Rehoboth Mennonite Church was founded by Bishop James and Rowina Lark in 1949, in order to provide a safe haven for children from Chicago to enjoy outdoors and camping. The mission was then developed for the community, by doing a holistic approach to activities of worship. Groups for children, youth, adults, and couples were started to provide the people of Pembroke Township with opportunity and blessings. The women’s sewing circle provided locally displaced families with quilts, and Sunday school classes sent hygiene kits overseas.
During the 50s and 60s, Pembroke became known as the “City of Sin”, as the vice filled town was a breeding ground for prostitution and substance abuse. The streets were lined with brothel houses and taverns, and people traveled from all over the nation here to confirm its reputation. Due to the church’s active influence in the community, it became targeted and attacked by local outlaws. Though it was not easy, Rehoboth stood against the town’s deterioration by protesting and reaching out to other agencies until justice was served.
Rehoboth continued over the years to be a place of worship and refuge for anyone who needed it. Pembroke was no longer carrying its dangerous reputation, and instead became a safe community primarily made up of African-American farmers and ranchers. Through the ups and downs, Rehoboth remained a strong part of the Pembroke community.