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History of The Mennonite 
Brethren in Christ Church 


A.B., B.D., D.D., 

Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Bluffton 
CoQege and Mennonite Seminary, Blu£Fton, Ohio, 


Published by order of The Executive Board of the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ Chxtrch. 



Theological Library 



Copyrighted, 1920» by 

The Bethel Pxtbuqhino Company 

New Carlisle, Ohio. 

To THE Founders 


The Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church 

and to all 

who have or shall ASSIST 







Table of Contents. 

Chapter Page 

I. Historical Background 11 


New Mennonites .35 

Reformed Mennonites 41 

United Mennonites 52 

III. Elder Solomon Eby (Biographical Sketch). 56 

IV. Formation op the Evangelical United 

Mennonites 59-73 

United Mennonites 60 

Evangelical Mennonites 62 

Evangelical United Mennonites 70 

V. Elder Daniel Brenneman (Biographical 
Sketch) 74 

VI. Formation of the Mennonite Brethren 

IN Christ 77-99 

Evangelical United Mennonites 77 

Brethren in Christ 81 

Mennonite Brethren in Christ 88 

VII. EiiDER William Gehman (Biographical 

Sketch) 100 

VTII. The Michigan Conference 103 

IX. The Nebraska Conference 110 

X. The Pacific Conference 119 



Giapter Page 

XI. Thb Canadian North West Conference. . 126 
XII. Practical and Doctrinal Developments 145 

XIII. Publishing Interests 166 

XIV. FoREiQN Missions 181 

XV. City Missions 202 

XVI. Education 214 

XVII. Biographical Sketches 222 

XVIII. Statistical Summary 277 

XIX. Appendices 279 


In the Oospel Banner, issue of May 27, 1915, there ap- 
peared an editorial from the pen of the writer, urging 
that steps be taken toward the writing of a history of 
The Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church — ^particularly 
so, since the founders of the earliest conferences who 
were capable of giving first hand information, were 
growing old. This was probably the first agitation for 
a Church History. It was a timely suggestion, for since 
then several of the outstanding men, around whom much 
of the history centers, have gone to their reward. 

Several persons were impressed with the appeal, and 
proceeded, in a small way, to gather material, placing 
the same into the hands of the writer. 

In the fall of 1917, a young man, a member of The 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church and already a 
graduate of Bluffton College, reentered the institution 
with the intention of securing a master's degree, doing 
his graduate work in the Seminary Department. As 
a thesis based upon research was required, the writer 
suggested to him that he trace out the origin and early 
developments of The Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
Church, and incorporate the same into a master's thesis. 
This young man was S. Floyd Pannabecker, who became 



an instructor in physics in Blnffton College the follow- 
ing year. 

He set himself to the task, and did his work well. 
Written sources of information were meager, but such 
materials as the writer had gathered were placed into 
his hands. He went to Ontario, Michigan, Indiana and 
Pennsylvania, in quest of first-hand facts, counseling 
the church fathers, and such who were likely to possess 
any valuable information. Consequently Chapters II, 
IV, and VI are his, with the exception of a few additions 
and a few subtractions, which were necessary to complete 
and unify the material of the entire volume. Chapter I 
is also his, in part, as are also brief sections in one or two 
other chapters. The Chart and Map at the back of the 
book are also his. Without his assistance, this history 
would not be possible at this time, and due acknowledg- 
ment is here intended for his splendid contribution. 

Besides the occasional footnotes which give proper 
credit to various sources, the Editor-in-Chief acknowl- 
edges his indebtedness to the following persons: Dr. C. 
Henry Smith and Prof. Paul E. Whitmer, who furnished 
each some material for Chapter I; T. H. Brenneman, 
who supplied data for Chapter V ; C. H. Brunner, who 
is accredited with most of the sketch in Chapter VII; 
C. K. Curtis, N. W. Rich, Jacob Hygema and H. J. 
Pontius, whose contributions aided in arranging Chap- 
ter IX; A. W. Barbezat, who supplied Chapter X; D. 
C. Eby, who wrote Chapter XI; H. S. Hallman, who 



was consulted in reference to Chapter XIII; Samuel 
Goudie and C. N. (Jood, who furnished some information 
for Chapter XIV; and others. 

In a certain sense, this volume may be considered of 
joint authorship. While the Editor-in-Chief has written 
much of the material and unified the whole, he disclaims 
authorship in the fullest sense of the term. 

Trusting that this little volume will magnify Christ, 
the head of the church; that it will render due honor 
to the founders of this particular branch ; that it will 
be found a faithful and accurate record of the events 
with which it is concerned, and that it will prove a 
blessing and inspiration to the present and future gen- 
erations, it is sent forward upon its mission. 

Bluffton, Ohio. J. A. Huffman. 

June 16, 1920. 




Historical Background. 

Mennonite historians are not all agreed concerning 
Mennonite origins. Older historians are inclined to trace 
the church as a more or less oi^anic body back to the 
Waldenses of the pre-reformation period, and even 
through a succession of medieval and ancient evangel- 
ical sects to the Apostles themselves. More recent writ- 
ers, however, are not inclined to this view, but begin 
Mennonite history with the movement known in Central 
Europe as Anabaptism. While the historic records avail- 
able at present do not warrant the claim of oi^anized 
existence back to apostolic times, it is just to say, that 
Mennonite antecedents, together with those of all the 
Anabaptists, reach back into the evangelical sects of the 
centuries previous to the reformation period, known as 
Taborites (early fifteenth century), Waldenses (four- 
teenth century), Brethren of the common life (fourteenth 
century), and other evangelical groups dissenting from 
Romanism and its practices. 

By 1500 the Roman Catholic Church had been domi- 
nant in the theological field for twelve centuries, and so 
many abuses hadcrept in that good people throughout the 



country were desiring reform. It was but natural, then* 
that in the early part of the sixteenth century the puri- 
fying movement came to a head and Luther and Zwingli, 
foUowed by others, introduced radical reforms indoctrine 
and worship. There were those, however, who believed 
that reforms should be carried still farther than these 
leaders were doing. By 1520 * * praying circles" existed in 
various parts of Switzerland, Germany and the Nether- 
lands — simple people who took the Bible literally and 
attempted to follow New Testament ideas as closely as 
possible in their church life. In Zurich we find them in 
connection with Zwingli's reforms, objecting especially 
to an established state church, such as Zwingli was rear- 
ing, and to infant baptism. About 1525 adult baptism 
was introduced by the Anabaptists, and the breach with 
Zwingli was complete. Because of their practice of re- 
baptizing, these people became known as Wiedertaufer 
or Anabaptists. The Anabaptist movement, then, out of 
which Mennonitism arose, was the crystallizing of oppo- 
sition both to the Roman Church, as such, and a so-called 
reformation which, though opposing the Catholic Church, 
attempted to carry over into its doctrines and practices 
much that was purely Catholic. The Zwinglians in- 
augurated intense persecutions in an attempt to exter- 
minate their opposers, with the result that the Ana- 
baptist doctrine was spread far and wide by the exiles. 
The earliest known confession of faith of the Anabap- 
tists was drawn up at Schleitheim (South Germany) 
about this time (1527). The following summary of the 
Schleitheim Confession shows their doctrinal similarity 
with the present day Mennonites. 

1. ''Baptism. Baptism shall be administered to all 
who are taught repentance and a change of life, and 



truly believe in the forgiveness of their sins through 
Jesus Christ, and are willing to walk in newness of life ; 
all those shall be baptized when they desire it and ask 
it by the decision of their own minds, which excludes 
all infant baptism according to the Scriptures and the 
practice of the Apostles." 

2. ** The Ban of Excommunication. This shall be prac- 
ticed with all those who have given themselves to the 
Lord, to follow His commandments, are baptized, and 
call themselves brethren and sisters and yet stumble and 
fall into sin, or are unexpectedly overtaken; these after 
admonition according to Matthew 18, if they do not re- 
pent, shall be excommunicated.'' 

3. ** Breaking of Bread. All who wish to break *one 
bread' in remembrance of the broken body of Christ, 
and drink 'one cup' in remembrance of His shed blood, 
shall be united by baptism into one body which is the 
congregation of Gtod and of which Christ is the head." 

4. *' Separation from the world. The Christian must 
be separated from all the evil and wickedness that Satan 
has planted into this world. According to 2 Cor. 6 : 17, 
18: *We shall come out from among them and be sepa- 
rate,' separate from all Papistic works and services, 
meetings and church goings, drinking houses and other 
things which the world highly esteems." 

5. ''Ministers. The minister shall, according to the 
teaching of Paul, be of good report of them that are 
without. He shall teach, exhort, and help all the mem- 
bers to advance in their spiritual life. When he has 
need he shall be aided by the congregations which chose 
him to do his work. If he should be driven away, or 
imprisoned, or killed, another minister shall at once be 
put into his place. ' ' 





6. ''Taking the Sword. The worldly governments 
of the land are to use the sword, but in the perfect con- 
gregation of Christ excommunication is used, by which 
no one suffers violence to his body. . . . Neither is it 
the Christian's work to have part in civil government 
because the rulings of government are according to the 
flesh, but the government of Christ is according to the 
Spirit. The weapons of the world are carnal, but the 
weapons of the Christian are spiritual, to the overcom- 
ing of the world and of Satan." 

7. ''Oaths. Christ, who taught the law in perfection, 
forbade His disciples all oaths, whether true or false. 
By this we understand that all swearing is forbidden." 

This sets before us pretty clearly the line of thinking 
of the Anabaptists, and persons who adhered to such 
beliefs could not help but get into trouble with the es- 
tablished church. Of course, there were innumerable 
variations to this, as would be expected in a group of 
poorly educated peasants, who were spontaneously 
quickened to new religious life. The large majority, 
however, were simple, frugal people of rather steady 

At this time (about 1530), the Anabaptists existed 
throughout various places in 'Europe, particularly in 
Switzerland, different parts of Germany, Poland (later 
part of Russia, now Poland again), the Palatinate, and 
the Netherlands. They were naturally disorganized with 
countless varieties of teachings, holding to no one set. 
of views generally. The movement was intensely indi- 
vidualistic. Bullinger classifies them roughly into forty 
distinct sects, with various overlappings that make ac- 
curate distinctions impossible. Sebastian Franck, after 
describing several varieties, . . . says: "There are more 



sects and opinions which I do not know and can- 
not describe, but it appears to me that there are not 
two to be found who agree with each other in all points. ' ' 
The Anabaptist movement arose and spread so rapidly 
and in turn was so soon driv^i under ground by com- 
bined church and state persecutions, as to give rise to 
numerous unhistorical explanations to account for it. 
How shall we account for its sudden rise and equally 
sudden decline? The ability and devotion of the Ana- 
baptist leaders at a time of unrest and disappointment 
speedily brought t(^ther a great movement. Conrad 
Grebel was, for a tim^, a supporter of Zwingli. He was 
the son of one of Zurich 'id leading citizens, educated at 
the universities of Vienna and Paris and a member of 
the Zurich Council, before he became an Anabaptist 
leader. Felix Manz was the son of a canon of the Zu- 
rich cathedral, an accomplished Hebrew and Greek 
scholar, and an Anabaptist evangelistic preacher of great 
power. George Blaurock was a monk before becoming 
an Anabaptist. He was called '*the second Paul" be- 
cause of his oratorical gifts, fiery zeal, and great execu- 
tive ability. William Reublin was educated at the uni- 
versities of Freiburg and Tubingen, becamie a Catholic 
priest and later an Anabaptist leader of great influence 
as an itinerant biblical preacher. These men were later 
joined by other leaders of equal training and power. 
The extraordinary growth of this movement alarmed 
Catholics and non- Anabaptist Protestants alike, causing 
them to join in crushing it by the most cruel persecu- 
tions known in Reformation Europe. Manz was drowned 
m 1527; Grebel died wOm out by imprisonment and 
cruel suffering in 1526; Blaurock was burned at the 
stake in 1529 ; and Reublin has dropped out of history. 





By about 1530 Anabaptism was driven underground, 
bereft of all its trained and able leaders. The Anabap- 
tists were now as sheep without a shepherd. 

Now, into such a scattered, heterogeneous, apparently 
crushed and almost leaderless people there came one 
who was destined to leave his impress indelibly on the 
movement: he was Menno Simons. 

Menno Simons was bom in 1496 at Witmarsum, a 
small village near the west coast of Friesland, one of 
the provinces of north Holland. Little is known of his 
parentage and early life, except that he was educated 
for the priesthood and assumed the duties of that office 
/ at the age of twenty-eight. Like most of the priests of 
that day, he knew little of the Bible, and his religious 
duties sat rather lightly upon him. While living this 
careless and self-indulgent life he was aroused by the 
murder of an Anabaptist in a neighboring town. Be- 
ing of an-open, honest mind, he became convinced of the 
truth as taught by the Anabaptists whom he met, and 
could no longer practice nor tolerate infant baptism nor 
the mass. The whole system of Catholicism took on a new 
and unfavorable aspect, and in 1536 he renounced the 
Catholic church and cast his lot with the Anabaptists, 
being baptized by Obbe Phillips, their leading elder. 

The Anabaptists were greatly in need of men who were 
competent to give leadership, and when such an one as 
Menno Simons — a man of great and well trained in- 
tellect and with courage of his religious convictions — 
came into their ranks, he was at once made a leader and 
a hero. He traveled extensively throughout Holland 
and North Germany, preaching the Gospel, founding 
new churches and serving the religious needs of the peo- 





pie. That he became the most distinguished leader of 
the Anabaptist movement in his country is attested by 
the fact that the Anabaptists, wherever he went, be- 
came known as Mennonists, Mennists, or Mennonites, and 
later, in places where he had never been, the name Men- 
nonite was applied to those who were known to be of 
like faith. 

Menno was a voluminous writer, and issued many 
tracts in defense of his views. From these we learn that 
he agreed with the main body of the peaceful Anabap- 
tists in all their essential doctrines. 

The true church, he insisted, must be composed of 
those of a regenerated heart. In his treatise, **The New 
Birth," he says: 

'* Behold, worthy reader, all those who are bom of 
Gk)d with Christ who thus conform their weak life to 
the Gospel, are thus converted, and follow the example 
of Christ, hear and believe His holy Word, follow His 
commands which He in plain words commanded us in 
the Holy Scriptures, form the Holy Christian Church 
which has the promise." 

Infant baptism, he says, 

*'Is a self -begotten rite and human righteousness; for 
in all the New Testament there is not a command or 
word about baptizing infants by Christ nor the Apos- 

In speaking of the true Christians, **the regenerated 
who have a spiritual king over them," he continues: 

''They are the children of peace, who have beaten 
their swords into plowshares and their spears into 
pruning hooks, and know no war. ' ' 

The Lord's Supper: 

2 17 


**They celebrate in remembrance of the favors and 
death of their Lord, and in reminding one another of 
true and brotherly love." 

On civil government he writes : 

*'We now publicly confess that the office of the Magis- 
trate is ordained of Qod as we have ever confessed, since 
we serve according to our small talent the word of the 
Lord, and in the meantime we have ever obeyed them 
when not contrary to the word of the Lord, and we in- 
tend to do so all our lives, for we are not so stupid as 
not to know what the Lord's word commands in this 
respect. We render unto Caesar the things which are 
Caesar's as Christ teaches (Matthew 22: 21). We pray 
for the Imperial majesty, kings, lords, princes, and all 
in authority, honor and obey them." 

Menno's views on such other fundamental Anabaptist 
doctrines as rebaptism, non-resistance, religious toler- 
ation, separation of church and state, opposition to war 
and capital punishment, objection to the oath and hold- 
ing of office, the ban as a method of church discipline — 
in all of these he agreed with the large body of peaceful 

Menno's life after leaving the Roman Church was 
never a pleasant one. 

As soon as his opposition to the accepted creeds be- 
came known, persecutions came from all sides. That 
his opponents might better accomplish their purposes, 
a decree was issued that whoever would shelter Menno 
Simons or any of his followers, should suffer death; 
furthermore, this decree was carried out in several in- 
stances. In addition to this, in 1543 another decree was 
issued by the Emperor, Charles V, offering general par- 
don, freedom of the country, favor of the Emperor and 



one hundred guilders (about $40) to any criminal, even 
a murderer, who should deliver over Menno Simons 
to the executioner; and, that this might be as easy as 
possible, an accurate description of him was posted upon 
the church doors. With this in^ mind, Menno 's words 
have meaning in them when he says: *'He who pur- 
chased me with the blood of his love, and called me, 
who am unworthy, to his service, knows me and knows 
that I seek not wealth, nor possessions, nor luxury, nor 
ease, but only the praise of the Lord, my salvation and 
the salvation of many souls. For this I and my poor 
wife and children have for eighteen years endured ex- 
treme anxiety, oppression, aflBiction, misery, and per- 
secutions, and at the peril of my life; have been com- 
pelled everywhere to live in fear and seclusion; yea, 
when ministers repose on easy beds and downy piUowB, 
we generally have to hide ourselves in secluded comers : 
when they, at weddings and feasts, pipe and beat the 
tambour, and vaunt loudly, we must look out, when the 
dogs bark lest the captors be at hand. Whilst they are 
saluted as doctors, lords and teachers by everyone, we 
have to hear that we are Anabaptists, hedge preachers, 
deceivers, and heretics, and must be saluted in the name 
of the devil. In short, whilst they are gloriously re- 
warded for their services with large incomes, and easy 
times, our recompense and portion must be fire, sword, 
and death.'* 

Such was the lot of the early Anabaptists — ^not only 
leaders but followers as well. Romanists hated Luther- 
ans and Anabaptists, Lutherans hated Romanists and 
Anabaptists. As it happened, the Reformation occurred 
at a time of immense social changes, and errors and mis- 
fits were evident in all parts of society. As Nero blamed 



the Christians for the burning of Rome, so the Anabap- 
tists were made the scapegoat for all the troubles of 
the age, and their name came to be synonymous with 
''scoundrel/' ''villain,*' "heretic" — ^a hissing and a 
byword throughout the land. Add to this the fact that 
they refused to bear arms at a time when wars were 
raging and soldiers needed, and it is easy to understand 
why the Mennonites were so severely persecuted and 
why so many of their names came to be inscribed upon 
the pages of the martyrs. 

Although Menno Simons was in constant danger of 
his life, with a price fixed upon his head by royal decree 
much of the time; was driven from one place to another, 
and spent much of his time in exile, it was his lot to 
live to a reasonably old age and to die a peaceful and 
natural death at his own home at Wuestenf elde, on the 
estate of a sympathetic nobleman. In this respect, the 
story of his life reminds one of the experiences of St. 
John the Beloved, who, though persecuted and exiled, 
was permitted to live a long and useful life and to die 
a natural death at his Ephesian home. He who cared for 
one of His servants amidst the persecutions of the first 
century, must have watched over another during the 
uncertainties and dangers of the sixteenth. He had a 
great work for each to accomplish. 

As a result of the self-sacrificing efforts of Menno and 
other faithful leaders, the Anabaptist, or Mennonite 
faith, as we may now term it, was preserved to the world. 
Mennonite centers during the latter half of the sixteenth 
and the early part of the seventeenth centuries were 
found in northern Holland, northwestern Germany 
along the lower Rhine, just across the Dutch border, 



northern Switzerland, and south Germany and Alsace 
just across the Swiss border, and eastern Prussia. 

The largest settlements were found in Holland, where, 
for a time, they constituted the largest evangelical body 
of Christians in the land, and wielded an important 
influence upon the political and industrial life of the 
country. From 1573 to 1584, under William of Orange, 
they had comparative peace; but, following his death, 
persecutions again set in. Though opposition and cer- 
tain limitations on worship existed until well into the 
eighteenth century, in Holland violent persecutions were 
over early in the seventeenth. This fact is significant, as 
it left the Mennonites in the Netherlands free to develop 
as they chose. Many of them became wealthy and were 
thus enabled to help their persecuted brethren in other 
countries to come to America. To-day, many of the 
most prominent men in various walks of life are of Men- 
nonite faith. They still have about one hundred and 
thirty congregations, with a population, including chil- 
dren who are always included in European religious 
statistics, of about sixty-five thousand. Nearly ten thou- 
sand of these are members of the large Mennonite con- 
gregations in Amsterdam. 

Switzerland, too, for a time, contained many congre- 
gations, but continued persecution drove most of these 
across the border into south Germany and Alsace. Re- 
ligious toleration was not won for the Swiss Mennonites 
until after the French Revolution near the close of the 
eighteenth century. Besides those who left Switzerland 
for other European countries, many came to the United 
States, settling especially in Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. 



In Moravia the Mennonites were known as Huterites 
because of their leader, Jacob Huter. They enjoyed 
considerable freedom at first, but after 1547 their 
troubles began. These persecutions lasted till the latter 
part of the eighteenth century (1781), when they were 
granted a certain degree of liberty, but not exemption 
from military service. For this reason many emigrated 
to Russia and America. In the Palatinate, the Mennon- 
ites were persecuted for many years and, even after 
this ceased, oppressions and restrictions made it un- 
comfortable for them, so that many left for Holland and 
Penni^lvania. In Prussia, where the Mennonite colonies 
were largely composed of Dutch and Swiss refugees, 
comparative freedom was granted in the seventeenth and 
greater part of the eighteenth century. This liberty was 
later revoked during the reign of Frederick the Great 
and his successors, and Mennonites ordered out of the 
country. Then again privileges were granted to them. 
They knew, however, that these privileges could not last, 
and the final result was that many left for other coun- 

Russia offered many privileges to the Mennonites in 
the latter part of the eighteenth century, and, accord- 
ingly, many of them emigrated to South Russia between 
1788 and 1820, upon invitation of Catherine the Great 
and her successor Paul. Here they were granted liberal 
terms of settlement upon fertile land, including military 
exemption, and did much to enrich the country. These 
exemption laws were repealed by the Czar in 1870, and 
about one-third of the entire Russian Mennonite popu- 
lation emigrated to western United States and Manitoba 
in the years immediately following. Russia still con- 



tains, however, about one-half of the entire Mennonite 
population of Europe. 

In doctrine, the Mennonites of Europe retained the 
essential Anabaptist beliefs, with little modification, un- 
til toward the close of the eighteenth century. Since 
then, however, there have been a number of rather 
radical departures from the faith of the fathers. The 
first to depart from the fundamentals were the Dutch. 
Non-resistance and opposition to war was abandoned 
about the time of the Napoleonic wars. Other groups 
followed the Dutch in the course of the century, and 
during the recent war, outside of Russia, there was little 
opposition to military service among the European Men- 
nonites, and few conscientious objectors. In Russia 
the law permitted Mennonites to perform non-combatant 
service, and nearly all of them took that form of service, 
most of them choosing hospital work. Rationalism also 
has strongly aflfected the Dutch church, and they are 
quite liberal to-day on many of the fundamental doc- 
trines of Christianity. The Russians and Swiss are the 
most orthodox of the European Mennonites today. 

