Our History

As early as the late 1800s, Anabaptists in the United States began developing health and human service organizations such as nursing homes, mental health centers, hospitals, senior housing, underserved communities, and agencies serving youth and those with developmental disabilities. In some cases, these ministries were initiated locally by individuals, congregations, and other groups. Other organizations were begun by conferences and mission and service agencies at the regional or national level.

A church-related national network of health and human services organizations can be traced to the 1940s. Following World War II, when many Anabaptist young people served in mental hospitals as conscientious objectors, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) began addressing mental health. Eventually, MCC established five mental health organizations under the umbrella of Mennonite Mental Health Services. Paralleling these developments and spanning a longer period of time was the work of the Mennonite Board of Missions through its Health and Welfare division.

Today, MHS Association has 73 member organizations with Anabaptist connections and maintains strong church ties through formal relationships with Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Brethren US Conference.