Mennonite Church, called Doopsgezinde in Holland. They were nicknamed "Mennists" and later "Mennonites" by outsiders. In the early ages of the church, there was but one association bearing the name.
While Menno was a strong influence among the Anabaptists we don't wish to suggest he was the founder of the church. It was Jesus Christ whose word will judge all of us in the day of judgement. Menno and all faithful followers of Jesus Christ will have the same spirit and unity of principles no matter what age they lived in
The true religion of Christ was never popular, but in the process of time, the profession of Christ became so in certain countries. Menno Simons held to the true principles of the scripture and stood out against those whose teachings conflicted with Christ's.
We are a body of people who believe and try to follow the doctrines and principles of love taught in the New Testament, and practiced by true Christians in all ages. We are not a part nor branch of any other organization.
We have not "reformed" nor changed any of the doctrines followed by early Christians and as advocated by Menno Simons. We are non-resistant, do not sue at law, hold office in government, nor vote. We practice adult baptism upon confession of faith and also practice feet washing. We also believe the church must be united and kept pure through love for one another as outlined in Matthew 18 verses 15-17.
Non conformity to the fashions of the world are indicative in our plain garb and women's head coverings. We try to live a moderate life as well in our homes and businesses, and yet be diligent in our natural duties.