We have seen now, very briefly, how the Mennonite 
movement originated and how it developed. From the 
beginning the Mennonites were different from other 
folks. They were a peculiar people, and emphasizing, 
as they did, their particular doctrines which were not 
popular at the time, it is easy to see why trouble arose. 
The main difSculty in the case of the Mennonites was, 
that they were several centuries ahead of their time, 
and a prophet is seldom popular in his own country 
or his own age. In fact, the world is just now beginning 
to see the truth in some of the teachings for which they 



suffered and died. Amid aU of these persecutions, op- 
pressions, and unsatisfactory migrations from place to 
place, America loomed large and promising in their eyes. 
Little wonder, then, that with curses and hatred on one 
side of the Atlantic and peace and friends on the other, 
thousands of these peace-loving people decided to find 
homes in the New World. 

The first Mennonites to come to America were among 
stray Dutch merchants who early visited the Dutch pos- 
sessions in New Amsterdam, now New York.^ The co- 
lonial records of New York refer to Mennonite settle- 
ments on Manhattan Island as early as 1643. In 1663 
Cornelius Pieter Plockhoy, a communist of Mennonite 
descent, established in what is now Delaware a small 
communist Mennonite colony. Very little is known of 
these early Mennonite colonies, however, and they soon 
disappear from history entirely. The first permanent 
settlement was made in Pennsylvania, in 1683, at Ger- 
mantown.^ William Penn had met Mennonites earlier 
in Holland and Germany, and had many friends among 
them. Accordingly, he was glad to welcome them to 
Pennsylvania. On October 3rd, thirteen families from 
Crefeld, Germany, reached America and settled on a 
tract of land previously purchased near Philadelphia, 
called Germantown. This colony suffered many hard- 
ships, but survived, and may well be regarded as the 
cradle of Mennonitism in America. It was not only the 
first Mennonite, but the first German settlement in Amer- 
ica. It grew by continued immigration, mostly from 
Holland and Germany, especially the lower RhiuQ coun- 

^See Dr. C. Henry Smith's Mennonites of America (pp. 81-93) for fall 

' Ibid. (pp. 94-1S3) for full Mconnt. 



try. A new settlement, known as the SMppach settle- 
ment, was soon founded about thirty miles away. 

In 1710 another wave of immigration started and 
brought nearly 100,000 German settlers over (most of 
them non-Mennonite) in the succeeding seventy-five 
years. These became the progenitors of the modem 
Pennsylvania Dutch. About 10,000 acres were taken up 
in what is now Lancaster County, and the first cdlonists 
were so well pleased that they immediately sent back 
for their friends and relatives. Other settlements farther 
west were formed, some even beyond the Alleghenies. 
From these two original centers came all the later Men- 
nonite congregations, both east and west of the Alle- 
ghenies, until the new wave of immigration set in early 
in the nineteenth century. As a result of natural in- 
crease, the settlements were expanded to the north over 
Berks, Lehigh, Bucks, Chester, and Northampton coun- 
ties, also parts of Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana, and other 
states farther west in recent years. These early con- 
gregations have adhered, in the main, to that body known 
as Old Mennonites ; but later various schisms took place, 
resulting in the formation of several new bodies, some 
joining in with the General Conference of Mennonites, 
and one of the others uniting with the Mennonite Breth- 
ren in Christ. 

Ohio and Indiana and even Illinois received many 
settlers from the Pennsylvania and Virginia Mennonites ; 
but, beside these, there started in about 1815 a wave of 
immigration which brought over several thousand Men- 
nonites from Switzerland and many Alsatian and South 
German Amish. The latter settled mostly in Pulton 
aDffl Butler counties^ Ohio, and in various other places 
in New York, Illinois, Iowa, Canada, and later in Ne- 



braska from Illinois. The former settled mainly in 
Wayne, Allen, Ashland Counties, Ohio; Adams County 
Indiana ; and parts of other States. 

The last lar^ group of Mennonites to enter America 
were the German-Russians, who, between 1874 and 1880 
settled in large communities in Kansas, the Dakotas, Min- 
nesota,<and Manitoba. Many of the Mennonite immi- 
grants came to America for economic reasons, but the 
Russians, as we saw, came for ** conscience sake,** pro- 
testing against even the non-combatant military serv- 
ice prescribed for them by the Czar in 1870. In June, 
1920, a commission of four men from Russia: B. H. Un- 
ruh, A. A. Friesen, C. H. Warkentin, and Johann Esau, 
came to America in search of a new home for a large 
part or all of the nearly one hundred thousand Men- 
nonites who were in Russia at the close of the World War 
and who had sufEered greatly. What the outcome of this 
visit will be is a matter of the future. 

Canada received many Mennonites from the United 
States after the Revolutionary War, they preferring to 
remain loyal to the King of England rather than to live 
under a revolutionary government. Most of them came 
from Pennsylvania and New York. A colony in Lincoln 
County, Ontario, was started in 1786, and later an- 
other colony in Waterloo County, Ontario. These 
grew rapidly until a large body of Mennonites existed 
in Canada. As in Pennsylvania, internal dissensions 
arose and gave rise to numerous sects, two of whom, 
the New Mennonites and the Reformed Mennonites, 
joined later assisting in forming the Mennonite Breth- 
ren in Christ. 

Before taking up the immediate antecedents of the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ, a brief survey of the 



Mennonites as a whole, about the middle of the nine- 
teenth century, is necessary. There were about 50,000 
Mennonites in North America at this time, with settle- 
ments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Indiana, Illi- 
nois, Iowa, Missouri, and various parts of Canada. These 
people were gathered in congregations of various sizes 
and were of three types. 

The Mennonites who were the first to come over, and 
who constituted the first type, settled in colonies, with 
congregations scattered and unorganized. Each congre- 
gation chose its ministers from among the local mem- 
bers. Gradually a certain intercourse grew up. For 
example,* the first church was organized at German- 
town. Soon after, services were held at Deep Run, 
about thirty miles distant, and also at Skippach, or what 
is now known as Franconia. Each church had its minis- 
ters, and there existed a warm intimacy between them. 
Naturally there was considerable co-operation among 
them. So, as the Mennonites spread west, they main- 
tained friendly relations with their relatives and friends 
left behind. Thus there came to be a l^rge number of 
Mennonite congregations, connected by ties of blood, 
friendship, or similarities in belief. This was in the 
middle of the nineteenth century the Old Mennonite 
church ; and while no definite organic unity was yet man- 
ifest, there was enough similarity and co-operation to 
designate them as a separate body.* 

The test of fellowship between congregations seems to 
have been the recognition of visiting ministers, by allow- 
ing them to preach. There was a great amount of travel- 

*Fiiiik, J. F. MeniKmite Church and her acciiMn, p. 87. 

* Conferences had been held as early as 1727, bat these were for the pur- 
pose of consultation. Thtj showed similarity, bat no orianic unity. 



ing done by ministers, and the visiting man, if regarded 
as a ** brother/' would be asked to preach. Besides the 
ministers, there was also a Bishop or Elder who was over 
perhaps three or four congregations. He was fully or- 
dained, and he alone was qualified to baptize, administer 
the sacraments, and ordain ministers. Ministers were 
chosen from the local congregation, and bishops from 
the ministers. There were two methods of choosing: 
first, by vote, and, if there was a clear decision in favor 
of one candidate, he was accepted. If, however, there 
was any doubt or the vote especially close, one was chosen 
by lot from the few highest candidates and he ordained.** 
These points in regard to church polity are interesting 
here as they throw light on the situations surrounding 
the formation of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

The Amish were the second type of Mennonites, and 
were followers of Jacob Amman, a man who had been 
a Mennonite preacher in Switzerland and had separated 
from the Mennonites in 1693, because he believed in a 
more conservative policy. In particular, he thought that 
the ban should be applied more closely to excommuni- 
cated members, and a more rigid plainness in dress ad- 
hered to. Some of the Amish had come to Pennsylvania 
early in the eighteenth century, but many came later, 
in the nineteenth century, and were now found in New 
York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Canada. 

" The method med in deciding by lot was to take seyeral booki (as many 
as candidates) and enclose in one a slip of paper, cenerally an ordination 
certificate. The books were then laid on the table* and the man selecting 
the proper book was chosen. This method is being gradnally abandoned, 
however, because of the danger of confusion as in the case of the man 
who found the slip of paper in his book and was immediately ordained. 
Later inrestigations showed the slip to be an ordinary piece of paper, ac- 
ddmtly left the book, and another man had drawn the ordination cer- 



The third type were also from Switzerland, but were 
not Amish. The Napoleonic Wars produced a military 
spirit that drove many Mennonites from Switzerland, 
France and Germany to America. The first ones settled 
in Ohio, in Wayne County. New arrivals continued to 
come, and they spread on west to Indiana. They differed 
from the Old Mennonites considerably in dress, customs, 
and language, and were never Assimilated. At present 
most of them are aflSliated with the General Conference 
of Mennonites. 

The nineteenth century was especially prolific in 
schisms. Few churches have been so divided as the Men- 
nonite, and generally from causes that should never have 
existed. Dr. Smith enumerates three reasons for this 
unhappy condition.* First, the Mennonite and Ana- 
baptist faith always fostered a strong spirit of individ- 
ualism. Every man was accountable for his own deeds. 
This spirit, while developing the strongest character, 
does it at the expense of uniformity and harmony. 
Secondly, Mennonites coming from the humbler walks 
of life were not trained to subordinate non-essentials 
to the broader interests of life. Thirdly, being thoroughly 
religious, they took their religion seriously and clung to 
their convictions with great tenacity. The loose organ- 
ization also favored schisms, for a strong leader could 
easily draw away a considerable following of his im- 
mediate friends, and the church had no way of effectively 
remonstrating.^ It must not be forgotten, however, that 
Mennonites, having been driven from one country to 

* C. Henry Smith* Mennonitee of America, p. 291. 

^ For more extended treatment of these schisma see Smith, Mennonites 
of America; Hartsler and Kauflfman, Mennonite Charch History; Daniel 
Mnsser, History of Reformed Mennonite Charch; and J. F. Funk, Men- 
nonite Qrareh and Her Accusers. 



another in Europe in quest of religious freedom, na- 
tional and language differences have figured in the cre- 
ating of various bodies on coming to America, also that 
the Mennonite Church is much older than the average 
church with which comparisons are usually made. 

The first controversy in American Mennonitism be- 
gan before the close of the eighteen th century (1775- 
1777). When the Revolutionary war was in progress, 
the State of Pennsylvania levied a special war tax upon 
its citizens of three pounds and ten shillings apiece, to 
help carry on the war. Many of the Mennonites joined 
the Quakers in their position, that they could no more 
give of their means to carry on war than they could 
give themselves. Christian Funk protested against this 
attitude, declaring that the war tax should be paid. 
Funk was excommunicated in 1778, and organized a 
small body known as **Funkites,'' which continued to 
exist until about 1850. 

It was about this time also that Martin Boehm was 
expelled from the Old Mennonites. Boehm was a Men- 
nonite minister, and claimed to have received **more 
light.'' Just what the charges against him were are 
hard to tell, but some are explained in an old manuscript 
drawn up by ministers of the Mennonite Church of Lan- 
caster County.* It is not dated, but is written probably 
between 1875 and 1880. The first charge is, associating 
too much with professing Christians who admit war and 
oaths. The second is his assertion that ' ' Satan is a bene- 
fit to mankind." Thirdly, his assertion that **the Scrip- 
tures might be burned," and, fourthly, **that Faith 

*For the text of the manaecrlpt see J. F. Funk's Mennonite Church 
and Her Aecosen, ]h». 42-5<. 



oometh from unbelief, life out of death, and light out of 
darkness." These charges were t^ken so seriously that 
it was concluded that he could not be kept in church 
fellowship unless he would recant. This he did not do 
satisfactorily and was excommunicated. Boehm then 
united forces with Philip William Otterbein, a German 
Reformed minister whom he had met in 1765. Together 
they started the United Brethren in Christ Church. 
Their first formal conference was held in 1789. 

The next schism was that occasioned in 1812, in Lan- 
caster County, Pennsylvania, by John Herr, who claimed 
that the old church was hopelessly corrupt. He separated 
from the church, and with his followers established the 
Reformed Mennonite Church." Daniel Musser followed 
him and continued his policy. The church still exists 
but is a small body, rather conservative, with little in- 

The Oberholtzer schism occurred in 1847. John H. 
Oberholtzer was a minister in Montgomery County, Penn- 
sylvania, but WBB too progressive for his more conserva- 
tive brethren. This led, in time, to his expulsion from 
the church. Fifteen other ministers followed him. 
Since then these ** Oberholtzer'* congregations have 
joined the General Conference Movement. 

John Holdeman caused another scl|ism in 1858 in 
Wayne County, Ohio, and organized the Church of Gtod. 
But this body grew very slowly, and is very small at 
the present time. 

The Wisler Mennonites were formed in 1870 as a re- 

*ThcM people should not be confiued with the Reformed Mennoniteo 
who appeared later in Canada and were one of the bodleo forming the 
Mennonite Brethren in Chriet. 



suit of Jacob Wisler's withdrawal from the chxirch. He 
was a bishop in the Yellow Creek congregation in In- 
diana and favored a more conservative policy. 

Along with these disintegrating tendencies, there was 
a desire among many that the Mennonites might be more 
united, especially for the purpose of carrying on mis- 
sion work and education. Accordingly, a movement was 
set on foot to bring those congregations which would 
consider it into co-operation. John H. Oberholtzer, from 
Pennsylvania, and Daniel Hoch, from Canada, with 
several men from the west, were instrumental in bring- 
ing this about. In 1860 a conference was held in Iowa 
at which several of the more liberal congregations were 
represented. This was followed by other conferences, 
with more congregations taking part. The idea spread, 
and a considerable number of congregations have united 
in the movement. At present it is the most liberal body 
of Mennonites and the largest, except the Old Men- 

The latest movement toward Mennonite friendliness 
is the holding of All-Mennonite Conventions for the pur- 
pose of bringing Mennonites of every kind together, 
getting acquainted, and paving the way for better co- 
operation in the future. This shows that the conscious 
wish and desire is for harmony, if not unity. Though 
some of the original causes of separation exist, it is evi- 
dent that the prevalent tendency is away from unneces- 
sary schisms and favors the overlooking of diflferences 
so far as they are of a trivial nature and do not affect 
essential doctrines or practices. 

The following statistics show approximately the num- 
ber of Mennonites in European countries, also the rela- 



tive sizes of the various bodies in America at the present 

Entir* P«paUti«i, 
Inda^f Chttdrmi, 
EUROPE. ThMgh UnliaptisH. 

Netherlands 65,000 

Switzerland : 1,500 

Galicia 590 

Germany 20,000 

Russia 100,000 

France- Alsace-Lorraine 3,500 

/ 190,590 


1. Old Mennonites 28,000 

2. General Conference 21,307 

3. Church of God in Christ 1,500 

4. Amish-Mennonites 9,000 

5. Old Order Amish 8,000 

6. Amish Mennonite Conservative 1,250 

7. Defenseless Mennonites 1,200 

8. Central Conference of Mennonites 2,708 

9. Wisler Mennonites 1,600 

10. Mennonite Brethren (Bruedergemeinde) . . 6,300 

11. Krimmer Brueder 1,000 

12. Conference of Defenseless Mennonites of 
North America 1,400 

13. Mennonite Brethren in Christ 8,503 

14. Reformed Mennonites 1,200 

15. Huterites (South Daliota) 1,000 

16. Stauferites 200 

17. Independent Russian Groups in Manitoba, 

Saskatchewan, and Alberta 9,500 

Total 103,668 



Formation of the United Mennonites. 

. The history of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ is 
a history first of division and then of uniting. Several 
small groups in various localities separated from 
the main body of Mennonites, and later, becoming ac- 
quainted, amalgamated in successive unions, forming 
finally the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. In the case 
of each division the cause was somewhat the same — a 
large body desiring to cling to the established methods, 
with a smaller body wishing to adopt a more aggressive, 
evangelistic type of work. This in each case eventually 
led to an estrangement resulting in division. It should 
not be thought that insignificant trifles produced these 
ruptures. There was generally a pronounced diflEerence 
of spirit that only showed itself in little things that then 
became the occasion of difficulty. 

The Mennonite Brethren in Christ arose from four 
different groups. Three of these were of Mennonite stock 
directly and the fourth a branch of the River Breth- 
ren, who were indirectly descended from the Mennonites. 
The first union occurred in 1875, and through this the 
New Mennonites and Reformed Mennonites were brought 
together. The next union was between ^these United 
Mennonites, as they now called themselves, and the Evan- 
gelical Mennonites of Pennsylvania, the name assumed 
being Evangelical United Mennonites. These again 
united with the Brethren in Christ and the present 
name, Mennonite Brethren in Christ, taken. 



From this summary it will be seen that there are four 
movements to be traced, namely the New Mennonites, 
Reformed Mennonites, Evangelical Mennonites and the 
Brethren in Christ, involving in all three different 
unions before the final result was reached. Singularly, 
the oldest bodies were the last to join in, and the first 
union was between the two youngest. 

A few words regarding each will locate them and give 
a general survey. The Brethren in Christ was the first 
branch formed. It split off from the River Brethren 
in 1838. These people were found entirely in the United 
States, and united to form the Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ in 1883. The Evangelical Mennonites were the 
second body to appear. They came entirely from 
Pennsylvania, and broke away from the Oberholtzer 
(later, General Conference) Mennonites in 1857, 
uniting to form the Evangelical United Mennon- 
ites in 1879. The remaining two bodies were the New 
Mennonites and Reformed Mennonites, and will be taken 
up in this chapter. No definite date can be given for the 
separation of the New Mennonites, as they left the old 
church at various times in different places. Probably all 
the different congregations had separated before 1865. 
The Reformed Mennonites separated in 1874, and the 
union of the two occurred in the following year. The 
last two originated in Canada, though the Reformed 
Mennonites afterward spread to Indiana, and was the 
largest body. 

New Mennonites. 

As shown before, Canada received the Mennonite set- 
tlers from the United States. During the Revolution the 
Mennonites were nominally neutral, though at heart 
many of them favored the king and were distrustful 



toward the new government rising from such chaos. 
Moreover, their non-resistant principles had been recog- 
nized by the king. It was but natural that they should 
look favorably upon British possessions under such cir- 
cumstances. In 1786 a group of men from Bucks County, 
Pennsylvania, started a settlement in Lincoln County, 
Ontario, about twenty miles from Niagara Falls. This 
grew and spread to a few adjacent counties. 

The second settlement was started in Waterloo County. 
Joseph Shoerg and Samuel Betzner in 1799 started a 
tour of investigation and selected fertile lands near the 
Grand River. They settled near Preston, Ontario^ and 
in the succeeding years other settlers arrived, until, at 
the end of ten years, there existed a rather flourishing 
colony. It was found out that the land which the peo- 
ple had bought was mortgaged, and though money was 
raised with the help of the Pennsylvania brethren, the 
uncertainty diverted settlement for a time to land far- ^ 
ther north, in York County. 

We have then, three main communities of Mennonites 
in Ontario in the nineteenth century — Lincoln County, 
Waterloo County, and York County. Naturally they 
spread out from these, and many congregations existed 
in other places. Among the settlers was Benjamin Eby, 
who came to Waterloo County in 1806. In 1809 he was 
chosen a minister, and three years later was made bishop. 
He was one of the first Mennonite bishops in Canada. 

The conditions in the old church should be somewhat 
described before we proceed. The spiritual life was at 
a rather low ebb; the means of spiritual growth were 
meagre. Meetings, in many cases, were held but once a 
month. There was no opportunity for expression of the 
religious feeling, and almost everything was done from 




a sense of duty. No attempt was made to encourage 
any aggressive work, but rather a consistent definite 
opposition to any form of new methods. English preach- 
ing was under the ban, and, likewise, Sunday schools, 
prayer meetings, and evangelistic meetings. Leaders 
recognized more or less the lack of vitality and bemoaned 
the condition, but nothing was done to remedy it. This 
is not said in any derogatory way, but simply to explain 
why the organization of new societies was inevitable. 
Most of the things mentioned above as not allowed are 
accepted by the Old Mennonite Church now without 
question; and had a little more tolerance and patience 
been exercised on both sides at the time, the division 
might perhaps have been avoided. 

The Lincoln County settlement was the first Mennonite 
settlement in Canada, and a considerable number of 
members were found along the northern shore of Lake 
Brie. Here they settled, not compactly, but scattered 
in small bodies ; and being thus isolated from each other, 
it was difficult to keep spiritual life at a very high point. 
To prevent decline in religious life, Daniel Hoch,^ a 
minister who lived near Niagara Falls, often made 
preaching tours at his own expense, visiting these scat- 
tered churches. As a result of this, quite a demand for 
his services arose, and during August, 1853, services 
were held in the various churches to consider the ques- 
tion of evangelization work. The outcome was that Hoch 
was given a call to spend his time entirely in this kind 
of work, the different churches assuming his financial 
support. It is probable that he accepted this call and 
carried forward his work with increased vigor. Of 

^Sm Krehbiel, Histoiy of the Mennonito Gcnerml Coiif«r«iice^ p. 18. 
Hoeh is known in many placoo m Daniol Hicli. 



course, all of this was under the Old Mennonite Church, 
but Hoch soon came to employ methods in his aggres- 
sive work which the church could not stand for. The 
conservatism and opposition to new methods has already 
been referred to, and, accordingly, Hoch and all his fol- 
lowers were expelled by Bishop Tilman Moyer about 
the year 1855. John H. Oberholtzer had been expelled 
similarly a few years before (1847) in Pennsylvania, 
and in 1852 he started the first Mennonite periodical 
in America, the **Religi6ser Botschafter.'' Among 
other things, he labored hard for a union of all Men- 
nonites, and it was partly through his efforts that the 
General Conference of Mennonites came into existence. 
Daniel Hoch took it upon himself to work for the same 
end, and was quite favorable to Oberholtzer 's idea of 
union. His name occurs frequently in the early part 
of the history of the General Conference Mennonites. 
Hoch*s relation to the New Mennonites, with whom we 
are concerned at present, cannot be ascertained exactly. 
That he was considered a regular minister seems pos- 
sible, for he is quite well known among the older men 
who came in with that movement.^ This much is cer- 
tain: Hoch's followers were connected with the New 
Mennonites at a later date and helped form the United 

The New Mennonites did not exist only in the Lincoln 
County settlement, but reforming bodies seemed to be 
found wherever there were Mennonites in the Dominion. 
These people were often acquainted with each other, 
especially the leaders, and thus co-operated considerably. 

