The Exeland (Wisconsin) Mennonite Church (EMC) congregation honored Mary Ellen Kauffman for 44 years of service as church secretary and treasurer during an Oct. 8 celebration.
In honor of Kauffman’s service, the congregation presented her with a plaque, flowers, monetary gift, card and decorated cake.
“I was so floored, when I was up front, I didn’t even remember to say ‘thank you,’” Kauffman says. “It was a real surprise.”
In her part-time, volunteer role as secretary and treasurer, Kauffman did the bookkeeping, took minutes for church council meetings and prepared end of the month reports.
“Mary Ellen performed a wonderful service to the Exeland Mennonite Church for 44 years,” says church council chair Jim Kauffman in an email. “As a professional accountant, she performed excellent work.”
Kauffman appreciated the challenge the role provided.
“I really enjoy that type of thing, making sure that everything is right and okay,” she says. “It was part of me during that time.”
Kauffman also served as treasurer for the North Central Conference (NCC) of Mennonite Church USA for about 30 years. The NCC began the process of withdrawing from MC USA in 2015, and EMC is one of five former NCC churches to join USMB’s Central District.
EMC has a congregation of around 20 and has been without a pastor for five years. Various people take turns filling the pulpit.
“The Exeland Mennonite Church has a great history of outreach to the local community,” Jim Kauffman says, listing past summer Bible schools, community banquets and picnics, providing sewing circle quilts to families in need and fundraising for community needs.
“Both Mary Ellen and her husband, John, have been very active in this church since youth age,” Jim Kauffman says. “They both love the Lord and care deeply about Anabaptist beliefs.”
Kauffman began serving as EMC secretary and treasurer in April 1979.
“I’m really going to miss it,” she says.
Janae Rempel is the Christian Leader associate editor. She joined the CL staff in September 2017 with six years of experience as a professional journalist. Rempel is an award-winning writer, having received three 2016 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence and an Evangelical Press Association Higher Goals award in 2022. Rempel graduated from Tabor College in 2010 with a bachelor of arts in Communications/Journalism and Biblical/Religious Studies. She attends Hillsboro MB Church.