* Peter Gdlffer, an old minister of the New Mennonites, mentioned Daniel 
Hoeh as one of their eatlj ministers, and Moses Weber, Ukowise re f erred 
to "Old Daniel Hiffa." His home waa tiTon as at «Hho Twenty." 



Some of the diflEerent places where these New Mennon- 
ites arose, were: Blair, Dundee, and Breslau. These 
were in the Waterloo County region. At Gormley, near 
Markham, there was another group of New Mennonites. 
Thus we have New Mennonites from each of the three 
original Mennonite settlements. Of course, the exact 
manner of growth of the churches varied in each case, 
but the case of the Markham congregation is typical. 
There were three men especially concerned in the move- 
ment: Abram Raymer, John StecHey, and Christian 
Troyer. The year the work started cannot be dated 
definitely, but it must have been about 1860, certainly 
not much later, as is shown by the following portion of 
a letter which throws considerable light on the period.' 
**I am a member of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
since the year 1863. It will be fifty-two years, if I live 
till February, 1916. I was bom in the Township of 
Markham, when the now M. B. C. had no church. There 
was a split in the Old Mennonite Church, and those 
ministers that believed in a new birth and upheld prayer 
meetings could not preach in the old church. So there 
were two, Abraham Raymer and Christie Troyer. So 
Brother Raymer held meetings wherever there was an 
open door. He held prayer meetings on Sundays, at 
private houses, and several were converted. My father 
left the old church and came to those cottage prayer 
meetings, as the Mennonites which now are had i^o 
church in the year 1863. *' 

'The letter was written in response to the snffffestion of Rer. J. A. 
Hoffman in an editorial in the Gospel Banner, that some of the old^ peo- 
ple write down their knowledge of the origin and early growth of the 
church. It is signed Mr. and Mrs. Leri Raymer, and bears the date, Jaly 
81, 191S. 



Abram Raymer* was a preacher in the Old Mennonite 
Church, but finally got to the place where he thought 
himself unsaved and living in darkness without the 
power of Christ in his life. At this time he experienced 
a change of heart and started out preaching in more 
evangelistic style. But with this the Old Mennonites 
refused to retain him; consequently he preached wher- 
ever opportunity offered, as suggested in the letter 
quoted above. Through his efforts John Steckley was 
converted. Steckley himself was never a member of the 
old church. Following his conversion, the Dunkards 
who lived near him, asked him to join them, but he re- 
. fused because of their belief in close communion and a 
few similar things. Christian Troyer was a preacher 
among the Old Mennonites, but, as in the case of Ray- 
mer, he was expelled, following his conversion and the 
adoption of more aggressive work. These three men 
worked together holding meetings, and through their 
efforts many were converted. The name. New Mennon- 
ites, was taken by them to distinguish themselves. 

Thus the New Mennonites arose at Markham. John 
McNally worked in the region of Blair (Waterloo 
County), and in a similar manner built up a class. Sam- 
uel Schlichter, at Dundee, accomplished the same thing. 
In this manner New Mennonites came to be found in 
several places. They were based on similar principles 
and held conferences together, though there was very 
little organization. 

^The information in this paraarraph was secured mostly from Moses 
Webev; an old minister, and his wife, on a visit with them in January, 
1918, at Maridiam, Ontario. 



Reformed Mennonites. 

In considering the Reformed Mennonites, we find that 
they originated in a similar manner about the same time. 
The places where they arose were at Port Elgin and 
Waterloo mainly, with a few scattered congregations. 
The movement spread from Canada to Indiana through 
Daniel Brenneman and John Krupp, so that eventually 
quite a number existed in Indiana as well as in Canada. 

It seems that the trouble originated in Bruce County, 
with the Port Elgin congregation.*^ Solomon Eby was 
their minister. Eby was bom in 1834 and was reared 
in the Old Mennonite Church, being chosen as a preacher 
August 8, 1858, at the age of twenty-four, and started 
preaching at Port Elgin. During the following years 
he was considerably troubled over the condition of the 
church, and held meetings weekly, although the custom 
was not common. His trouble increased until he felt 
unsaved, and, in case of death, was sure that he should 
be lost. How to get out of that condition and reach life 
he did not know. The situation grew more tense, and he 
was troubled by d^ and night. In 1869, in this con- 
dition, he made a vow, that from henceforth he would 
go as the Lord directed, cost what it might. To com- 
plicate the situation, it happened that just at this time 
revival meetings were started in Port Elgin by the Evan- 
gelical Association. Several of his members attended 
and were convinced that their religion did in no way 
measure up to the Bible standard. The result was that 
some of the brethren got into great difficulty, so much so 

*M<Mt of the information for this was roceiTod from Solomon Ebj, in 
Jannarj* 1918; somo from a short account of tho origin written hj Isaac 
Moyer to tho Editor of tho Gospel Banner, in 1915, and somo in conver- 
sation with Daniel Brenneman and a few others. 



that they went to their minister for help, only to find 
to their great astonishment that he was in the same con- 
dition. Eby was happily converted in 1869. In the 
spring of 1870 prayer meetings were started and held 
all through the summer, contrary to the rules, of course. 
Following this, about New Year's of the next year, a 
great revival broke out, and almost all of the church 
members and a few outsiders accepted Christ anew and 
came into an experience where they realized a complete 
change of life. Prayer meetings were emphasized more 
than ever: testimony encouraged, and revival meetings 
held. Old customs were disregarded, and anything that 
would promote spiritual life adopted. Religious life was 
simply revolutionized. Of course, the news spread to 
Waterloo County, and the report went around that **the 
church in Port Elgin all went Methodist." 

Three delegates from Waterloo County were sent up 
to investigate the trouble. They were John Baer, Daniel 
Wismer, and probably Enoch Detweiler.® These men 
became highly taken up with the good of the movement, 
and encouraged the Port Elgin people to go on, returning 
a rather favorable report to Waterloo. The attitude in 
the church, however, was not all the same. Many were 
in favor, and many decidedly opposed, while some tried 
just to hold the two parties together. The general opin- 
ion, especially among the leaders, seems to have been 
against the new movement. Bishop Joseph Hege, from 
Waterloo, was called up to baptize a number who had 
accepted Christ in these meetings at Port Elgin and who 
had been instructed in the discipline. There were some 
rather young, but all were baptized as they gave good 

*TIm antiiorlty for this tUUmmxt it the paper by Isaac Mojsr, men- 
ttontd before. 



confession of their faith. On his return, Hege found 
some dissatisfaction and was accused of baptizing chil- 
dren. The real trouble, however, later proved to be over 
the fact that prayer meetings were allowed rather than 
infant baptism. 

Before the Port Elgin trouble was all settled, difficulty 
arose in Waterloo County. Daniel Wismer^ had evi- 
dently had an experience somewhat similar to Solomon 
. Eby's. He felt that he should do more practical work, 
but hardly dared break with the church. The convic- 
tion grew on him and he knew that he must do something 
definite, but still he refused, fearing the effects of such 
action. In this condition he was taken sick and grew 
worse, until all hope of life was given up. Wismer 
promised then to preach and take up the work he knew 
he should, if only the Lord would heal him. Before long 
he was well, but still delayed taking up his promised 
work. Again he was taken sick, and again he promised 
and became well. This time he started preaching : held 
evening services and, after preaching a short sermon, 
turned the meeting into a prayer meeting. The outcome 
was that quite a revival broke out, and a number were 
converted. The bishop then ordered Wismer to instruct 
them in the discipline as usual. This he did, and when 
through, reported to Hege. Baptism meant acceptance 
of the candidate by the church, and accordingly it was 
customary to propose the names some time before bap- 
tism, so that anyone objecting might have an opportunity 
to state his objection. The names were therefore made 
known in the enquiring room, and the majority were 
opposed to their acceptance unless they should refrain 

^TUb information mw received from John Troxel in Jannarjr, 1918, 
ContonriUo* Ontario, and from tiae letter of Isaac Moyer. 



from those **new things," as they called the prayer 
meetings. Inasmuch as this was the very place where 
most of them had been converted, they refused to make 
any such promise. Consequently they were not bap- 
tized. This was in the summer of 1870, and the whole 
proceeding created considerable of a sensation throtigh- 
out the entire Canada conference — so much so, that 
several special conferences were called beside the regular 
one. The majority, however, was always on the opposing 
side, and the candidates consequently never were ac- 
cepted. Thus matters went for about a year, when it 
was heard that Bishop Lapp, from Clarence Center, 
New York, had said that he would baptize the candidates 
if he were there. Accordingly, Deacon Joseph Snyder 
and Abraham Moyer were sent to get him. Lapp came 
in the summer of 1871, and the converts, who had stood 
for over a year, were baptized and accepted into the 
church. Bishop Hege, however, was not fully satisfied, 
and made the remark: **Ich will sie mal in ihrem Wert 
steh lasse.'' By this the converts judged that they were 
not entirely accepted by him. The evening meetings and 
the cottage prayer meetings were continued, and a num- 
ber of the church members opened their doors and got in 
trouble over their salvation, which would generally re- 
sult in their experiencing a sound conversion. 

Daniel Wismer and Solomon Eby, of course, worked 
in co-operation considerably, but Wismer was not willing 
to go as far in some things as Eby. For instance, Eby 
favored open communion, but Wismer could not accept 
it, and the final outcome was, that Wismer lost interest in 
the movement and went back to the old church. Mose 
Erb had an experience somewhat similar, though he did 



not go as far even as Wismer, and fell back in line with 
the old church sooner. This movement in Waterloo took 
place simultaneously with the Port Elgin movement, 
though starting a little later. 

Let us briefly review the points and then observe the 
further developments. The church in Port Elgin, in 
1871, experienced a wonderful revival, and the members 
were awakened to a new life and a greater activity, adopt- 
ing in their enthusiasm methods not approved of by the 
church. Following the outbreak of this, similar develop- 
ments occured in the Waterloo County congregation. So 
far, however, there had been no formal break with the 
church, though the innovation of the new methods was 
generally disproved of. 

The next step of interest occurred in 1872. Prior to 
Eby's experience of conversion in 1869, he had had a 
very close friend in one Christ Good, who had some time 
before moved to Indiana. It was now Eby's desire that 
he might tell this old friend of the wonderful experience 
he had received, and accordingly lef J Ontario for In- 
diana. This was in 1872, and while there he met Daniel 
Brenneman, who was a promising, aggressive young 
leader in the Indiana Conference. This meeting with 
Brenneman was the most important event of the visit, 
as it finally led to the spreading of this evangelical move- 
ment to Indiana. Pirom this time on Brenneman and 
Eby were the two outstanding leaders of the Reformed 
Mennonites. Eby returned to Ontario after explaining 
the Canadian movement to Brenneman and arousing an 
interest in him to investigate it. 

Daniel Brenneman was bom in Fairfield County, Ohio, 
in 1834, of good old Mennonite parentage, and reared 



in the church. In 1855 he waa converted, and in the 
following year, at twenty-two years of age, ordained to 
preach. Early in the sixties he moved to Elkhart County, 
Indiana, where he spent the rest of his life. Immediately 
on his arrival in Indiana he was recognized as a leader. 
''He was a man of commanding presence, forcible and 
eloquent in the pulpit, apt and aggressive in Christian 
work, a champion of church doctrines and a good mixer 
among the people."* Little wonder that he became 
prominent in the church. In 1864, the year of his arrival 
in Indiana, **The Herald of Truth" was started by John 
F. Funk, and from the first issue Brenneman was a fre- 
quent contributor. This shows that he was active in 
church work and, moreover, in good standing in the 
church. The condition of the church in Canada has been 
already described, and the situation in Indiana was sim- 
ilar. There were a few liberal men like Brenneman, but 
the majority were conservative. An eai^-going attitude 
had settled on the people, and there was active oppo- 
sition to the introduction of any means to promote a 
deeper interest in soul saving. The introduction of Eng- 
lish preaching was discountenanced, though some pre- 
ferred English to German. Brenneman tried preaching 
in English, but was refused the church for this purpose, 
and thereafter held his English services in school houses. 
Using more than one part in singing was considered 
worldly. Brenneman, himself, in a letter explaining the 
period, says: ''Some of us ministers became depressed 
and discouraged at the slow progress we as a non-resist- 
ant church were making, as a result of a seeming great 
lack of spiritual energy on the part of the membership in 

"Hartslcr and KMiffman, Mennonlte Chnrdi Hiatory, p. S44. 



general. ' '• It was under these conditions that Solomon 
Eby appeared from Canada, giving such glowing ac- 
count^ of their revival. Brenneman further says, in 
reference to the stirring events taking place in Canada : 
** Special preaching services and prayer meetings were 
held with most encouraging results. Not only those who 
had never made any profession of religion, but many 
of the supposed staunch members of the church began to 
realize their lack of real Bible salvation and, in true 
penitence and acknowledgment of their sins before GU)d, 
found lasting peace and joy through the Holy Ghost, 
through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and began openly 
to testify and tell of the great things the Lord did for 
them, and many of them became shouting happy over 
their new found treasure. Hearing of these things tak- 
ing place over in Canada, several of us ministers here in 
Indiana concluded to go over and investigate for our- 
selves as to the wonderful things related, the sound 
thereof having spread far and wide.'' The Indiana 
church, in general, was fearful of what these things 
might lead to, and refused to support the new movement. 
There were, however, two ministers ready to investi- 
gate the situation in Canada. In 1873, Daniel Brenne- 
man*® and John Krupp, a fellow minister, went to Can- 
ada to ascertain for themselves just what this was that 
had broken out and which created such commotion. They 
tried to do this in as open-minded a way as possible, 

* TUb letter was written to Rev. J. A. Hnffman and contains a synopaii 
•f tha aranto leading to Brenneman'a Mparatlan from tho Old Mennontte 
Church. It ia dated Novemher 28, 1917. 

*^Mnch of the following infomation refardinc DanM Brenneman and 
the Reformed Mennonitcs was gotten from him directly in a visit in Feh- 
marx* 1918; some from the letter of his mentioned above* and some from 
Solomon Ebj, in a yisit in Jannary, 1918. 



praying that they might not be misled or deceived. After 
a thorough investigation they returned with a rather fa- 
vorable inclination toward the methods and results found 
in Eby's congregation. The ministers at home ques- 
tioned them quite fully on their return. Krupp spoke 
in most glowing terms of the wonderful work that he 
thought was being accomplished. Brenneman, however, 
knowing that these things would not be received with 
favor, spoke guardedly, and determined to make one 
more trip of investigation before committing himself 
fully. This time, about a year later, he went alone, de- 
siring above all things to know the truth in the matter 
that he might support the right side. In regard to this 
second visit he says: ** Arriving there among these zeal- 
ous worshippers, I at once found that their former zeal 
had by no means abated, that under tHe preaching of the 
Word souls were convicted and pressed through to the 
King at about every service. What could I say, only that 
this is the Lord's doing and marvellous in our eyes." 
On his return he was fully decided what stand to take 
on the question: 

When Brenneman returned the second time from Can- 
ada, the first news to greet him was that one of the min- 
isters had been excommunicated from church fellowship. 
This was John Krupp, and with surprise he went at once 
to the bishop for an explanation. Instead of getting the 
information immediately, however, he was told to come 
to a meeting at a certain time, where he would receive 
a full explanation of what had been done and why. At 
the appointed time several ministers and bishops were 
assembled, and it was explained that Krupp had been 
excommunicated "because he favored protracted meet- 
ings and allowed even women to testify. " The next move 



was to propound the question: **Now are you all satis- 
fied ? ' ' Each man replied in the affirmative until it came 
to Brenneman, who was the last to respond. '* Breth- 
ren, ' ' he answered, ' ' to be honest before God, if our mem- 
bers do nothing worse than to go together to read God's 
word, to sing and pray and thus worship God, that this 
should give us a just reason to disown them as members 
of the church, I candidly cannot see it that way/' No 
one made any comment on this reply, and the assembly 
was dismissed. Soon after (1874) Brenneman was told 
that he had been excommunicated also. The following 
are the charges upon which the excommunication was 

1. For leaving the church and supporting an excom- 
municated minister. 

2. For teaching and preaching unscriptural customs: 
(ITim. 2:11, 12; 1 Cor. 14:35). 

3. For causing dissensions and working disorderly at 
home and abroad. 

Thus one of the most promising men was removed from 
the church. Naturally there were a good many people 
who supported Brenneman, and these separated with 

Whether the above named charges should constitute 
a sufficient basis for excommunication is a question which 
naturally arises. The answer to the question might be 
different now, even if given by the same persons or 
their successors, after more than forty years of progress 
and changes. 

^Hartzler and Kaaffman, Mennonite Chnrch History* p. S44. Bat in 
relation to these charares, J. S. Hartzlor, in a letter to Prof. P. B. Whitmer, 
dated April 13, 1918, says: "In those days they kept no records and oar 
history rives only what we coald get from him (D. Brenneman) and other 
brethren in both branches of the charch." 

* 49 


The first charge was based upon the fact that the 
accused had dissented from the action of the church 
authorities in excommunicating a brother minister for 
favoring protracted meetings and allowing women to 
testify. The second was based upon the charge that the 
accused had taught and preached **unscriptural cus- 
toms." These unscriptural customs were the practice of 
prayer meetings and revival meetings, but particularly 
in allowing women to testify. The third charge was 
* * causing dissensions, ' ' etc. This ' * dissension ' ' natu- 
rally resulted from the defense of a brother minister 
who was expelled for the above named reasons and per- 
sistence in the conducting of services of a nature not 
approved of by the church in general. There were no 
charges of immoral conduct, and the intervening years 
have vindicated him who was held in error, even to those 
who faulted him, because the same body which excom- 
municated himnow practices most of the** customs" — em- 
phasizing experimental religion, conducting prayer meet- 
ings and revival meetings — which at that time seemed 
to them * * unscriptural. ' ' This is said to the credit of this 
body. Further, there is no doubt but that there were 
others in the old church who would have welcomed some 
spiritual aggressiveness, but the church as a whole, rep- 
resented by its leaders, was not ready for such measures. 

The difficulty may be reduced to a simple sentence: 
It was the result which naturally occurs when there 
arises a man in the midst of his environment who is a 
few decades ahead of his contemporaries in spiritual 
enlightenment, and cannot turn back, and will not be 
tolerated by those of lesser vision who are in authority. 

Some divisions are exceedingly unfortunate and the 
results undesirable. But there are some divisions which 



prove a blessing both to the seceders and those seceded 
from. This division appears to have been one of the 
latter kind. A goodly number withdrew with Elder 
Daniel Brenneman who had been excommunicated and, 
as subsequent history discloses, a spiritually a^ressive 
movement was the result. This secession, with its evan- 
gelistic results, together with similar seceding groups, 
and evangelistic forces remaining within the church, con- 
stituted a challenge to the older body of Mennonites 
which doubtless contributed much to the bringing about 
of their more evangelistic policy. In the light of these 
facts, the whole matter has proven a blessing in disguise 
and has been providentially overruled for the good of 
the church and for the glory^ of Gtod. 

While Krupp and Brenneman were expelled in In- 
diana, events of importance were taking place in Can- 
ada. Delegates were again sent to inquire of Eby whether 
there would be any chance of them coming back to the 
fold and the good old- ways of the past. In reply to 
this, Eby reminded them of the many times they had 
talked over the lack of vitality in the church and had 
longed for something to quicken the spiritual life, and 
now, he asked, when they had found the very thing they 
were seeking, and the church was active and really serv- 
ing the Lord, should they go back to the old ways — it 
was impossible. The delegates then brought up the fact 
that prayer meetings were held, fellowship meetings were 
encouraged where even women could speak, and pro- 
tracted meetings allowed, and then wondered aghast if 
camp meetings would be started next. Eby's only re- 
sponse to this was that, when camp meetings would be 
found as beneficial as these other meetings, they would 
likely be held, too. The delegates reported, and soon 



afterward occurred the regularsemi-annual conference at 
Eby 's church** in Kitchener. Here charges were brought 
against Eby and his followers, and it was decided that 
they should no longer be considered members of the 
church. The news of this reached the Port Elgin church 
just BB they were having a prayer meeting, and though 
they were sorry to leave the old church, there was a feel- 
ing of liberty that was, after all, rather satisfactory. The 
expelling had taken place on Friday. On Saturday there 
was a meeting preparatory to the communion services to 
be on the next day, and here the announcement about 
the expelled members was repeated, and later it was 
reported throughout the Canada Conference. Of course, 
those who considered themselves expelled stayed away 
f romv communion when the time for that came, and a 
special communion service was held a few weekd later 
at Snyder's church, Bloomingdale, by Eby and Wismer. 
This naturally put the finishing touch on their excom- 
munication. Shortly after this had taken place, in May, 
1874, a conference was called in Eby's church, and all 
those were invited **that believe in a present salvation 
by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, have experienced par- 
don of their sins and have had the evidence of their 
acceptance with Christ.'*" The people of Eby's and 
Brenneman's congregations, and those likeminded, 
united, and the name Reformed Mennonites adopted. 

United Mennonites. 

So far we have seen how the New Mennonites arose 
and simultaneously with them the Reformed Mennon- 

^Th« Old Mennonite Church in Kitchener is called Ebj** chnrdi, be- 
caiiM Bishop Benjamin Ebj donated the land for it and was one of the 
main snpperters. 

''Qnoted from the letter hj Isaac Moyer mentioned before. 



ites, both for reasons almost identical. The next step 
was the union of these two bodies, and this occurred in 
1875, the year following the organization of the Re- 
formed Mennonites. Several of the leaders of the two 
societies were acquainted with each other, and through 
their working together the people became acquainted, 
and a desire for union arose. An extract from the min- 
utes of the union conference explains how this was ac- 
complished. **The members of the New and Reformed 
Mennonite Societies respectively have for some time been 
anxious that a union of those two bodies should take 
place. And with this object in view, a meeting of the 
ministers and others interested in the matter was called 
to be held at the Snyder Meeting House at Blooming- 
dale, in Waterloo County, Ontario, on Tuesday, March 
23rd, A. D. 1875. 

''This conference, composed of the Brethren John 
Bear, Sen., Solomon Eby, Daniel Wismer, and Noah 
Detweiler, of the Reformed Mennonite Society, and John 
H. Steckley, Samuel Sherk, John McNally, and Peter 
Geiger, of the New Mennonite Society, together with 
many lay members of both bodies, met at the above place 
and date.'' 

It is interesting to note further that, *'A joint report 
of the committees of the respective bodies, which had 
previously met and agreed on a basis of union was 
handed in which read as follows: 'That we agree on the 
Word of God as contained in the Old and New Testa- 
ments and a synopsis of the Word of God as contained 
in the eighteen articles of the Confession of Faith drawn 
up by the Union Conference held at Dort, Holland, 
April 21, 1632, as a basis of union. ' " It was then agreed 



that the name United Mennonites shoiUd be adopted for 
the purpose of denominational distinction. 

This completes the first stage in the growth of the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ. Two scattered, unorgan- 
ized bodies were brought together into a single, unified 
body. The first noticeable characteristic of these Men- 
nonites, in distinction from other Mennonites, is their 
evangelical character. This is shown in the following 
resolutions, passed at the first conference : 

^^ Resolved, That no person be received into the church 
except those who can testify that they have found peace 
with Gk>d in the forgiveness of their sins through faith 
in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

** Since we believe that protracted meetings are es- 
pecially beneficial means to bring sinners to repentance 
and conversion, therefore 

^'Resolved, That our ministers make use of such means 
to gain such end. 

^^ Resolved, That Sunday schools shall be organized 
and supported by all our power. 

^'Resolved, That prayer meetings and fellowship meet- 
ings are necessary means to sustain the members of the 
flock and to further them in their growth in grace.'' 

Other noticeable distinctions are the adoption of the 
itinerant system for ministers and the encouragement of 
missionary work. Another is the opposition to the use 
of spirituous liquors and tobacco. 

The attitude on most of these questions was determined 
by the idea of conversion. The prevalent idea among 
Mennonites had largely been growth in a Christian home, 
followed by a study of the Articles of Faith, and then 
baptism. Instead of this was substituted a personal 
definite act, whereby God distinctly forgave the sins of 



the man. He was bom again. Every person was ex- 
pected to **seek'' until he definitely experienced this 
change of heart. Following this experience came a won- 
derful peace or joy that was expressed in various ways. 
After the sins were once forgiven, it was not expected 
that a man would deliberately sin any more. Whatever 
may be said against this idea of conversion as a definite, 
conscious experience of forgiveness, it certainly did pro- 
duce earnest, live Christians, supremely interested in the 
cause of Christ. It was that which was needed by those 
of that day, and never will cease to be essential to the 
Christian life and to the building up of the true Church 
of Christ. 



Elder Solomon Eby. 

(Biographical Sketch.) 


It was on May the 15th, 1834, in Waterloo County, 
Ontario, that Solomon Eby was born. He was the son 
of Mennonite parents, and united with the Mennonite 
Church at the age of nineteen years. His education was 
received in the public schools, and although he speaks 
of it as **very limited,'* it served him well; for he is 
recognized as one of the foremost leaders in the early 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ movement. 

On the 17th day of June, 1855, he was married to 
Catirine Shantz, in Bruce County, Ontario. Their mar- 
riage was blessed with a family of twelve children. 

At the age of twenty-four (1858) he was ordained to 
the ministry in the old Mennonite Church, and served 
as a minister in that connection for fourteen years. He 
testifies that he was not converted until eleven years 
after he was ordained to the ministry (1869), and that 
his conversion took place in Port Elgin, Bruce County, 

After his conversion. Elder Eby became a zealous 
advocate of the necessity and possibility of a definite, 
conscious, religious experience, which results in deliver- 
ance from sin and gives joy and assurance. This he 
professed and preached. Naturally this attitude toward 
the expferience of conversion made him the logical leader 
of such who, like him, had come into the experience dur- 
ing the year 1869, the year of the *' great revival," and 




the following years. Being in advance of the rank and 
file of the church of his day, he could not be tolerated, 
and was excommunicated in the year 1872, together with 
all those who adhered to this faith. 

When the new oi^anization was effected, which later 
became known as The Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
Church, Elder Eby filled an important place for a long 
time. For eighteen years he was Presiding Elder in 
the Ontario Conference, and for fourteen years served 
as pastor. The pastorates he held were: Breslau, Elm- 
wood, Bethel, Markham, and Kitchener (then Berlin) 
Circuits. He was a member of many General Confer- 
ences. He retired from active work in the year 1906 
on account of ill-health. A year later the Lord healed 
him in a remarkable way, and he testifies that he has 
been in excellent health until this time, although now 
eighty-six years of age. 

During the period of his active career he was a loyal 
advocate and able exponent of the teachings and prac- 
tices of the church which he helped to found, including 
the doctrine of sanctification as a second definite work 
of grace, subsequent to regeneration and simultaneous 
with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was sometime 
prior to the year 1912 when he became unsettled in his 
position in relation to the above named doctrine, and 
definitely sought the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 
Whether or not his doctrinal position was changed by 
the ** Pentecostal'* agitation which swept through the 
country during those years, it is evident that his change 
of attitude to the doctrine of sanctification and the bap- 
tism of the Holy Spirit came during the years of the so- 
called ''Pentecostal'- movement. In his written state- 
ment, submitted to the writer of this sketch, he professes 



that he '^was sanctified when he received Christ (evi- 
dently meaning his conversion), and was baptized in 
the Holy Ghost and fire on January 31, 1912/' This 
doctrinal position being averse to the position held by 
the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, Elder Eby 
withdrew from its membership, adhering to the ** Pente- 
costal" movement. Although this has severed his re- 
lation from the church which he assisted in founding, 
and to which he gave so much of his life, he has nevei" 
ceased to be reverenced as a father in Israel and honored 
as one of the founders of the church. 



Formation of the Evangelical United 


In the preceding chapters we have seen the beginning 
of the Anabaptists, some of whom became Mennonites. 
After various fortunes in the Old World, many of these 
people emigrated to America, first settling in Pennsyl- 
vania and later spreading west and north. The condi- 
tions in these churches became unfavorable for agres- 
sive, spiritual work, and caused many who wished for 
greater freedom and new methods to be denied church 
fellowship. So there appeared in several places evan- 
gelical parties. Several of these in Canada, who hap- 
pened to be acquainted with each other, became known 
as New Mennonites, while others adopted the name Re- 
formed Mennonites. The interesting point here is, that 
they arose from similar causes; were, in fact, all a 
single movement; and, accordingly, it was but natural 
that when they met each other a union resulted. Thus the 
United Mennonites came into being, bringing together 
evangelical sects from Canada and Indiana. 

But similar parties had been developing in Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio : in Pennsylvania, from Mennonite stock ; 
in Ohio, from the River Brethren, who were very much 
like the Mennonites in many respects. Reference to the 
appendices at the end will present these movements in 
graphic manner. It is the purpose of this chapter to 
trace the origin and growth of the Evangelical Mennon- 
ites of Pennsylvania and their union with the United 



Mennonites in 1879. The following chapter will take up 
the Brethren in Christ, who united a few years later. 

United Mennonites. 

Before taking up the Evangelical Mennonites, a little 
should be said regarding the United Mennonites and their 
growth during the period of 1875 to 1879. Solomon 
Eby was elected Presiding Elder over the Canada Con- 
ference and Daniel Brenneman over the United States 
Conference, there being two conferences at that time. 
There were ten elders or ministers, three probationers 
and three deacons in the whole church. Any man, how- 
ever, in the future, who felt he had a call to preach, 
could make it known, and would be given a triaL The 
resolution providing for this was adopted at the first 
conference, and reads as follows: 

'^ Resolved, That in the selecting of a minister, the 
church shall earnestly be exhorted to prayer that the 
Lord of the harvest may send forth laborers into His 
harvest (Matt. 9:38). And if a brother have convic- 
tions that he has a call from the Lord to preach the 
gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph. 4: 11; Heb. 5:4) he shall, 
if after examination, he can be considered as possessing 
the necessary qualifications (1 Tim. 3:23; Tit. 1:7) be 
permitted to serve a probation term. After which, if 
it be evident that the work of the ministry be entrusted 
to him^of the Lord (1 Cor. 9:2; 2 Cor. 3:23; 1 Tim. 
3:10 and 5:22), he shall be ordained and authorized 
to officiate in all the duties devolving upon a gospel 
minister (Acts 6:6)." 

This is important, as it is a radical departure from 
the method of the old church, and allowed any worthy 
man, who had convictions to preach and whom the 



church considered qualified, to enter the ministry. Pro- 
vision was made for annual conferences, beside the Gen- 
eral Conference, which was to meet every four years. 

Probably the most important event of the period was 
the starting of a church paper — the Oospel Banner — 
thus providing for intercommunication between congre- 
gations, and welding them more firmly together. The 
first issue appeared July, 1878. The need had long been 
felt, and a paper. The Oospel Messenger, was started in 
Canada about a year prior, but after a single issue 
appeared, it died for lack of support. Daniel Brenne- 
man felt that a church paper was possible, and offered 
to assume the responsibilities of a monthly paper for 
a period of six months. This offer was considered from 
various angles at the Canadian Annual Conference of 
1878, and a resolution passed finally, **that D. Brenne- 
man will proceed at once with the editing of a church 
paper, called the Oospel Banner, to be published at 
Gk)shen, Indiana.'' At the end of the time the income 
did not quite reach the expenses, but even this was 
regarded as well done. The paper was published 
monthly until the end of 1879, having about one thou- 
sand subscribers for the English edition and five hundred 
for the German. After this it was published semi- 
monthly for a while, and then weekly. 

The exact number of accessions to the church during 
the four years is difiicult to ascertain, but there were 
probably about two hundred a year^ The churck con- 
tinued active and propagated her beliefs with great zeal. 

^. There are no definite statiitics on this point until 1878. At the Can- 
ada Conference of that year, as reported in the Gospel Banner, there were 
1S5 accessions in Canada, while Daniel Brenneman reported "abont 100" 
for the United States, making a total of somewhat over 200 for that year. 
It is not likely that this was abnormaL 



Eby, and Brexmeman especially, made many trips over 
the field, and in visiting Penn£fylvania became acquainted 
with the Evangelical Mennonites. A strong friendship 
soon sprang up which led eventually to a union in 1879 
between the United Mennonites and the Evangelical 

Evangelical Mennonites. 

It has been noted before that the earliest Mennonite 
settlers came to Pennsylvania. Here the first settlement 
was made at Germantown in 1683, and the first church 
built in 1708, having a membership of forty-four. This 
congregation gradually lost in numbers, while others 
grew. The Pranconia Conference was the earliest, and 
by the nineteenth century had about fifteen congrega- 
tions. The Lancaster conference district came later, and 
by the twentieth century had some eighty congregations. 
It is with the Franconia conference that we are especially 
concerned. In this conference there were two noticeable 
schisms, the Funk and the Oberholtzer schisms; in the 
Lancaster Conference one, the Herr schism. These 
schisms have been related in Chapter I. 

The only schism with which we need to reckon here 
is the Oberholtzer schism, which occurred in the Fran- 
conia Conference in 1847. This is important, because 
it is the point of departure of the Evangelical Mennon- 
ites from the old church. 

It must be admitted that the Pennsylvania Mennon- 
ites were rather conservative in religious as well as sec- 
ular affairs. The conditions given before apply here 
also. Conservatism in religion was shown by the oppo- 
sition to all new methods of work — specifically prayer 
meetings, evening meetings, Sunday Schools, protracted 



meetings, and English preaching. These are all accepted 
by the church at present, but were actively opposed un- 
til the latter part of the nineteenth century. Conserva- 
tism in secular things was shown by the opposition to 
participation in political issues and the adoption of any 
new custom in general. This is well brought out in an 
article from the pen of Henry A. Hunsicker, quoted 
by Dr. Smith in the Mennonites of America, from the 
Mennonite Year Book and Almanac for 1907.* **It was 
about this time when linen covers on dearborns (car- 
riages) were giving way to black oilcloth covers. When 
my father availed himself of a black oilcloth cover for 
his dearborn he was charged with violating a long es- 
tablished custom of the Mennonites in making such a 
change; and when a year or so later he had elliptic 
springs put on the running gears of his carriage, he 
sinned even mor^ grievously. Then, too, came the charge 
that his children did not conform to the style and dress 
of the meeting. . . . Other matters came up, such as 
forbidding marrying outside of the denomination, at- 
tendance on civil duties, such as voting at election, re- 
sorting to process of law to recover property, favoring 
liberal education, etc. ' ' It was inevitable that this ultra 
conservatism, if persisted in, should some day be the 
cause of trouble. 

John H. Oberholtzer^ ' was bom in Montgomery 
County, Pennsylvania, in 1808, and b^an teaching 
school at sixteen years of age, continuing this until called 
to preach in 1842. In that year he was ordained in the 
Swamp Mennonite Church, in Milford, Bucks County, 
by Bishop Samuel Musselman. Five ^rears after that he 

'Smith, MennoiiitM of America, p. 299. 

* CoBtidermblo of OberiioUser's blomphy is riron in his Vormntwortant 
and BrlAontonmv, 1860. 



found himself out of the church. The reason for this 
was not merely stubbomess and worl<]liness, as the old 
church thought, but rather a decided difference in spirit. 
Oberholtzer had more than an ordinary education, and 
possessed at the same time a liberal-mindedness and ag- 
gression that was not satisfied with harking to the past 
for standards. At the same time he may have been a 
little insistent with some of his demands. Trouble came 
when Oberholtzer, seeing no reasonable ground for wear- 
ing the regulation minister's coat of a prescribed cut, 
continued to wear his usual dress. To him this breach 
of custom meant nothing, but to many of his brother 
ministers approving of it would mean a betrayal of their 
faith. Quarrel over this continued for several years, 
when a new grievance was added. The conference had 
kept no minutes of proceedings, nor had there been a 
constitution. Oberholtzer drafted a constitution and 
presented it to the conference in the spring of 1847. The 
first time it was turned down, but he presented it again 
in the fall. By this time affairs had reached a critical 
stage, and Oberholtzer, along with several other minis- 
ters who shared his views, was suspended. In October 
of the same year they met and organized a conference 
of their own. 

Oberholtzer took considerable interest in the cause of 
Mennonitism in general, and worked for a union of all 
on a common basis. He started a paper in 1852 under 
the name ''Religioser Botschafter.'* This did much to 
facilitate discussion of the subject, and finally, in 1860, 
the first ''General Conference*' of Mennonites of North 
America was held. Before this year, however, there was 
a split in Oberholtzer 's party, and this is what inter- 
ests us most at present. 

\ 64 


When Oberholtzer left the old church there were sev- 
eral who accompanied him. The ministers founding the 
**New School Mennonite Conference*' were John Hun- 
sicker, William Landis, John H. Oberholtzer, Abraham 
Hunsicker, Christian Clemmer, and Joseph Schantz. At 
a succeeding conference the following additional minis- 
ters entered: Israel Beidler, William Schelly, Moses 
Gk)ttschall, and Henry G. Johnson.* Beside these several 
deacons were found among the progressive faction. Prac- 
tically the whole Swamp Mennonite congregation stood 
by Oberholtzer, who was their preacher at the time. In 
the oi^anization of the new conference, Oberholtzer was 
very prominent and was chairman for many years. Just 
how many congregations were in the conference it is hard 
to ascertain; but by 1887 thirteen had joined the Gen- 
eral Conference Movement.** These were in all prob- 
ability favorable to Oberholtzer and had followed him 
in 1847 or soon after. It is not necessary to list these 
here, but one of them in Upper Milford Township, Le- 
high County, is the scene of the next division. 

The Upper Milford congregation had chosen John 
Schantz as their minister in 1828. His son, Joseph, was 
chosen likewise in 1844. When Oberholtzer was sus- 
pended in 1847, Joseph Schantz was one of his adherents, 
and the congregation an ** Oberholtzer congregation." 
Before long another minister was needed and, accord- 
ingly, William Gehman was chosen to serve. Gehman was 
bom in 1827 and had been raised a German Lutheran; 
but after his conversion he joined the Mennonites. In 
1849 he was selected both by election and by lot to serve 

^DMiiel K. CmmU Geschichto der Mennoniten, 1890, p, 117. 

* Vtfhaiidlwng der Allffoneinai Konf eiwns der Mennoidteii Ton Nord- 



as minister for the Upper Milford congregation. It be- 
came customary to alternate ministers, Qehman preach- 
ing then half the time. 

This continued for some time until it happened, in 
1853, that several of the ministers, of whom William 
Gehman seemed the leader, along with several of their 
members, started the holding of private prayer meetings. 
The first Church Discipline of the Evangelical Mennon- 
ite Society gives a short account of their history, and in 
speaking of these prayer meetings, says: **Many that 
attended the meetings became awakened and deeply con- 
victed of their sinful condition, found peace in the 
wounds of Jesus, and were transplanted into the free- 
dom of the children of Grod. In order to carry on this 
work properly, they appointed Sabbath afternoon and 
evening to be spent with one another in prayer and re- 
ligious exercises, and also prayer meetings to be held 
once during the week, and family worship to be held in 
every family, as also public protracted meetings where 
the Word was for a time preached every evening — ^in 
purity and power. "• In the other cases that we have 
noted, prayer meetings were held in opposition to the 
decrees of the church, but in this case it was different. 
In 1853, the same year that these meetings were started, 
the bishops, in conference at Skippach, granted the 
privilege of holding prayer meetings. Further, Geh- 
man talked the matter over with Oberholtzer, who was 
the main bishop, and explained how the meetings were 
conducted. Oberholtzer 's reply was that ** surely no one 
could forbid that."' The subject was also discussed 
with Moses Gottschall, bishop at Schwenksville, who 

* Doctrine of Faith and Church Discipline of the BTanrelical Mennon- 
ite Society of Bast PennsyWania, 1867, p. S. 



agreed that they were a good thing. With this permis- 
sion the meetings were continued. 

The next move came in the year 1856, when a confer- 
ence was again held at SMppach. Toward the close of 
the conference Oberholtzer, who was chairman, an- 
nounced that it was now time to discuss prayer meet- 
ings ; but since the time was too short to allow, he wished 
that Gehman would consent to leave that to a meeting 
of the bishops on the following day. There being no 
objection, the matter was passed over. A few days after 
this Joseph Schantz, who has been mentioned before as 
a fellow minister of Gehman 's at Upper Milford, came 
to him and brought the decision of the bishops: namely, 
that prayer meetings would not be allowed in the future. 
Gehman, however, refused to accept the report, and the 
meetings were continued. 

The aflfair continued this way until the following 
spring. In May a conference of the whole church was 
held at Springtown, in Bucks County. Here Oberholtzer 
was again chairman, and during the conference he 
brought up an alleged saying of Gehman 's, that the de- 
cision of the bishops in regard to prayer meetings was 
**unevangelical." He asked the people to vote on this 
question and announced that all those voting that the 
decision of the bishops was not **evangelicar' would be 
considered dropped from church membership, with all 
their adherents. Then followed a lengthy discussion, 
after which the vote was taken and was, of course, in 

^ Oberholtser's Ideas on prayer meetiiiSB are ffiTen In his Verantwortons 
and Erlaentemnff, 18S0. See diapter on BetyerBammlanir* p. 4S. He did 
not oppose them or think them wrons as some claimed him to do, nor could 
he And anything in the Bible contrary to them. His Idea seems more that 
a Christian should be In a prayerful attitude all the time and prlrate 
prayer meetings, where sereral assemble for the purpose of prayer only, 
are useless. r*n 


favor of the bishops and against these private prayer 
meetings. The adherents of prayer meetings were, how- 
ever, not ready to give them up, and it accordingly was 
announced after conference that, since private prayer 
meetings had been forbidden, they would henceforth be 
public prayer meetings. With this, all the advocates of 
prayer meetings, twenty-four in number, were expelled. 
In the fall of the same year, in a congregational meet- 
ing at Zionsville, Gehman was refused the privilege of 
preaching in th^ old church by a vote of twenty-five to 
twenty-four. He had claimed this on the ground that 
he had preached half the time before, and a good many 
of the congregation supported him. A little difficulty 
then followed over the use of the church, but was finally 
settled by Oehman and his party agreeing to give up all 
right to the church in return for $300 and the privilege 
of holding funerals there and buiying in the old church 
yard. A new church, which still stands, was built in 

The first conference of ministers was held September 
24, 1858, in the house of David Musselman. Here such 
articles of faith and rules as were deemed necessary for 
the small society were laid down. The following are 
given as present at this conference:® 


William N. Schelly David Gehman 

William Gehman Joseph Schneider 

Jacob Gk)ttschall 


David Henning Henry Diehl. 

* DMtrliM mt Faith taiA Ckmnh Ukciphnt •! the Bruicvlicftl MMUMnHc 
Society, 1M7. p. 4. 



A second conference was held in November, 1859, 
and thereafter semi-annually in June and November. 

The second church to be built was at Coopersburg, and 
the next at Quakertown. The movement continued to 
spread, and churches were built in various parts of East- 
em Pennsylvania. 

At the conference held in November, 1865, a commit- 
tee consisting of David Henning, William Gehman, Eu- 
sebius Hershey and Joseph L. Bomig was appointed to 
draw up a Doctrine of Faith and Church Discipline. 
This was done and published in 1867. That the new 
society still considered themselves Mennonites is shown 
by the following statement taken from the introduction 
to the Doctrine of Faith : **It is our sincere wish to take 
the simple and secure Bible way, as Christ, the Apostles, 
and Menno Simon have taught. ' ' 

In regard to church doctrine, they accepted the regu- 
lar orthodox views of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and 
Man, and the Mennonite position on the washing of the 
Saints' Feet, Non-resistance, Oaths, Excommunication, 
and Shunning. Several doctrines had more or less of 
the new in them. Members were to be admitted only 
when they *'have acknowledged themselves sinners, have 
brought forth fruits meet for repentance, have received 
the forgiveness of their sins through faith in the precious 
merits of Jesus Christ, and have been baptized." Con- 
siderable emphasis was placed on a definite conversion, 
with the assurance accompanying it. The calling of 
ministers happens in two ways : the Godly and the Ec- 
clesiastical. That is, some are called directly by God, 
others through the interposition of pious men. Thus the 
diurch might call her ministers, or if they felt called of 
God, they could make it known and would be given a 



trial. There were to be three kinds of officers: Elders, 
ordinary Preachers, and Deacons. In order to spread 
the work it was provided that all the members, preach- 
ers and deacons should take an active interest in the 
''missionary cause." That did not necessarily mean 
foreign missions. In those days when travel was not 
quite so convenient and when the world was so large, a 
man was considered a missionary if he made a trip of 
thirty miles to hold meetings. This was the missionary 
work that was carried on— going into fields where no 
religious opportunities were presented to the people and 
holding meetings to interest ** outsiders*' in religion. 
This work was in the hands of a special Missionary So- 
ciety, with its own constitution and officers. • 

Such was the doctrine and work of the early Evan- 
gelical Mennonites. There were at that time (1860-65) 
four elders: David Henning, William Gehman, Euse- 
bius Hershey, and William Schelly; five preachers: 
Henry Diehl, Abel Strawn, John Musselman, Abraham 
Kauffman and Joseph L. Romig; and three deacons: 
David Gehman, Joseph Schneider, and Aaron Unangst. 

Evangelical United Mennonites. 

Between the years 1865 and 1875 there is very little 
to record. New ministers entered the work and more 
fields were opened up. About the year 1875 Solomon 
Eby and Daniel Brenneman visited Pennsylvania and 
became acquainted with the Evangelical Mennonites, and 
almost immediately the thought of union occurred. In 
1878 the first number of the ** Gospel Banner'' appeared, 
and there was more or less discussion on the subject of 
union in the succeeding issues. D. U. Lambert was sent 
by the United Mennonites of the United States as a f ra- 



temal delegate to the fall conference of the Evangelical 
Mennonites in 1878, and sentiment had grown so far 
that this conference considered the question of a more 
intimate connection with the United Mennonites, and 
passed rather favorably on it. Copies of the conference 
minutes were sent to Brenneman, and in commenting on 
them in an editorial, he says: **We hope like steps may 
be taken on the part of our people, and the necessary 
measures be adopted at once to investigate the matter 
and, if possible, effect a permanent union. ... So far 
as we have been able to ascertain there is nothing exist- 
ing between us that is worthy the name of distinction." 
These were Brenneman 's sentiments, and they probably 
echoed the feelings of the leaders in general. Eby and 
Brenneman were elected delegates to attend the semi- 
annual conference of the Evangelical Mennonites in 
Pennsylvania in October, 1879. This move was made 
at the general conference held in Blair, Ontario, in June 
of that same year. A very warm feeling was expressed 
at this conference of the Evangelical Mennonites toward 
union, and a special conference was called to convene 
November 6, at Upper Milford, Lehigh County, Penn- 

This conference came off as planned. Solomon Eby 
was chairman, and S. M. Musselman secretary. There 
were nineteen members, the majority, of course, being 
from Pennsylvania. The question of union was investi- 
gated thoroughly. To quote from the conference min- 
utes: *'As a preparatory step, the two disciplines were 
read before the conference, compared, thoroughly 
weighed and considered, and it was indeed marvelous 
(only as it is considered that both were drawn from the 
Bible) to learn how nearly in point of faith and doctrine 



the two disciplines corresponded. The only material 
difference being in point of church govemment. The 
United Mennonite discipline having the preference in 
this respect, after modif jdng a few sentences, was unani- 
mously adopted by the conference. 

** There now being a perfect union of spirit, faith, and 
doctrine, the two bodies mutually and unanimously con- 
sented to unite in the name and fear of the Lord. . . . 
It was considered to-be only meet that the names as well 
be combined together also, hence the name Evangelical 
United Mennonites was adapted, upon which the whole 
conference with the entire assembly went down upon 
their knees in honor to Ood and in thanksgiving and 
praise to his great and matchless name for thus uniting 
the hearts of his people and bringing them together into 
one fold.'' 

Thus the union was brought about, and an acknowl- 
edgment confirming it was subscribed to by the con- 
ference. The following are the names subscribed: 

William Gehman Joel Rosenberger 

Solomon Eby Abraham Kauffman 

Samuel Musselman Sidenham Lambert 

Daniel Brenneman Joseph Schneider 

John Baer Jacob Ruch 

Eusebius Hershey Daniel Koch 

David Henning William Yeakel 

Jonas Musselman Michael Landis 

Abel Strawn David Gehman 
George Lambert 

It was then decided that the fields of labor in Penn- 
sylvania should constitute a separate conference, mak- 
ing in all three conferences: The Canada, Indiana, 



Michigan and Ohio, and the Pennsylvania. Also in view 
of the great need of ministers in the Indiana, Michigan 
and Ohio Conference and the sarplus in Pennsylvania, 
Sidenham Lambert was granted a transfer to the former 

At the time of the union Pennsylvania had nine minis- 
ters, six deacons, and nine different congregations. Can- 
ada had eighteen ministers, of whom six were probation- 
ers, and about fourteen congregations. Indiana, Mich- 
igan and Ohio had thirteen ministers and about eight 
congregations. This made a total of some forty minis- 
ters and thirty-one congregations. 



Elder Daniel Brenneman, 

(Biographical Sketch.) 

Daniel Brenneman was bom near Bremen, Fairfield 
County, Ohio, June 8, 1834. He was the son of Henry 
(1791-1866), the son of Abraham (1747-1815), the son 
of Melehior, a Mennonite exile from Switzerland, and 
one of the first settlers in Lancaster County, Pennsyl- 
vania, 1715. 

At four years of age Daniel had a narrow escape 
from death by the smallpox. His mother, a brother and 
a sister died of this dread disease at the same time 
(March, 1838). He grew to manhood on the farm, and 
although deprived of a loving mother's care, under the 
influence and teaching of a godly father he was kept 
free from the vices so common to youth. His father fre- 
quently read aloud to his children from a mammoth 
German edition of the Martyr's Mirror, and by this 
means helped to instill into the hearts of his children a 
love and respect for the precious doctrines of the Men- 
nonite Church, for which she has suffered so much per- 
secution; and as a result they all became active and in- 
fluential members of that body, three of the sons becom- 
ing ministers and one a deacon. 

He was converted in 1856, and soon after joined the 
Mennonite Church in Fairfield County, Ohio. 

In March, 1857, he was married to Susannah Keagy, 
of Augusta County, Virginia, which union was blessed 
with ten children, five sons and five daughters, all of 





wKom are still (1920) living and all of whom profess the 
Christian religion — all, except two, being of the Mennon- 
ite faith. One daughter, Phoebe, is in the foreign field. 

In March, 1908, he lost his faithful companion after 
fifty-one years of married life. This was his first and, 
until his death, the only funeral in his family. In April, 
1910, he was married to Delia Troyer, with whom he 
lived happily until the close of his life. His death oc- 
curred on September 10, 1919, after a short illness, in 
his eighty-sixth year. 

He was ordained to the ministry in the Old Mennon- 
ite Church in 1857. Concerning his ordination and the 
early events in his ministry, we quote from the Kauff- 
man-Hartzler Mennonite History : *'He entered upon his 
work at once with great vigor, and soon rose to promi- 
nence, his services being called for far and near. In 
March, 1864, he moved to Elkhart County, Indiana, 
where his ministry was noted for the intense interest 
stirred up among the people and for his conflict with 
Jacob Wisler." Prom the same history we quote: **As 
time passed on, the necessity and demand for English 
preaching became more urgent, and the body of members 
became more and more convinced that this want should 
be supplied. About this time Daniel Brenneman, a 
minister from Ohio, appeared on the field. In the eyes 
of many he was the man for the place. He was orthodox 
in his ^dews, though inclined to be radical on some ques- 
tions. He could handle both languages excellently. He 
was eloquent, aggressive, a good singer, and full of lif fe. 
The church revived, and crowded houses greeted him 
wherever he went. His services were demanded fre- 
quently at funerals and on other occasions." 

After ten years of active service with the old church, 



in Elkhart County, Indiana, circumstances, which are 
elsewhere more fully stated, led up to his separation 
from that body and the organization of the Reformed 
Mennonites (now Mennonite Brethren in Christ), of 
which body he was one of the principal founders. 

In July, 1878, he established, on his own responsibility 
and by the permission of conference, the Oospel Banner, 
which has ever since been the church organ. He served 
as editor and publisher until October, 1882. 

For many years he served as pastor and Presiding El- 
der in the Indiana and Ohio Conference, and was a 
member of every General Conference held during the 
period of his active ministry. He was eloquent and 
powerful in his pulpit ministrations and an aggressive 
and capable organizer. For many years he served as 
Presiding Elder of the whole Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference, doing the work later requiring two men. He 
preached with surprising vigor and great earnestness 
down to the close of life. Even after having no regular 
charge of his own, he frequently preached two or three 
times on the Lord's day, as opportunity offered. or ne- 
cessity demanded. He retained his mental alertness 
to the end, and took great pleasure in seeing the church 
which he had helped to found and to which he had given 
practically his whole life, prosper. He never missed an 
Annual Conference during his entire career. 

From his youth he sought to honor, respect and obey 
bis father, who at one time testified concerning his son 
Daniel that *'he was always obedient." His eighty and 
five years are an illustration of Gk>d's faithfulness to 
His promise to give long life to those who obey their 
parents and serve Him. 



Formation of the Mennonite Brethren 

in Christ- 

With this chapter we come to the final union whereby 
the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church was formed 
and the present name adopted. The Evangelical United 
Mennonites were organized in 1879, in a union between 
the Evangelical Mennonites of Pennsylvania and the 
United Mennonites of the United States and Canada. 
This was treated in the preceding chapter. It now re- 
mains to take up the Brethren in Christ, who composed 
the new element introduced in the final union. This 
union occurred in December, 1883, four years after the 
forming of the Evangelical United Mennonites, and 
something should be said concerning the progress of the 
Evangelical United Mennonites during this period, be- 
fore turning to the Brethren in Christ. 

Evangelical United Mennonites. 

The customs existing in the church show a distinct 
tendency toward aloofness from things worldly. Plain- 
ness in dress was insisted upon, and many an article ap- 
peared in the Gospel Banner, urging the discarding of 
everything ministering to pride. For example, the fol- 
lowing: **For what purpose is that feather t that flower t 
that bow of ribbon t Why that lace? that fringe t those 
rufSesf those tucks? those plaits? Nothing but adorn- 
ing — ornaments admired by the world. *Be not con- 
formed to the world' is the Word's command."^ This 

^From mn artiele on ''Trimmiiif*," Gospel Banner, Vol. S. p. 176. 



idea of separation was a fundamental thought, influenc- 
ing every phase of life. Likewise choirs and musical 
instnunents were forbidden in churches. Influence was 
exerted against **that filthy weed, tobacco,'* and a Gen- 
eral Conference resolution was passed forbidding the 
ordination of any man as a minister or deacon who used 
it. No systematic plan of financing the ministry was 
used, and a man who could not preach and at the same 
time support himself, received little respect. There 
was, however, the germ of the present system in that 
many gifts were presented to the minister, as a mat- 
ter of ** charity.** 

Daniel Brenneman had started the Gospel Banner in 
1878, and along with that had grown up a publishing 
business which the church took over in 1879. At the 
same time, a committee of D. Brenneman, S. Eby, and 
B. Bowman was appointed **to collect a variety of suit- 
able hymns for a hymn book.** By February, 1881, 
the English edition was ready for delivery. It contained 
some eight hundred hymns, and was sold for a dollar. 

In 1880, during this period, the first Camp Meeting 
was held. It was more or less of an experiment, and 
there were some prejudiced against it at first. The Camp 
Meeting was held on the Bethel Circuit, about seven miles 
west of Goshen, commencing July 30th and continuing 
for ten days.^ It was regarded as highly satisfactory, 
and has since become a permanent institution in the 

Foreign Missions had always received verbal assent, 
but it was not until this period that the problem was 
really considered. The General Conference in 1882 pro- 
vided that each Annual Conference should ''adopt a 

' A report mi tfi« Camp Meeting occnn in the Goepel Banner for Anfmt 
IS, 18M, p. 184. 7g 


system to collect foreign mission funds." With this, 
foreign missions as a definite part of church work was 

As stated before, there were three conferences: 
Canada; Pennsylvania; and Indiana, Michigan and 
Ohio. The Michigan work in the last conference had 
consisted of one or two small charges, and it was during 
this period that the work eventually producing the pres- 
ent Michigan Conference was begun.' 

Peter Cober was born in Wellington County, Ontario, 
in 1853. He was converted in 1874, and united with the 
church. After this he lived on the farm until 1880. In 
that year he and his wife moved to Michigan, settling on 
a new, uncleared farm near Ubly, Huron County. Up 
to this time he had no definite call to preach; but now 
the question arose, and the call came more forcibly. 
Accordingly, he sent for Daniel Brenneman, expecting 
Brenneman to help him out of his trouble, so that he 
would not need to preach. In this he was mistaken, 
however. Brenneman came and organized a small class 
of six or seven at Ubly. Then they went to Deanville, in 
Lapeer County, and organized another class. Cober was 
left in charge of these. Somewhat later the Greenwood 
class was organized, near Yale, and then there were 
three appointments to care for. These three congre- 
gations were the nucleus, and by gradual growth they 
spread until Michigan came to be a separate conference. 
Developments after 1883 will be treated in subsequent 

Probably the most interesting phase of growth is the 
increase of church membership. Other things may be 

' This inf omiAtioii recardlnff the Michigan work was neshred from Peter 
Cober in conversation with him, Jannarj, 1918. 



important, but if a church cannot make converts, it is of 
little value. During the four years there were about 
984 converts and about 697 accessions to the church, 
while the active membership raised from a little over 
1,400 to about 1,650. Eight churches were built, seven- 
teen new appointments started, and the number of min- 
isters grew from 26 to 45. The following table sums up 
the statistics.^ 

CoNVEBTS— 1880 1881 1882 1883 

Canada 152 83 149 118 

Indiana, Mich. & Ohio. . . 70 (75) (80) 110 

Pennsylvania (15) 22 32 78 

Total 237 180 261 306 

Total number of converts, 984. 

Accessions — 

CJanada 78 80 76 68 

Indiana, Mich. & Ohio. . . 65 (60) (65) 72 

Pennsylvania (10) 10 55 58 

Total 153 150 196 198 

'Total number accessions, 697. 

Total Membebs — 

Canada 833 857 885 909 

Indiana, Midi. & Ohio.. 400 436 471 452 

Pennsylvania 175 200 230 286 

Total 1408 1493 1586 1647 

'Increase, 239. 

*T1ib table docs not iir«t«nd to bo exact. It ia approximately rij^t, 
howoTer, and ia baaed on conferenee reporta aa tiier appeared in the Goa- 
pel Banner. Whwe the report doea not faielndo ererythlnf , the ap p « M ci» ate 
flcnree haye been pat in parmtheaea. 

*A qneatlon may arise relatire to the modeet net increaae in member- 
ihip, while the accewlona were conalderaUj more. A net Increaae In mem- 
bonhlp can only r^reeent the number of acceeelona OTor and abore the 
deatha, withdrawala, and dlimliitlai In a period of tranaitlam Ilka that 
thronirh which the chnrch waa soinir* the element of permanent waa not 
flo prominent. gQ 


Chxibches— 1880 1881 1882 1883 

Canada 9 12 18 12 

Indiana, Mich. & Ohio .. . (1) (1) (1) 2 

Pennsylvania 4 5 6 8 

Total 14 18 19 22 

Increase, 8. 


Canada 19 19 18 19 

Indiana, Mich. & Ohio... 8 11 16 14 

Pennsylvania 9 10 10 12 

Total 26 40 44 45 

Increase, 19. 

• Appointments — 

Canada 37 36 48 48 

Indiana, Mich. & Ohio... 15 20 (21) 22 

Pennsylvania 10 16 15 14 


Total 62 72 84 79 

Increase, 17. 

Brethren in Christ. 

With this summary of the activities between 1879 
and 1883, we will turn to the Brethren in Christ who 
next united with the movement. 

The situation is somewhat complicated here, because 
of the fact that three different related bodies claimed 
the name, Brethren in Christ. Consequently a few in- 
troductory words of explanation are in order. First, 
there were the River Brethren, known as the Brethren 
in Christ. They began to use the name early in the 
eighteenth century, and legalized their right to it when 

its use was begun by others. About ¥f%6 there was a 

* An appotntment is any place where a minister preaches resnlarly. As 
may be seen, the number of appointments varies considerably from the 
anmber of churches. 

« 81 


split in the River Brethren, John Wenger and his fol- 
lowers leaving the church. They, however, kept the old 
name, probably because the River Brethren were never 
known as Brethren in Christ ordinarily. A little later 
there was a split in Wenger 's party, his son, John Wen- 
ger, Jr., heading one faction, and John Swank head- 
ing the other. Thus the second Brethren in Christ 
Church was divided into Wengerites and SwanMtes, each 
again claiming the original name. The Swankites united 
with the Evangelical United Mennonites in 1883, leaving 
then two parties in contest for the name. The River 
Brethren, however, being incorporated under that name, 
have a legal right to it, but the Wengerites have been 
known more or less by it. 

In considering the Brethren in Christ we shall go back 
to the River Brethren and trace the growth from the be- 
ginning. Some time in the first half of the eighteenth 
century a colony of Swiss immigrants came to the United 
States from Upper Switzerland. Here they settled in 
Pennsylvania, in the Susquehanna Valley. Whether 
they were Mennonites or not is not certain; but if not, 
they were likely descendants of Mennonites in Switzer- 
land. This accounts for the great similarity that was 
found to exist between the church they founded and the 
Mennonites. Among these Swiss a church was organ- 
ized, and the name Brethren in Christ adopted.'' Be- 
cause of the fact that the congregation was located m 
the valley, it became customary to speak of the ** breth- 
ren by the river," and thus they became eventually 

^ Th« exact date of the organisation cannot be gtwen* The Encyclopedia 

Britannica is authority for the date 1750. A. D. Hoke ciaime that an old 

paper drawn np abent the time of the Ciril War dates it 125 yean before 

that, which would be eomewhere between 1780 and 1740. Probably the 
date ia not later than 1750. 



known as the River Brethren. By 1770 there were 
several congregations, Jacob Bngle being their first pas- 
tor. In faith and practice they resembled the Mennon- 
ites considerably. They baptized by triune immersion, 
the candidate kneeling in the water and being immersed"" 
forward three times. They used the Mss of greeting, 
washed the saints' feet, taught non-resistance, and inter- 
preted the Bible literally, in general. 
' About 1828 trouble arose in Ohio between the bishop, 
Levi Lukenbach, and one of the ministers, John Wen- 
ger.® Up to this time the River Brethren had not used 
meeting houses, but had held their meetings in private 
houses or bams. To erect a church building for the pur- 
pose of holding religious meetings was considered a sin. 
Wenger, on the contrary, favored church buildings, and 
could see nothing wrong in them.* Quite a breach came 
to exist between these two men who were the acknowl- 
edged leaders of the two factions. These differences led 
to a division in 1828. John Wenger and his followers, a 
small band compared with the River Brethren, separated 
and started holding meetings of their own, using, for 
the time being, Wenger 's bam. This division occurred 
in Ohio, Wenger and his followers living in Harrisbui^, 
Montgomery County, and in Medina County. These 
Wengerites styled themselves the Brethren in Christ 
which, as mentioned above, was the name which was 
claimed by the River Brethren. 

.'TIm information reffardinc the River Bretiiren and tiie Bretiiren in 
Ciirist wa^ received in conTenation with Samuel Herr, Harrisbnrs, Ohio, 
an old minister of the River Brethren: A. D. Holce, New Carlisle, Ohio, 
whose father was a River Bretiiren minister; also A. Good and 8. Longe- 
neeker. New Carlisle, who formerly belonged to the Brethren in Christ. 

'Longeneclcer and Good gave an added eaose for dlfferenca, in that 
Wenger objected to certain love feasts held by the River Brethren. This is 
not sobstantiated by Hoke and Herr. 



As their predecessors, so the Wengerites were destined 
to a split. John Swank and Jacob Swank left the United 
Brethren and joined the Brethren in Christ, as Wenger 
and his followers called themselves. John was the most 
prominent. He became a preacher and, as time passed, 
one of the leaders. The elder John Wenger 's place was 
taken by his son, John Wenger, who was known as 
*' Johnnie" Wenger. These two, John Swank and John- 
nie Wenger, became the poles of another cleavage, Wen- 
ger representing the conservative and Swank the liberal 
side. The formal rupture took place in 1861. Swank, 
having come from another church with somewhat differ- 
ent practices, did not cling to the established customs as 
fully as Wenger wished, also desired to introduce meth- 
ods to which the church was not accustomed. The orig- 
inal Wengerites has accepted their method of baptism 
from the River Brethren. This was triune immersion, 
forward, with the candidate kneeling. Swank, however, 
was willing to baptize backward, as well as forward, and 
did not insist on three immersions. Wenger objected to 
this liberal tendency, as a practice, but allowed such who 
came from other churches, who had been baptized by 
single immersion, to be received without rebaptism, pro- 
vided they were satisfied with their baptism. This was 
a sort of compromise. Further, Swank and those who 
adhered to his views desired a church discipline, arguing 
that, if a man had a rule of faith he should write it 
down, and, if written, it might as well be printed for 
reference for others. Wenger objected to this, claiming 
that he used the New Testament for his guide. Swank 
placed considerable emphasis upon protracted meetings 
and the public prayer altar as methods for getting peo- 
ple converted. Wenger also practiced both a little later, 



though with some opposition.^*^ Methods, not fundamen- 
tals to Christian faith, seem to have driven these two 
groups farther and farther apart. Both leaders were 
greatly beloved by their followers and enjoyed their com- 
plete confidence. 

Swank's followers were augmented further by an ele- 
ment from Pennsylvania. On a trip there some time in 
1850 or soon after, he had met a certain George Shoe- 
maker, of the Dunkard Church, who believed definitely 
in a sound conversion before baptism and who was a 
little too aggressive for his brethren. He and Swank 
visited each other quite often, and their followers were 
brought together, so that there was considerable co- 
operation between them. 

In this manner the affair went on for some time, with 
Swank and Shoemaker on one side and Wenger on the 
other. Which side withdrew from the other may be a 
debatable question, but the separation occurred in 1860. 
At the conference of that year the Swank element pre- 
sented a prepared discipline for ratification, and at- 
tempted to secure its adoption. The delegates had not 
been elected on the issue of adopting a discipline, and 
there being considerable of sentiment against a written 
discipline, the result was defeat. Had the matter been 
handled a little more carefully and given more time, it 
is possible that the adoption of a discipline might have 
resulted without the separation, for both factions adopted 
disciplines in the course of a few years. 

In May, 1861, a General Conference of the Swank 
faction was called in the Crooked Creek Church, Arm- 

^ Wenyer'a later attempt to adopt the "Monmer'a bench" is related by 
Elder A. Good In a eermon pnbliched In the Brethren In Christ Department 
of the Goepel Banner, issiie of December 1, 1883. p. 184. 



strong County, Pennsylvania. The ministerial delegates 
from Ohio were Jacob Swank, John Swank, and David 
Rasor; from Pennsylvania, George Shoemaker, R. De- 
ford, A. G. Marsh, and J. Shoemaker. Besides these, 
there were quite a number of lay delegates attending. 
In this conference they very carefully investigated the 
Scriptures and drew up a constitution, which was 
adopted. Another General Conference was then called 
for 1865. During these four years came the Civil War, 
and the church was subjected to rather severe perse- 
cution, but, in spite of the difficulties, survived. The con- 
ference met in Ohio in October, 1865, as planned. Here 
the constitution was revised and amended, and then 
printed along with the fundamental articles of faith. 
Thus the Swank faction obtained the end contended for 
— a Discipline.** 

The first part of the booklet containing the constitu- 
tion is given to a short account of the origin of the Breth- 
ren in Christ. Following this is a section giving eight 
reasons for having a constitution. This is no doubt 
for the benefit of those who claim that constitutions are 
of the evil one. The constitution proper contains the 
methods of church government and the beliefs and prac- 
tices not properly included under the articles of faith. 
The test of membership was to be '*true repentance, 
true faith, and true conversion or regeneration." Bap- 
tism was administered by single immersion. Communion, 
washing of the saints' feet, and the holy kiss were ac- 
cepted, as among Mennonites. Various things not to be 
countenanced in the church were: ** Extravagant dress, 
slavery, secret societies, intoxicating liquors, shows, 

^ A copy may be found tn the library of S. Lonrenocker, New Carliole, 




theatres, and vain frolics/' In the articles of faith, the 
regular orthodox views of God, Christ, and Man were 
accepted. The similarity of the views to those among 
the Evangelical United Mennonites is evident, and it is 
not at all strange that the thought of union should come 
up when the two parties met. 

The Wenger branch also decided upon a discipline 
later, and Dr. C. Nysewander was appointed in the early 
eighties to compile and formulate a statement of *' Faith 
and Rules,*' the term ** discipline*' being avoided be- 
cause of the prejudice against it, occasioned probably, in 
part, by the previous controversy. The ** Faith and 
Rules,*' as compiled and formulated, was adopted, prac- 
tically without change and without any opposition, ex~ 
cept by a few who still persisted in their attitude against 
any printed statement of doctrine. This took place 
shortly after the death of Wenger, who died in 1879. 

A comparison and evaluation of these two disciplines by 
an unprejudiced person discloses the fact that there was 
little difference between them. All that has been said 
above concerning the Discipline of the Swank faction can 
be said of the Faith and Rules of the Wenger faction, 
with the following exception: the former makes single 
immersion the Scriptural mode of baptism, while the 
latter makes triune immersion the Scriptural mode. 

Both of the branches, headed respectively by Swank 
and Wenger, claimed the name Brethren in Christ, 
though the River Brethren were already incorporated 
under that name. Locally they were known as Wenger- 
ites and SwanMtes. Though scattered around in various 
places, both had their main body in Montgomery County, 
Ohio; the former near Little York and the latter near 
Clayton, being separated by about ten miles. There was 



little intercourse between them. This was the condition 
of affairs about 1870, and in 1883 the Swankites united 
with the Evangelical United Mennonites. While this 
amalgamation was taking place there was some sentiment 
among the Wengerites in favor of uniting, but it never 
became strong enough to overcome the opposition put up 
by a few influential leaders. 

Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

It now remains to trace the steps leading to the union 
of 1883, which resulted in the body afterward to be 
known as The Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

After the cleavage in the church founded by the elder 
John Wenger, resulting in the two factions, the Wen- 
gerites, headed by John Wenger, and the Swankites, 
headed by John Swank, which became practically com- 
plete about 1870, neither branch prospered in any large 

The new churches in Armstrong County, Pennsyl- 
vania, which adhered to the Swankites, had several stronsf 
ministers among them, including George Shoemaker, who 
wrote a volume of ** Notes on the Gospels, '^^^ and his 
brother, J. W. Shoemaker, and several younger men. 
But George Shoemaker died in 1867, and several of the 
other older men not long afterward, and it appears that 
several of the younger ministers became discouraged 
with the prospects resulting from the division and left 
the church. At any rate, at the time of the union, in 
1883, there were no ministers in the Armstrong County 
churches to care for the flock except S. McDonald, who 
made a plea for help at the conference in 1884. Pas- 

"This volame is entitled, "Notes on tlie Holy Gospels," and was pub- 
lished in Philadelphia in 1868. the year following the author's death. 



tors have been sent to them from other localities ever 

The SwanMtes had also lost their outstanding leader, 
John Swank, in 1873, by death ; and, although there were 
several able preachers among them, including George 
Waitman, Aaron Peflfly, George Wright, Samuel Lon- 
genecker, Jabez Swank, and others. Swank's mantle of 
leadership seems not to have fallen directly upon any 
one of them. They also at one time had a small period- 
ical, published by George Shoemaker, called the ''Mil- 
lennial Harbinger, ' ' but this had not been published for 
a number of years. 

There is every evidence that the desire of the Evan- 
gelical United Mennonites originally was, that all of the 
Brethren in Christ should unite, and many an article 
appeared in the ''Banner" by such men as Solomon Eby 
and Daniel Brenneman, urging union. Eby says in part : 
"I feel within me a longing desire that a union with 
the Brethren in Christ be effected. . . . Though anxious 
that a thorough acquaintance with each other be formed 
before we engage together to labor for the Lord. . . . 
Now the idea that I would suggest as a starting point 
would be this: let the Brethren in Christ, if possible, 
elect a committee to meet us at our annual conference 
to meet in Berlin, Ontario, April 6th, with a view of be- 
coming better acquainted with each other. "^^ Whether 
this committee was present or not is not definitely stated 
in the conference report, but at any rate the following 
resolution was passed : '^Resolved, That the General Con- 
ference be held one year prior to the time appointed for 
the purpose of looking after and considering the inter- 
ests of the printing establishment and also to consider the 

^ Gospel Banner, April 1, 1882, p. 64. 



advisability of the proposed union with the Brethren in 
Christ."" Another resolution urging the Brethren in 
Christ%to be present at the General Conference and to 
attend the camp meeting, was passed. This shows the 
attitude of the Canada Conference. 

Brenneman exhibited a similar feeling of welcome to- 
ward the newcomers. He writes: **We are glad to say 
that the prospects for union with the Brethren in Christ, 
and especially the Swank branch, are very favorable. 
In fact, we are virtually one now, since in point of doc- 
trine there is no material difference."** He then enu- 
merates six general principles in which there is agree- 
ment, and claims that there is not sufficient reason for 
not uniting. The six principles are : 1. Experimental re- 
ligion. 2. Water baptism. 3. Communion and feet- 
washing. 4. Anti-militarism. 5. Anti-secrecy. 6. Sepa- 
ration from the world. 

The General Conference was evidently planned to be 
held in the autumn of 1883, but upon recommendation 
of the Canada Conference, the Pennsylvania Conference 
concurring, the conference was announced for October 
4, 1882, hoping that the Brethren in Christ would send 
delegates with a view to forming a union. One delegate 
from the Swank branch, John Rasor, was present for 
the purpose of negotiating for a union. The time was 
not yet quite ripe, but the conference recommended that 
a general acquaintance should be formed between the 
two bodies, both by correspondence and visiting. 

Following this, events moved rapidly. The Brethren 
in Christ in western Pennsylvania were quite in favor 
of the movement, as well as the others. Their doctrines 

^* Gospel Banner, Maj 1, 1882, p. 71. 

" Gospel Banner, December 1, 1882, p. 181. 



were presented in the ** Gospel Banner/' and articles 
on union were very frequent. Several representatives 
attended the annual conference of Indiana and Michi 
gan, held in March, 1883. Sentiment in favor of a 
special union meeting grew, and finally a definite date 
was set — ^the first Wednesday of November — ^the place 
to be Montgomery County, Ohio. The date was later 
changed, and a special union conference announced, be- 
ginning December 27, 1883. This was held at Harris- 
burg, Ohio, with the Swank branch of the Brethren in 

The conference came off as planned, and was presided 
over by Samuel McDonald. The contemplated union was 
effected and finally ratified at ten o'clock on the evening 
of Saturday, the twenty-ninth of December. The name 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ was adopted. Tliere was 
some discussion over this, and the suggestion to leave 
*' Mennonite'* entirely out of the name considered. It 
was finally retained, however, when the Canada brethren 
explained that certain exemptions from military service 
hinged upon their having the word ** Mennonite'' 
definitely in the name. 

The names signed to the ratification are as follows : 

George Wright G. D. Waitman 

Menno Bowman Wm. Gehman 

Daniel Brenneman Peter Walter 

Moses Blackburn Peter Pike 

Isaiah Smail S. Lambert 

Samuel McDonald Solomon Eby 

Abel Strawn John Rasor 

This union brought quite an increase in membership 
for the Indiana, Michigan and Ohio Conference, n The 



conference reports for the two years, 1883 and 1884, show 

the following figures : 

1883 1884 Increase. 

Total members 452 700 248 

Churches 2 12 10 

Ministers 14 25 11 

Appointments 22 26 4 

Thus we may conclude that the union with the Breth- 
ren in Christ, together with the regular progress of the 
year, added about 250 members, 10 ministers, 11 
churches, and 4 appointments. 

But in the union of 1883 only the Swank branch of 
the Brethren in Christ united. The Wengerites made no 
effort to unite as a body, although some of their minis- 
ters attended the Union Conference and would have been 
ready to unite. The facts are, that had it not been for 
two men who had received ordination in the Wengerite 
branch and who seemed to be determined upon leader- 
ship and who feared the effect the union might have upon 
themselves as leaders, the Wenger branch might have 
united also. The Wengerites and Swankites had met 
several times to make some effort at being reunited be- 
fore the subject of union with the Evangelical United 
Mennonites arose, but always some difficulty was en- 
countered, and nothing was accomplished. One of the 
two men who stood in the way of the union of the Wen- 
gerites with the Evangelical United Mennonites was 
later disowned by the remaining body, and the other 
withdrew and united with another church. The Wen- 
gerites, however, suffered some loss as a result of the 
union, in the foUowing ways: 

Elder Andrew Good, an ardent advocate of union, con- 
tinued to labor frequently with the united body, and 



when it became evident that the Wengerites would per- 
sist in their attitude against union he united with the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church in 1885. There 
were also a number of families from the Liberty and 
Stringtown Churches in Clark County, Ohio, who united, 
as well as an occasional family from several of the other 
Wengerite churches. A great revival was experienced 
in the community of the Liberty church, among the 
families who had united with the Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ, and, as a result, the Union Chapel church was 
built. The Stringtown church was also purchased 
from the Wengerites and was continued as a regular 
preaching place for many years. Both of these congre- 
gations were amalgamated with the New Carlisle class 
about 1905, and ceased to exist as separate classes. 

The Wengerites also sustained the loss of their church 
organ as a result of the union. Their periodical, 
**The Church and Home,*' had been combined with 
the **Gk)spel Banner" in 1882. Andrew Gtood was one 
of the editors, and Dr. Christian Nysewander the 
other. Both of these men, having labored earnestly 
to the end that their branch of the Brethren in Christ, 
the Wengerites, should, like the Swankites, unite with 
the Evangelical United Mennonites, had little induce- 
ment to continue a periodical at much sacrifice, in the 
interest of a body which had the oflfer of the encourage- 
ment and support of a larger and more aggressive or- 
ganization and which seemed destined to be dominated 
by selfish leadership. Accordingly, ''The Church and 
Home" ceased to exist with the issue of November 1, 
1884, according to Conference action of the Wengerites 
in October of that year. The reason given for not con- 
tinuing is, lack of finance. Other existing conditions, 



however, led to this situation. It may be more proper 
to say that '*The Church and Home'* was allowed to 
become an unidentified part of the ''Gospel Banner/' 
since a number of its supporters adopted the ''Gospel 
Banner" as their church periodical. 

Not only did the Wengerites lose some membership in 
Ohio to the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, but Elder 
A. A. Miller, who was pastor of a class at Shambaugh, 
Iowa, later also cast his lot with the larger body, bring- 
ing the class with him. This class was not large, but was 
reported by him at the Wengerite Conference, held at 
Decatur, Indiana, October, 1883, as being "filled with 
the Holy Ghosf 

Despite all opposition to union on the part of a few 
leaders, a reasonably good feeling has continued to exist 
between the Mennonite Brethren in Christ and the Wen- 
gerites. There has been considerable of co-operation in 
localities where they have existed together, and in March, 
1920, a petition was presented to the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference, in annual session at Gettysburg, Ohio, by 
the Antioch church of the Wengerites, located near De- 
catur, Indiana, to be received into the Mennonite Breth- 
ren in Christ Church. A committee was appointed to 
confer with the body to which they belonged, with the 
understanding that if everjrthing was satisfactory, they 
should be received by the Presiding Elder of the Indiana 
District. Accordingly, this class, consisting of about 
thirty members, was received into the church in June, 

The Wengerite branch of The Brethren in Christ con- 
tinues to exist, though small and local, with some very 
noticeable signs of spiritual life, and have recently 
adopted the name, Pentecostal Brethren in Christ. 



The union of 1883 was the last union. Since then 
there have been no other bodies added. The statistics 
for the whole church were in 1883 : ministers, 58 ; mem- 
bers, 2,076 ; churches, 37 ; appointments, 76. These fig- 
ures represent the statistical summary with which the 
body since known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
began its work. Latest statistics are given at the close 
of the volume, in Chapter XVIII. 

To summarize briefly, we have seen how two evangel- 
ical sects, laying emphasis on experimental religion with 
definite assurance of pardon, separated from the Old 
Mennonite Church in Canada. They were known as the 
Reformed Mennonites and the New Mennonites, the for- 
mer spreading to the United States. These united and 
produced the United Mennonites, who again united with 
the Evangelical Mennonites from Pennsylvania who had 
arisen from similar causes, forming the Evangelical 
United Mennonites. After a short time the Brethren 
in Christ expressed a desire for union, and the Mennon- 
ite Brethren in Christ was formed by the union of the 
Evangelical United Mennonites and the Swank branch 
of the Brethren in Christ. That, in short, is the history 
of the origin of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

Subsequent Developments. 

With the union of 1883, the Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ Church was started on its real career. Its terri- 
torial growth is indicated by the conferences which 
sprang from the original three. The Michigan Confer- 
ence is the product of the Ontario and Indiana Con- 
ferences jointly, with the larger contribution to the 
credit of Ontario. The Nebraska Conference is the re- 



suit, almost exclusively, of the activity of the Indiana 
y and Ohio Conference. The Pacific Conference sprang 
directly from the Nebraska Conference, hence indirectly 
from the Indiana and Ohio Conference. The Canadian 
North West Conference is the outgrowth of the Ontario 
Conference. After its founding, the Ontario Confer- 
ence, formerly called the Canadian Conference, was 
obliged to share its name with the newcomer, the elder 
taking to itself the name Ontario Conference. The In- 
diana and Ohio Conference, before the union in 1883, 
which practically added the Ohio District, was called the 
Indiana and Michigan Conference. Later the name 
Michigan was dropped in favor of Ohio. 

The story of an evangelism which could not be limited 
to the rural districts nor by the ocean shores, but which 
reached into some of the dark places of the lai^er cities 
and to the heathen peoples of the world, is told in the 
chapter on ** Missions.'* 

The awakening to the power of the silent, printed page, 
and the consequent effort to utilize these forces in the 
field of literature is recounted in the chapter on *' Pub- 
lishing Interests.'* 

The slow but gradual recognition of the need of a 
trained intellect in the field of Christian service as well 
as in all the legitimate occupations and professions, with 
the meager efforts made to meet this need, is related in 
the chapter on '-Education." 

The struggle toward a position in matters of doctrine 
and practice, which will enable the church to serve her 
day and generation, is traced in the chapter on ''Doc- 
trinal and Practical Developments." 



Record op Presiding Elders. 

The following is a list of the Presiding Elders who 
have served the various conferences, with their respective 
dates, under whose leadership the work of the Lord, rep- 
resented by the several Conferences, has been carried on : 

Pennsylvama, — ^William Oehman, 1880-1891; W. B. 
Musselman, 1891-1898; C. H. Brunner, 1898-1902, 
1905-1907; H. B. Musselman, 1901-1906, 1908-1920; 
W. G. Gehman, 1905-1920. The Conference has been 
divided into two districts most of the time since 1902. 

Ontario, — Solomon Eby, 1875-1886, from the first con- 
ference of the United Mennonites to the third M. B. C. 
Conference. Menno Bowman, 1886-1891. From 1891 
to 1907 there were two districts and two elders, as fol- 
lows: 1891-1895, M. Bowman (West District), Solomon 
Eby (East); 1895-1900, M. Bowman (South), Peter 
Cober (North); 1900-1901, P. Cober (South), Henry 
Goudie (North); 1901-1903, H. Goudie (North), S. 
Eby (South); 1903-1905, H. Goudie (North), P. Co- 
ber (South) ; 1905-1907, P. Cober (West), Samuel Gou- 
die (East) ; 1907-1908, one Elder, S. Goudie; 1908-1911, 
S. Goudie (East), E. Sievenpiper (West); 1911-1915, 
S. Goudie (West), S. Cressman (East) ; 1917-1918, one 
Elder, S. Goudie; 1918-1919, C. N. Good (West), S. 
Goudie (East); 1919-19—, S. Cressman (West), S. 
Goudie (East). 

Indiana and Ohio, — ^Daniel Brenneman, 1876-1877, 
1879-1880, 1881-1882, 1883-1884 (South District), 
1885-1886, 1890-1892, 1895-1896, 1896-1897 (East), 
1897-1901; Samuel Sherk, 1877-1879, 1880-1881, 1883- 
1884 (North District), 1884-1885, 1886-1887; D. U. 

7 97 


Lambert, 1882-1883 ; Andrew Good, 1887-1890 ; S. Lam- 
bert, 1892-1894; C. K. Curtis, 1894-1895, 1896-1897 
(West District). Prom 1901 the conference was divided 
into two districts, the Indiana District and the Ohio 
District, with two Presiding Elders, except from 1908- 
1909, when A. B. Yoder served both districts. 1901-1903, 
A. B. Yoder (Indiana), W. J. HufiEman (Ohio) ; 1903- 
1904, A. B. Yoder (Indiana), J. E. Hall (Ohio) ; 1904- 
1906, A. B. Yoder (Indiana), S. Lambert (Ohio) 
1906-1907, C. K. Curtis (Indiana), C. I. Scott (Ohio) 
1907-1908, S. Lambert (Indiana), C. I. Scott (Ohio) 
1909-1910, A. B. Yoder (Indiana), H. F. Beck (Ohio) 
1910-1912, A. B. Yoder (Indiana), S. Lambert (Ohio) 
1912-1917, C. K. Curtis (Indiana), C. I. HuflEman 
(Ohio) ; 1917-1921, A. B. Yoder (Indiana), W. H. Moore 

Ministerial Roll. 

The ministerial roll, as shown by the latest Conference 
Reports of the three original Conferences is as follows : 


Ordained: H. B. Musselman, W. G. Gehman, W. B. 
Musselman, C. H. Brunner, W. S. Hottel, E. N. Cassel, 
F. M. Hottel, J. G. Shireman, B. Bryan Musselman, 
E. T. Shick, R. L. Woodring, J. C. Roth, H. K. Kratz, 
J. P. Barrall, 0. S. Hillegass, G. F. Yost, R. Bergstresser, 
E. E. Kublic, V. H. Reinhart, W. W. Zimmerman, R. W. 
Dickert, J. B. Layne, M; P. Zook, C. F. Snyder, and 
H. W. Feldges. 

Probationers: A. G. Woodring, W. F. HefPner and 
N. H. Wolf. 




Ordained and Probationers: S. Gtoudie, S. Cressman, 
C. N. Good, J. N. Kitching, J. A. Sider, P. Cober, E. Sie- 
venpiper, J. Bolwell, W. Brown, A. G. Warder, F. J. 
Lehman, H. ft. Pry, M. Bricker, I. Brubacker, N. H. 
Sehwalm, R. Eltherington, D. J. Storms, E. Moyer, T. F. 
Barker, C. I. Sinden, E. Schlimn, A. T. Gk)oding, C. Ray- 
mer, M. McGuire, H. S. Hallman, J. B. Detwiler, S. H. 
Fretz, S. S. Shantz, W. Yates, A. Geiger, M. Weber, 
L. P. Raymer, P. Geiger, J. E. Fidler, W. 0. Mendell, 
I. H. Erb, C. T. Homuth, A. W. Banfield, W. Shantz. 

Indiana and Ohio. 

Ordained: A. B. Yoder, W. H. Moore, S. Lambert, 
C. K. Curtis, J. A. Huffman, S. Longenecker, S. Bartlett, 
C. I. Huffman, E. D. Mast, L. J. Lehman, A. Taylor, 
H. M. Metzger, D. Hygema, J. I. Moore, J. J. Hostetler, 
I. P. Moore, L. Kreider, C. T. Moore, 0. L. Flesher, 
W. W. Culp. A. Taylor, L. Welty, D. H. Huffman. 

Probationers: H. E. Miller, C. Spry, J. A. Singer, 
W. J. Huffman, B. D. Lewis, R. P. Ditmer, R. McBrier, 
C. A. Wright. 



Elder William Gehman. 

(Biographical Sketch.) 

Elder William Gehman was born January 22, 1827, 
and died April 12, 1918; aged 91 years, 2 months and 
20 days. 

''Father" William Gehman, as he was called for many 
years because of his greatly advanced age, was bom in 
Hereford Township, Berks County, Pa. He spent his 
early life on his father's farm, later learned the trade of 
a miller. Afterward he was married to Anna Musselman, 
who died in 1904, five sons and four daughters having 
been born unto them, all of whom survive him except 
one son and one daughter. 

When quite young, he was voted into the ministry by 
the congregation of the General Conference Mennonites 
at Zionsville, Pa., of which he was a member, and was 
ordained to the ministry in 1849. Being forbidden to 
hold prayer meetings, he felt that he could not worship 
any longer with his former church, so he, with a numSer 
of others, organized a church at Zionsville in 1857. 

At first they only had services in their homes, but in 
the summer of 1859 they built a substantial brick church 
about a mile east of the old church. This was known for 
many years as Upper Milford Church, but now known 
as Zionsville M. B. in C. Church. This was the first 
and original congregation of the Mennonite Brethren 
in Christ of Pennsylvania. 

He continued to be the leading spirit among the minis- 





ters and the various congregations until 1879, when he 
was elected the first Presiding Elder of the Pennsylvania 
Conference. This office he held for thirteen successive 
years till 1892, when he retired from the active service. 

His youngest son, W. G. Gehman, has been a Presid- 
ing Elder in the Pennsylvania Conference since 1905, 
also President of the Gospel Herald Society, a men's 
home missionary society. Another son, Allen M., has 
been Conference Treasurer since 1902, while another son, 
Henry M., is a Quarterly Conference licensed minister. 

Although retired for over twenty-seven years. Father 
Gehman never lost interest in the work, and was present 
at every Annual Conference up to the last one before 
his death, held at Allentown, Pa., in October, 1917. He 
attended a total of 106 semi-annual, special, annual and 
general conferences without missing one session. At 
twenty-nine of these he served as chairman. 

He took an increasing delight in his last years 
in seeing the progress of the work and beholding 
the many young people saved and separated from this 
present evil world, and brought into the active and full 
service of their blessed Master. He was held in high es- 
teem by his younger brethren in the ministry for whom 
he also always showed much respect. 

He was also a prominent and ever-welcome at- 
tendant at the church where he lived and of which 
he was a life-long member. He was noted for be- 
ing punctual in the Sunday School, and kept his place 
in his class up to the last Sunday before his death. He 
could not be persuaded to fill an appointment that would 
take him away from the Quarterly Conference on the 
charge. He always welcomed his Presiding Elders, and 
took an active part in all of the services. His mind was 



keen and brilliant up to the last. Pe frequently preached 
for one and one-half hours, even of late years, showing 
unusual fervor, strength and zeal. The Sunday before 
his death he gave an address at his home church, and 
although his age showed such ripeness, he was ever young 
in spirit, which is so unlike the many of his class. He 
had planned to meet with the brethren at the Ministerial 
Convention, held at Emaus, Pa., during the week of his 
demise, but the Lord seemingly willed it otherwise. He 
contracted a cold li^ich soon developed into pneumonia, 
of which he died after an illness of only three days. 

He fell asleep in Jesus without a struggle, giving 
much assurance of the glorious hope to come (be- 
ing conscious up to the last), and knowing that he had 
** fought the good fight of faith." The light of this life 
which may keep flaming against many winds, at last dies 
out for want of oil. He will still be kept in remembrance 
as a Father in the church, who was much esteemed in 
the Lord. 




The Michigan Conference. 

After tracing the origin of the Mennonite Brethren 
in Christ Church in the preceding chapters, it remains 
to account for the most important subsequent develop- 
ments. There were, at the close of the last chapter, three 
conferences : Ontario, Indiana and Ohio, and Pennsylva- 
nia. It remains, therefore, to trace the origin of the 
other four: Michigan, Nebraska, Pacific and Alberta, 
and then summarize the growth of all up to the present 
time. Before the summary, a chapter will be, devoted 
to each of the following subjects : Doctrinal and Prac- 
tical Developments, Publishing Interests, Foreign Mis- 
sions, City Missions, Education and Biographical 

The Michigan Conference was well started before the 
last union in 1883. Peter Cober's early labors in Michi- 
gan have already been recounted in Chapter VI. He 
was concerned mainly with the southern part of the 
state, and in 1882 was sent to Indiana by the confer- 
ence. Other men working in Michigan in the early days 
were Samuel Sherk, D. U. Lambert, J. Schlichter and a 
few others. By 1883 there were classes organized in 
Kent, Emmett, Van Buren, Lapeer, Sanilac and Huron 
countieSi In 1883 B. Kreutziger was sent over by the 
Canada Conference. He went to Brown City. At the 
time, however, there was no church or parsonage there, 
and it being impossible for them to rent a place to live, 
they built a barn in which they lived until the house was 



completed. The first church in Michigan was built in 
the following year (1884) at Brown City. There were 
about fifteen members in all on the Brown City and 
Greenwood fields. The Brown City class had been or- 
ganized in May, 1881, by D. Brenneman. Meetings were 
also held at the Deanville school house, where consider- 
able success was met. From various places, invitations 
came to hold tabernacle meetings. These were generally 
accepted. A large tent was erected and meetings held 
every night, often for weeks at a time. Thus the classes 
at Lamotte, Elmer, and Wheatland were started. 

Wesley Schlichter was the successor to Elder B. Kreut- 
ziger, and built the first Greenwood Church about 1884. 
Greenwood was then a part of the Brown City Circuit. 
B. Kreutziger continued ever since to labor in the ter- 
ritory of the Michigan Conference. 

Following the earliest pioneers of the conference came 
two men, both from Ontario, both ordained the same 
year (1891) by the Canadian Conference. They were 
Elders B. Anthony and 0. B. Snyder. These men, each 
after serving a short pastorate in Ontario, came to Mich- 
igan in the vigor of their manhood (0. B. Snyder com- 
ing in 1890 and E. Anthony in 1891), both giving strong 
and aggressive leadership to the conference. Elder 
Anthony served as Presiding Elder, covering a period 
of ten years. 0. B. Snyder served as Presiding Elder 
for fourteen and a half years, almost continuously. To 
these strong and self-sacrificing leaders much of the 
credit of the progress of the Michigan Conference is due, 
for they accepted the leadership from the hands of the 
pioneers, and succeeded in making the conference self- 
supporting and its presence and influence felt within 
and beyond the state. 



Scarcely less than the contributions made to the 
Michigan Conference by E. Anthony or 0. B. Snyder 
was that of Elder William Graybiel. He, too, was a 
Canadian by birth, and came to Michigan in 1891. He 
was the pioneer evangelist. During the summer of 1891 
he held three tabernacle meetings: at Greenwood, Yale 
and Lynn. As a result of one of these meetings the 
Lynn class was organized and Greenwood strengthened. 
He also labored at Fremont, where he built a church. 
Being an excellent singer, his services were almost in- 
dispensable at the camp meetings and other gatherings. 
Either by preaching, singing or by the use of his saw 
and hammer, very little took place in the territory of 
the Michigan Conference, in the earlier days, without 
his presence and contribution. He returned to Canada, 
where he spent several years, but later returned to Mich- 
igan. He also served as Pj:esiding Elder on the West 
District for two years, 1905-1907. 

Elder William Schroeder also devoted considerable 
time to evangelistic work toward the close of the nine- 
ties, as a result of which the Mizpeh and Wheatland 
Churches were organized. 

At the General Conference in 1896, held at Coopers- 
burg, Pa., Michigan, a part of which had previously 
been within the territory of the Ontario Conference 
and a part within the territory of the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference, was recognized as a Mission Conference. 
That meant that Michigan would be a separate conference 
in the future, but would receive support from the other 
conferences. A special Home Mission Fund was kept in 
each conference, and this was used to assist the places 
that were small and unable to fully support themselves. 
Canada usually had a strong Home Mission Fund, and 




was often able to help needy fields. In this case, Canada 
gave thirty percent of her Fund to the Michigan Con- 
ference the first two years (1897-1898), twenty-five per- 
cent the third year, and twenty percent the fourth. Thus 
the Michigan work was cared for. At the next General 
Conference, in 1900, Michigan was represented by three 
men, 0. B. Snyd^, E. Anthony and J. C. Hallman, the 
two former being ministers, the latter a layman. At 
this General Conference Michigan was made an inde- 
pendent conference. There were by that time six cir- 
cuits and five missions. Besides this, a few city missions 
had been opened. During the following four years Can- 
ada still helped support the Michigan work. 

The Michigan Conference had but little Mennonite 
stock with which to build up its local churches. With 
the exception of a few families who came over from 
Canada at various times, the leaders had to work with 
those of other than Mennonite ancestry, thus becoming, 
in a very real sense, a missionary conference. Although 
it is true of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ movement, 
as a whole, that it was and is a missionary movement, 
it is particularly true of the Michigan Conference, when 
compared with the three older conferences, as is evi- 
denced by the number of non-Mennonite names now 
upon the Church records. 

That the eastern and northern parts of the state of 
Michigan should have become so well dotted with Men- 
nonite Brethren in Christ Churches in so short a time, 
is a splendid testimony to the aggressiveness of this 
small and comparatively youthful conference. This can- 
not be accounted for without arriving at a conclusion, 
that those who came among the people of Michigan as 
representatives of the Mennonite faith, both ministry 



and laity, must have had the favor of Qod upon them, 
and thus were able to exert a wonderful influence upon 
the people. 

From the time that Michigan became even a Mission- 
ary Conference, city missions were conducted: first in 
Grand Bapids, then in cities like St. Clair, Bad Axe, 
Pontiac, Port Huron, and other cities, and later in De- 
troit, where two missions were organized. Some of these 
missions have been discontinued, and some have become 
regularly organized churches, and constitute a substan- 
tial part of the conferenoe. Several city missions are 
still conducted in the larger cities, such as Detroit, Bat- 
tle Creek and Kalamazoo, the latter having been opened 
in 1920. As in all the conferences, women missionaries 
were the most important factors in carrying on city mis- 
sion work. The city mission work has been at all times 
under the direction of the Presiding Elders. 

Neither has the call from beyond the seas gone un- 
heeded by this conference. In 1901 its first Presiding 
Elder, E. Anthony, was sent to Africa, where he aided 
in organizing the work in Nigeria. His health did not 
permit him to remain long — a little less than two years — 
but soon after his return. Miss Florence Overholt (Mrs. 
Lang) was sent out in 1906, and a year later Ira Sherk 
was sent. Interest, however, did not confine itself to 
Africa, but in 1909 Misses Dorinda and Anna Bowman 
were sent to assist in the work among the Armenians 
in Asiatic Turkey. 

It is to be noted that the Michigan Conference is the 
child of the Ontario Conference (Canada Conference as 
it was then called), for it not only furnished the pio- 
neer and later leaders, but also gave some families to 
constitute a nucleus of laity. The parent conference 



also gave of its funds to support the young missionary 
conference, until it was capable of self-support. What- 
ever there is, or shall be, of the Michigan Conference, 
must be placed largely to the credit of the missionary 
and sacrificing spirit of the Ontario Conference. 

PBEsroiNG Elder Record. 

The following is a list of the Presiding Elders who 
have served the Michigan Conference, with dates: 

E. Anthony was elected in 1895 by the Ontario Con- 
ference, over the Michigan District, and continued after 
Michigan was made a Missionary Conference, serving 
until 1900, when 0. B. Snyder was elected. 

In 1904 the conference was divided into East and 
West Districts. 0. B. Snyder was stationed on the East 
District; Elder E. Anthony on the West District. 

In 1905 W. Graybiel and E. Anthony were elected. 
W. Graybiel was placed on the West District, and E. 
Anthony on the East. 

In 1907 the conference went back to one district and 
one Presiding Elder, E. Anthony being elected. 

In 1909 0. B. Snyder was elected Presiding Elder. 

In 1914 the conference was again divided into two 
districts: North and South. R. M. Dodd was placed 
over the North District, and 0. B. Snyder over the South 

In 1917 B. Bowman was elected over the North Dis- 
trict ; 0. B. Snyder over the South District. 

In 1918 R. M. Dodd was elected over the South Dis- 
trict; B. Bowman over the North District. 

In 1920 B. A. Sherk was elected over the North Dis- 
trict ; R. M. Dodd over the South District. 



Ministerial Boll. 

The ministerial roll of the Conference, as found in its 
latest proceedings is as f oUows : 

Ordained: B. Kreutziger, 0. B. Snyder, D. Schultz, 
B. A. Sherk, R. M. Dodd, J. S. Wood, J. A. Avery, B. 
Douglas, B. Bowman, S. H. Kreutziger, F. A. Jones, 
W. 0. Cline, B. Krack, R. G. Morgan, R. W. Berber, 
R. D. Dean, J. A. Bradley, A. G. Herman, N. Kiteley, 
W. Schroeder, W. Graybiel, M. D. Bechtel, H. Hill. 

Probationers: N. J. Zimmerla, G. C. Guilliat. G. W. 



The Nebraska Conference. 

Until the year of the organization of the Nebraska 
Conference (1896), there were but two conferences in 
the United States : Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio, and 
one in Canada. The Pennsylvania Conference was con- 
fined to Eastern Pennsylvania, the Canadian to Ontario 
and northern Michigan, while the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference had churches in Indiana, Ohio, western Penn- 
sylvania and southern Michigan.^ 

The '*call of the west'' was heard by members of the 
M. B. C. Church, as well as by others. With its broad, 
rolling prairies and fertile lands, it offered homes to 
such who were less likely to obtain homes in the eastern 
or central states. Even to Ontario the western portion 
of the United States made its appeal. 

Some time before 1880 a small colony of members of 
the M. B. C. Church from Ontario migrated to Marion 
County, Kansas, in the vicinity of Peabody. Among 
them were : B. D. Snyder, Benjamin Snyder, H. E. Wis- 
mer, Samuel Burkholder, Samuel Haug and others, with 
their families. There were also in this colony the fami- 
lies of Joseph Dohner and Jacob Dohner, formerly from 
Pennsylvania. These people were like a small flock of 
sheep without a shepherd, and exposed to the peculiar 
spiritual dangers which are characteristic of new coun- 

* Michigan was nwde a Minion Conference and The Nebradca Confer- 
ence authorised at the same General Conference in 18M. 



The Canadian Conference did not forget this little 
colony in Kansas. They sent their Presiding Elder, 
Solomon Eby, to visit them in the latter part of the win- 
ter of 1880-1881 (February, March). The Canadian 
Conference of June, 1880, authorized correspondence 
with the Indiana and Ohio and Pennsylvania Confer- 
ences, with a view of securing a minister for the Kansas 

Although there was no action taken during the year 
by the conferences in the United States, some evan- 
gelistic visits were made to the Kansas brethren ; also to 
several other western communities. In November, 1880, 
Elder Daniel Brenneman started upon a western tour. 
He first visited a community of brethren in Henry 
County, Iowa, near Sweedsburgh. A series of meetings 
was held in the Crawford school house, at the close of 
which a class of fourteen was organized, with C. Bechler 
as minister and S. Hage as deacon. From here he went 
to Marion County, Kansas, to visit the community of 
brethren near Peabody. During the month of December 
a revival meeting was conducted in the Dohner school 
house, which proved successful. As yet there was no 
organization, and on December 19, 1880, a class of seven- 
teen members was organized.* 

This evangelistic tour of Daniel Brenneman, resulting 
in the organization of two classes, was followed soon by 
a similar one by John Krupp, who visited both of the 
classes organized. A series of meetings was held in each 
place, which proved to be helpful to the newly-organized 
churches. ICrupp proceeded further, into MoPherson 
County, Kansas, where several meetings were held and 

^MinntM of Canadian Conferenee, Gospel Banner, July I, 1880, p. 101. 
* Editorial Correepondenee, Goepel Banner, Jannarj 1, 1881, p. 4. 



a union Sabbath School organized. This was in the win- 
ter of 1880-1881 (December-February). 

The result of this tour was that Elder ICrupp, who had 
accepted no pastorate at the fall conference held in 
Indiana, decided to move west, which he did in May, 
1881, settling in Henry County, Iowa, becoming the 
pastor of the church which worshiped in the Crawford 
school house. 

But the Canadian community near Peabody was still 
shepherdless, and they made urgent appeals for help. 
The Canadian Conference, at its annual session in June, 
1881, requested Elder Noah Detwiler to give three 
months of his time, during the summer of 1881, to the 
work in Kansas. This request was carried out, except 
that he remained with them two months, from August 
to October. The stay was all too short for the Kansas 
church, and again they were without a shepherd. 

During the month of March, 1882, John Krupp, who 
was then located in Iowa, held a meeting at Dohner's 
school house, near Peabody, Kansas, resulting in an ad- 
dition of seven members to the class. He also proceeded 
to McPherson County, where he organized a class — ^the 
third class in the west — of ten members, near McPher- 
son Center.* 

During the months of July and August, 1881, Elder 
Samuel Sherk, then Presiding Elder of the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference, made a visit to these few churches 
scattered in the west, two of which were still without 
regular pastors. 

It was not until 1883 that the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference succeeded in sending a regular pastor to the 

^ CorrMpondence, Gospel Banner, April 16, 1882, p. 80. 



'^ Kansas Mission/' as it was called, when Elder Daniel 
Kearschling, of Hollidaysburg, Pa., who had united with 
the conference that year, was sent.*^ 

In 1883, John Krupp moved to Arkansas, together 
with several families from Henry County, Iowa, and 
established a work near Stuttgart. Jacob Dohner, of 
Peabody, Kansas, went to Oklahoma later and organized 
a class at Waterloo, Oklahoma. 

These may be said to be the beginnings of the work 
in the Nebraska Conference. Out from these small cen- 
ters grew other groups, and an occasional class was or- 
ganized. But nothing of a very aggressive nature, from 
the conference standpoint, was done for a period of al- 
most ten years. The union with the Brethren in Christ 
in 1883 had added one church, the one at Shambaugh, 
Iowa, and one minister, their pastor. Elder A. A. Miller. 
S. Lambert and George Lambert went to Marion County, 
Kansas, in 1884, where they remained for a short time, 
giving some assistance to the class near Peabody, but 
returned to the Indiana and Ohio Conference within a 
couple of years. D. U. Lambert also labored for a time 
with the class at Peabody. 

Elder Andrew Good, who was styled in the west the 
''heavenly preacher," because of his sweet singing and 
eloquent preaching, made several visits among the 
churches, assisting in revival meetings. The Presiding 
Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Conference also made 
trips to the scattered western churches. All these things 
together assisted in keeping up the interest in the 


churches already organized, and the pastors themselves 
made missionary tours into outlying districts, preaching 

'^ Conference Minutes, Gospel Banner, April 1, 1883, p. 62. 

« 113 


in school houses and villages, preparing the way for more 
systematic and permanent work when the time should 

It was in the spring of 1893 that Homer J. Pontius 
was sent by the Indiana and Ohio Conference to Frontier 
County, Nebraska, where he opened appointments at 
Holbrook, Lathrop school house. Hunt school house, 
Highland school house. Rich school house and Earl 
school house. He also became the pastor of a small class 
at the Metcilf school house in Smith County, Kansas, 
about eight miles south of Bloomington, Franklin 
County, Nebraska. 

Joseph A. Persell of Smith County, Elansas, was re- 
ceived as probationer that year, and was assigned as 
helper. Elder Pontius held then as his charge, as he 
later reminiscently said: ''All territory lying west of 
Iowa and north of Oklahoma.'* 

In the spring of 1894, in response to a plea made by 
A. A. Miller, conference sent J. J. Hostetler as pastor 
of the Shambaugh and New Market, Iowa, Churches, 
releasing Elder A. A. Miller. 

In the autumn of 1893 Jacob Hygema was sent by the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference to assist in the evangelistic 
work of the west. He first went to Shambaugh, Iowa; 
then to western Nebraska, and then to Stuttgart, Ark. 

The tabernacle meeting held in Cunning's Grove, near 
the Hunt school house in western Nebraska, was des- 
tined to have the greatest effect upon the history of the 
work. In this meeting several were converted who be- 
came leaders in the church. They were J. W. Morgan, 
M. J. Carmichael and L. D. Whitcomb. N. W. Rich also 
attended this meeting, and it was here that he became 
deeply convicted of his sin. He was converted about 



three months later. Besides the above named many 
others were converted. The meeting was held by H. J. 
Pontius and Jacob Hygema. Elder A. A. Miller had 
preached in this locality : he had sown the seed, and the 
brethren who followed reaped the harvest. 

It was in the year 1894 that 0. B. Henderson, who 
had been converted in the year 1892, received his call 
to preach ; and going to Harper, Kansas, where several 
had previously preached, but where no organization 
had been effected, organized a class. Although the or- 
ganization of all the churches cannot be«related, it was 
in this manner that the work spread and came gradually 
to be more widely organized. Classes were organized 
at Moline, Franklin County, Nebraska, and Reamsville, 
Smith County, Kansas, in 1896, by H. J. Pontius. 

The organization of classes in the western states in- 
creased the territory of the Indiana and Ohio Confer- 
ence very materially; and it soon became evident that 
someone was needed to assume the oversight of the work 
so newly organized, as the Presiding Elder of the confer- 
ence could not possibly cover so large a territory and give 
efl&cient leadership. Accordingly, at the Annual Con- 
ference held in Potsdam, Ohio, in 1896, two Presiding 
Elders were elected : Daniel Brenneman for the territory 
of the Indiana and Ohio Conference east of the Missis- 
sippi River, and C. K. Curtis for the territory west of 
the Mississippi. 

The newly elected Presiding Elder for the western 
territory was authorized to proceed with the organiza- 
tion of a conference west of the IVIississippi ; but as all 
necessary arrangements had been made for the work for 
the ensuing year, nothing was done tpward the organiza- 
tion of a conference ; so the work was continued for that 



year under the jurisdiction of the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference. The Presiding Elder gave himself to the 
oversight of the work and assisted in camp and taber- 
nacle meetings in the various states where classes had 
been formed. A number were converted, and not a few 
were sanctified during the year. It was at a tabernacle 
meeting near Peabody, Kansas, where Mina Myers (later 
Mrs. Arthur Creasey), a public school teacher, conse- 
crated herself to the Lord, and went forth to twenty 
years of faithful service before she was called home. In 
the fall of that year (1896) the General Conference 
which convened in Pennsylvania, made the district west 
of the Mississippi River a new conference, christening 
it the ''Iowa and Nebraska Conference." It was later 
changed to the ''Nebraska Conference.'* 

The first Annual Conference was held at New Market, 
Iowa, in March, 1897, with C. K. Curtis as chairman. 
There were five ordained ministers within the territory 
of the conference to begin with, and several probationers. 
Five probationers were added to the list at this confer- 
ence, and thus the small ship of conference set sail. 

The Nebraska Conference was not forgotten by its 
Mother Conference, after being denominated a distinct 
conference by itself. The Indiana and Ohio Conference 
not only supplied a Presiding Elder for it, for a period 
of three years longer, in the person of Elder C. K. Cur- 
tis, but either loaned or>gave to it an occasional minister. 
Elder A. B. Yoder, having gone to Nebraska in 1896, 
remained in the service of the Nebraska Conference until 
the spring of 1898. 

The labors, hardships and sacrifices of these preachers 
of the western plains will never be fully known nor ap- 
preciated. The work has grown, reaching out also into 



Colorado. Not content with the evangelization of plain 
and village, the conference has opened, financed, manned 
and maintained a number of missions in the larger cities, 
including Omaha, South Omaha, Topeka, Kansas City 
and Council Bluflfs. It has also sent two missionaries to 
Africa: May Compton and Maud Cretors. Miss Laura 
Steckley, who has been in India, is now a member of 
that conference, and will represent them in India. Miss 
Stella Lantz has been accepted for the work in Africa, 
to sail in the autumn of 1920. How the Nebraska Con- 
ference overran its boundaries and gave rise to a new 
and younger conference is recounted in the chapter en- 
titled The Pacific Conference. 

Presiding Elder Record. 

Since its organization the Nebraska Conference has 
been served by eight Presiding Elders. C. K. Curtis 
served three years (1896-1899) ; Jacob Hygema one year 
(1899-1900) ; H. J. Pontius one year (1900-1901) ; 0. B. 
Henderson three and a half years (1901-1904) ; A. A. 
Miller one year (1904-1905) ; J. W. Morgan fow years 
(1904-1908) ; N. W. Rich seven years (1908-1915) ; C. I. 
Scott since 1915. J. W. Morgan and A. A. Miller served 
one year contemporaneously (1904-1905), the confer- 
ence having been divided into two districts. The two- 
district plan was continued only for the period of one 

Ministerial Roll. 

The ministerial roll as disclosed by the latest Confer- 
ence Report is as follows : 

Ordained: C. I. Scott, J. Hygema, N. W. Rich, E. L. 
Hodson, J. A. Beery, Wm. Lambert, T. J. Overholt, T. D. 



Grover, J. A. Persell, C. H. Herrimany A. Campbell, 
A. P. Utter, W. M. Jett, T. D. Walker, J. K Myers, Wm, 
Anderson, E. D. Young, B. Starkey, J. H. Hess. 

Probationers: Wm. Day, F. R. Rothenberger, R. R. 
Marsh, J. W. Wheaton. 



The Pacific Conference. 

In an issue of the Gospel Banner of the month of 
June, 1899, there appeared an article in which a request 
was made for a minister of the Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ Church to come to Yakima (then called North 
Yakima), Washington, for the purpose of starting a 

This call was answered by Elder M. J. Carmichael, 
of the Nebraska Conference, who went west the follow- 
ing September and started a mission in the city of Ya- 
kima in the November following. God blessed the work 
so that a class was organized in January of the next 
year (1900). 

The church at Yakima became a center from which to 
work. A number of revival meetings were held in the 
neighboring towns and communities, where many be- 
came interested in the plain Gospel preached in sim- 
plicity and power, and not a few sought the Lord, both 
for pardon and for purity. 

Not long after, Elder Carmichael went to Puget 
Sound and held a meeting at Mountain View, Washing- 
ton, where a Mennonite family from Oklahoma had set- 
tled. The effort here was not so successful at first. A 
second meeting followed, he being assisted this time by 
Elder Joseph Persell, who had just previously come from 
the Nebraska Conference. This meeting was far-reach- 
ing and effective, bringing many to the decision of ac- 



ceptmg Christ. Here a small class was organized, which 
grew rapidly for a few years. 

About two years later, Elder H. J. Pontius came west. 
Elder Jacob Hygema and several other workers soon 
followed. Revivals were continued along the coast, and 
almost everywhere people turned to the Lord. 

The call of the Lord to His ministry was heard by some 
of the young converts from Yakima, Mountain View, 
Pleasant Valley and other points. The call was heeded, 
and a number entered the ministry. When the Pacific 
Conference was made a mission conference in 1906, by 
the Nebraska Conference, there were three ordained min- 
isters, one approved ministering sister, twelve proba- 
tioners and three applicants for the ministry, who be- 
came members of the conference. It was made an inde- 
pendent conference by the General Conference of 1908. 

The first session of the Pacific Conference was held 
on August 2, 1906, at Mountain View, Wash., with Elder 
M. J. Carmichael as chairman. There were present at 
this conference fifteen ministers and workers, three dele- 
gates and three applicants for the ministry. While a 
lack of experience was evidenced in this conference, 
courage, hope and zeal were manifested. Charity ruled, 
and God blessed. Work had been opened up at Yakima, 
Mountain View, Pleasant Valley, and Bellingham — ^all in 
Washington. The preaching had awakened such interest 
in the distinctive doctrines of the Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ Church, that delegates had been elected to this 
conference from six places in Washington and one point 
in Oregon. Only three, however, of the seven delegates 
elected were present. 

Before this conference convened, a rescue mission had 
been started in Bellingham, Wash., which was in charge 



of Mrs. C. C. Green. This mission continued for several 
years, successfully aiding the fallen to a new life. 

The workers who had been raised up for service in 
the territory later to become the Pacific Conference 
were, in the main, young and inexperienced, so that it 
was deemed necessary that something by the way of a defi- 
nite and systematic Bible instruction should be started. 
Accordingly, a Bible School was opened by Elder Car- 
michael in the winter of 1903, continuing for several 
months. The interest was such as to justify a second 
effort the following winter under the leadership of El- 
der Jacob Hygema, of the Nebraska Conference. The 
Lord blessed abundantly as the Bible students were 
led into the deeper things of His Word. The class con- 
sisted of seventeen students, several of whom are in the 
active work to-day. The course was continued the next 
winter. Another school of only a short term was con- 
ducted at Mountain View, Washington, some years later 
by Elder Hygema. 

In the winter of 1912-1913, Elder Jacob Hygema con- 
ducted a Bible course at Yakima. Again the teaching 
of the Word was appreciated, and the work strengthened. 
The next winter, Mrs. Mina Creasey, a woman of splen- 
did teaching ability, taught a second term to a student 
body about the size of that which had attended the pre- 
vious winter. 

In the winter of 1916-1917 courses of Bible instruc- 
tion were given at Filer, Idaho, and the following win- 
ter at Yakima, Wash., by Elder A. W. Barbezat. 

The first camp meeting held within the territory of 
the Pacific Conference was held at Femdale, Washing- 
ton, prior to the organization of the conference (1903). 
The camp, with its plain, bold preaching, which uncov- 



ered sin and caused saints to rejoice, was quite a new 
thing for the people of this community, and attracted 
wide attention. It proved to be a success, and was con- 
tinued regularly at the same place for a number of 
years. Later, camps not so successful were held at 
Everson and Everett, Washington. More recently a 
somewhat permanent camp has been established at Moun- 
tain View, Washington, and other camps have been con- 
ducted almost annually at Tatdma, Washington, at Cul- 
ver, Oregon, and Filer, Idaho. 

From the time that the conference was organized, 
home missions were conducted; first in the smaller 
towns, such as Yakima, Ellensburg, Bellingham, Pasco, 
Anacortes and Everett, all in Washington. Later a mis- 
sion was started in Portland, Oregon. Some of the 
missions in the smaller places either resulted in the or- 
ganization of or the building up of classes, but none 
of them have been continued as missions. 

Though young, the Pacific Conference has manifested 
great interest in foreign missions. In 1908 Miss Frances 
Bechler was sent to South America, where she labored 
successfully in the Republic of Chile, in the communities 
of Valdivia and Valparaiso. She was called away from 
her faithful labors by death in 1911. Preparations were 
being made to send Elder W. R. Grout and wife to Tur- 
key when the European War broke out, closing the door 
to that field for an indefinite period of time. Miss 
Myrtle Williams and Miss Emma Einnan are working 
in India. 

For a few years (1911-1915) a conference periodical 
was published, called The Oospel Preacher — ^first by J. 
G. Grout and later by M. J. Carmichael. The circula- 



tion reached 450 subscribers, but was discontinued in 

Considerable effort has been made toward the circu- 
lation of religious books and literature. This has been 
carried on by conducting camp meeting book stands, by 
house to house canvass and by mail, from several re- 

With but a short history of organized existence, the 
Pacific Conference has suffered several distinct losses 
by death. The first to be gleaned by death, from among 
the active workers, was Elder 0. F. Ray. The second 
was Miss Frances Bechler, missionary to South America, 
in 1911. The third was Mrs. Arthur Creasy, in 1917, 
who before her marriage was Miss Mina Myers, who had 
come from the Nebraska Conference. 

These workers were capable and consecrated. After 
the death of Miss Bechler the conference passed the fol- 
lowing resolution in memoriam : 

''Her conversations were elevating, her sermons in- 
spiring and her spirit excellent. The church feels the 
loss of her labors, and this conference wishes to express 
its keenf elt loss, which is her eternal gain. Although 
dead. Sister Frances Bechler yet speaketh." 

Recalling the lives of these worthies who have lived 
and left their impress upon those who knew them, the 
words of the poet are recalled: 

** Heroic spirit, take thy rest: 

Thou art richer : we are poorer. 

Yet because thou hast been with us. 

Life is sweeter: heaven surer." 



Like all young conferences, the Pacific has met its 
difficulties and undergone its sif tings. Some who joined 
its ranks as workers have not been able to withstand the 
pressure of opposition, which comes from many sources 
against a plain, uncompromising Gtospel, and have aban- 
doned the cause. But there remains a company of work- 
ers, though comparatively small, which has been tested 
and proven, whom Gtod is using to carry His work for- 
ward. These loyal workers have set themselves defi- 
nitely and unswervingly to their tasks which they are 
certain are Gtod-appointed, and by faith seem to have 
caught a glimpse of the golden day when the tears of the 
sowers and songs of the reapers shall mingle together in 

Presiding Elder Record. 

The Presiding Elders who have served the Pacific Con- 
ference are as follows : 

M. J. Carmichael, 1906-1907; 1911-1914; 1915-1917; 
1919 to the present. 

Homer J. Pontius, 1907-1910. 

A. W. Barbezat, 1910-1911 ; 1914-1915 ; 1917-1919. 

Ministerial Roll. 

The roll of ministers according to the latest Conference 
Report is as follows: 

Ordained: M. J. Carmichael, A. W. Barbezat, E. W. 
Wilder, W. B. Havens, Arthur Creasy, W. R. Grout, 
N. H. Payne, P. S. Kagey, T. D. Walker, J. G. Grout, 
H. J. Pontius, S. H. Pontius, C. L. Atkinson, J. W. Mor- 
gan* and E. H. Metcilf . 

Probationers: Fred Roney, Steve Holman, and Wiley 




The Canadian North West Conference. 

Leaving Ontabio. 

In April, 1894, a little band of Mennonite Brethren in 
Christ decided to leave their homes in Ontario and 
make other homes for themselves in the new and far dis- 
tant Canadian West. 

A farewell service was held for them in the Kitchener 
M. B. C. Church. Some of the pioneers have informed 
the writer that it was more like a funeral service. Their 
friends felt as though they were going out of the world, 
and the pastor grieved that he was losing so much of 
the cream of his congregation. But the Lord, in His 
all-wise providence, knew that these choice spirits (and 
others who followed later) were just the ones who were 
needed to play a part in the future evangelization of 
the Great West. 

Going West. 

Weeping friends bade them a sorrowful good-bye, 
thinking that they were going beyond the pale of civil- 
ized comfort to a lonely wilderness that might never 
yield them a living. With their stock and household 
effects they traveled through the wild and rocky lands 
of New Ontario, crossed the vast, lonely stretches of 
prairie through Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and en- 
tered the foothill province of Alberta. At Calgary they 
turned northward for fifty miles and settled on the banks 
of the Rosebud, in view of the great Rocky Mountain 



Living in the Emigrant Shed. 

By this time the Indian tribes had all passed, as had 
also the explorers, hunters, traders, and the countless 
herds of Buffalo that once roamed across these mighty 
plains. It was now ''the Great Lone Land.'* 

*'The biggest part of Didsbury in those days," Pio- 
neer Traub remarks, **was its name. There was no sign 
of a town ; only a railroad siding and an emigrant shed. ' ' 
This shed had only one room, but it provided a roof at 
least, for which they were thankful. They laid their 
beds on the floor at night and piled them up out of the 
way in the morning. They did not forget their souls' 
needs, as so many do in the West, but held a service the 
very first Sunday, organized a Sunday School and an- 
nounced a weekly prayer meeting. 

Pioneer Days. 

Those early days involved much physical discomfort 
and self-denial. All the difficulties and hardships of a 
new country lay before them. The second day a prairie 
fire started and burned up the tent in which two or 
three families were living out on the land. 

A few days later Ephraim Shantz, his wife, J. B. Det- 
wiler and others started out to look for suitable land 
on which to settle. When they had driven about eight 
miles they saw a prairie fire coming toward them. They 
had only a few broken matches with them, and each, one 
after another, refused to light. The fire was now alarm- 
ingly near, but the last match caught fire, and they were 
able to burn a little circle in which to place the wagon. 
They climbed in, placed the robe over their heads, while 
the fii*e raged on all sides of them, and then passed on, 
leaving them unharmed. Thanking Qod for their de- 



liverance, they drove back through the smoke and over 
the blackened prairie to Didsbury. 

Pacing the dangers unflinchingly, the little band of 
colonists set themselves diligently to work, cleared the 
brush, broke the virgin soil of the prairies, and in a 
short time, here and there on the homesteads, little 
shacks could be seen dotting the broad country. 

Didsbury M. B. C. Church Built. 

**We should have a church before anything else," 
urged Mrs. Ephraim Shantz. So while they built only 
shacks for themselves, they decided to erect a good sized 
building for **the House of the Lord." One day dur- 
ing the second winter, J. B. Detwiler, Sam. Troyer 
and Ephraim Shantz started westward toward the moun- 
tains with three or four teams, to bring back logs for 
the new church. After going fifteen or twenty miles, a 
regular northwest blizzard came up, and they wefre 
obliged to return home. 

But undismayed by the diflSculties and obstacles, they 
persevered, and when summer arrived the building was 
up and ready for use. This was the first church in Dids- 
bury, and with this nucleus of willing ones the work 
began. Where would Christianity be to-day without men 
and women of such strong and stable Christian char- 

This church became a center of spiritual life and 
activity. Out from it have gone preachers, mission work- 
ers, evangelists and missionaries, showing that the small- 
est of beginnings need not be looked upon as a reason for 



Growth in Population. 

Those were days when the map of Canada was still 
rolling westward. The thin, little pioneer stream trick- 
ling from the East broadened and deepened as the years 
passed by. Among the pioneers of 1894 were J. B. Det- 
wiler, Ephraim Shantz, Sam. Troyer, Jerry Shantz, 
Levi Steckley, A. Schiedel, Andrew Weber and their 
families. Among those who came later were D. Traub, 
Elias Shantz, Abram Snyder, Levi Snyder, Norman Sny- 
der, C. C. Swalm, D. S. Shantz, Noah Eby, Ben Eby, 
0. W. Stauffer, S. S. Stauflfer, Elah Shantz, Josiah Hall- 
man, Oliver Hallman, Ezra Shantz, E. Sherrick, Theo. 
Reist, J. B. Gtood, Ezra Snyder, with their families from 
Ontario. Wm. Adam, James Adam, I. Herber and oth- 
ers came with their families from Michigan. 

Loneliness and the First Death. 

But even with this increase in numbers, the vast coun- 
try was still thinly populated. The loneliness in the iso- 
lated shacks on the prairie was painful. ' * Many a time, ' ' 
one sister relates, **when I felt downhearted and my 
courage was low, I used to stand in the door of the 
shack and look away to the mountains. Some of their 
silent strength seemed to sink into my soul and comfort 
me. They seemed so strong, so protecting, bringing a 
sense ,of the nearness of Qod, and with it the thought, 
'As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the 
Lord is round about his people, ' which strengthened me 
greatly. ' ' 

Though there were drawbacks, disadvantages and 
much personal deprivation, these dear souls rejoiced in 
the encouraging fact that they had spiritual leaders and 
could hold services regularly. They thought nothing in 



those days of walking four or five miles to a meeting. 
Others came for miles in lumber wagons, over rough 
trails, through sloughs, fording the river often when 
the water was high. One of the deafeons tells that he 
cut a strange figure coming to church with his long 
plough boots and Prince Albert wedding suit, sometimes 
getting stuck in the slough and having to return for a 
team and chain to pull his family out of the mud. Nev- 
ertheless '*we enjoyed those days," says Mrs. Norman 
Snyder, *'for we had all things in common, whether we 
went to church in a buggy, a wagon, on a stoneboat or 
on horseback." They sang together the sweet old 
hymns, joined their voices in prayer and the study of 
the word, which thrilled and inspired their hearts. 

One Sunday in 1899 the superintendent, Elias Shantz, 
after reviewing the Sunday-school lesson, gave out the 
hymn, *'We are going down the valley one by one." 
Just then he turned as though to sit down on the railing, 
but sank down over it and passed away immediately. 
This was the first break in the ranks of the pioneers, and 
he was the first to be buried in the Didsbury cemetery. 

Pioneer Preachers and Workers. 

Elder J. B. Detwiler was the pioneer missionary of 
the M. B. C. Church to the Canadian West. He came 
out with the first party in April, 1894. Money was 
scarce in those days, and if a man gave twenty-five or 
fifty cents a quarter to the pastor he thought he was 
doing well. So Brother Detwiler took up a homestead, 
and also kept the post office and sold fiour and lumber 
to accommodate the settlers. 

He preached at Didsbury, and also traveled in the 
surrounding country, preaching at Olds, Banner, Hain- 

^ 129 


stock and among the Russian Mennonites with good re- 
sults. He served as Presiding Elder several years, and 
after spending seventeen years in pioneer work in Al- 
berta, he returned to Kitchener, Ontario. 

Elder J. Schell was sent out by the Ontario Confer- 
ence with the second party, who came to Carstairs in 
April, 1900. He was given charge of the Didsbury work 
and labored with great zeal and energy. He was a young 
man of great promise, and it meant much to the little 
band of grief -stricken pilgrims when, through over- 
exposure to the cold and wet, his life was suddenly cut 
short on August 12, 1901, and his body was laid to rest 
in the Didsbury cemetery. 

Elder Henry Cressman was then sent out by the On- 
tario Conference to take charge of the work at Didsbury. 
The new church and parsonage were built in 1902, while 
he was on this field. Later he took up a homestead and 
left the work. 

Elder S. S. Stauffer, who had come from Ontario in 
1902, and took a homestead, was now given charge of 
Didsbury, with the assistance of Miss M. E. Chatham. 
In 1910 he moved to Alsask, Sask., to engage in farm- 
ing. He has assisted in the work at Alsask a part of the 
time since. 

Miss M. E. Chatham came West from Ontario in 1900, 
to nurse her brother, Elder E. Chatham, through his last 
illness. For several years she rode over these prairies 
on her broncho, often in the very coldest weather, visit- 
ing and preaching, trying to hold the fort till reinforce- 
ments came from the East, for several preachers who 
had come West were now tied up on their farms. 

Elder H. Qoudie came to Alberta in May, 1906, and 
after coming to the West labored faithfully, doing 



his best to advance the work. Arriving at a critical 
time in the history of this work, he organized a mission 
conference, which was under the Ontario Conference, 
from which he was sent. In 1907 a separate conference 
was organized ancj the name, '* Canadian Northwest Con- 
ference, ' ' was adopted. The Canadian North West Con- 
ference was recognized by the General Conference of 
1908. H. Gtoudie was Presiding Elder and had charge 
of the work at Didsbury from 1908 to 1910. He later 
labored as pastor at Markham and Mayton, and was 
again stationed at Didsbury from 1911 to 1915. He 
served again as Presiding Elder from 1915 to 1918, and 
from 1918 as pastor on the Markham field. 
. EldeV Alvin Traub, son of pioneer Traub, was con- 
verted when a boy in Elmwood, Ont. He was the first 
of our western young men to receive a call to the work. 
He started a Bible Study class at the Buckeye school, 
preaching there and at Sunnyslope. He was ordained 
in 1913 and has served as pastor at Markham and Alsask. 
He opened both the Castor and Alsask Missions and was 
elected Presiding Elder in 1919. . 

Elder D. S. Shantz came West for his health with the 
pioneers, and took an active part in Sunday-School work 
at Didsbury for several years, also doing some preach- 
ing. He was Presiding Elder during 1914-1915, after 
which he had charge of the work at Castor for one year 
and a half. During the summer of 1917 he had charge 
of the tabernacle work. 

Miss M. A. White (now Mrs. Finlay) was converted 
in the old log church at Didsbury. Feeling the call of 
God to the work, she went to Ontario and labored there 
several years. In 1907 she returned to the West. She 
assisted Miss Chatham in Edmonton for a number of 



years. Then feeling the call of the needy prairies, she 
entered the evangelistic work, and has been greatly used 
of Qod in the salvation of souls. 

Among other daughters of the pioneers who received 
a call to the work and labored faithfully were Miss 
Louise Eby, Miss Luella Swalm (who died in 1911), 
Miss Mabel Adam and Miss Mabel Dunnington. Miss 
Eby and Miss Adam (now Mrs. C. Thompson) assisted 
Miss Chatham for several years in Edmonton, and also 
opened a mission in Stettler. Miss Dunnington labored 
in the evangelistic work with Miss White, and in Febru- 
ary, 1919, went with Miss Eby to open a mission in 

Elder J. F. Gugin came from Ontario in 1908 and 
was given charge of Didsbury Circuit. His health fail- 
ing him in 1911, he went to Sibbald, Alta., and took up a 
homestead. In 1917 he again felt the Lord pressing him 
into the work and was sent to Castor, where the Lord 
greatly blessed his efforts. In 1919 he again became 
pastor on the Didsbury field. 

Aggressive Work for the Cause. 

After the work was established at Didsbury, the 
church faced the duty of evangelizing some of the region 
round about. 

Mayton. — J. B. Detwiler had already been touring 
the surrounding country, preaching at points that could 
be reached from Didsbury. He and S. S. Stauffer went 
twenty-five miles northeast and held meetings at May- 
ton. Later Harvey Traub went there, held a successful 
revival, and a work was established. Miss Chatham, H. 
Qoudie, and E. Sherrick labored on this field. I. Burk- 
holder later was assigned this charge. 



Markham. — In the spring of 1906 another band of 
pioneers came from Markham, Ontario, among whom 
were I. Burkholder, Joseph Wideman, Wilmot Wideman, 
Oliver Zellar, Michael Troyer, David Weaver, Clarence 
StouJQfer, Will Dunnington, Eb. Dunnington with their 
families. As all the land was taken up around Dids- 
bury by this time, they went northeast to Castor and 
settled there. They experienced all the diflSculties of 
pioneer life, as did the early settlers at Didsbury. But 
the blessing of the Lord was upon them, and soon they 
had a nice little church, which they called '* Markham," 
after their old home in the East. Elder W. Irish, hav- 
ing accompanied them from Ontario, was their pastor. 
After a time he went into business and left the work. 
The work spread under the pastors who followed, and 
several preaching appointments were opened. 

Beulah Mission, Edmonton. — In 1907 Miss Chatham 
received permission from conference to go to Edmonton 
to open a mission there. As the church was unable at 
that time to give her much assistance financially, it was 
thought best to make it an interdenominational work. 

The story of the beginning of the work there is best 
told in Miss Chatham's own words: ''Those first days 
in Edmonton will always have a vivid place in my mem- 
ory — a slim purse, a few friends, and nothing great about 
us save a 'big motive' to serve God and our fellowmen 
to the utmost that in us lay. There was the conviction 
that God's hand was upon us for some special thing we 
had to do. Squalid rooms were taken on Peace Avenue. 
We spread a newspaper on the floor, and knelt down 
amid old clothes, bottles, decks of cards, etc., and sol- 
emnly covenanted with Gtod that He should have all 
ther^ was of us, if He would make us a blessing in this 



place. There came to us a vision, as we scrubbed and 
cleaned, of the sick cared for, the hungry fed, the 
stranger welcomed, and lost men and women redeemed 
from sin. All this pressed upon us as a need to be met 
in this young and growing city. 

*'And so we began — ^Miss Clara Schafer and myself. 
We cooked, cleaned and served in the daytime, and at 
night held Gospel services. God blessed us above our 
asking: above our thinking has He blessed us. Again 
and again have we seen the miracle of men and women 
changed by grace divine.'' 

Relief work among men was also carried on for years 
with great success, until the war and prohibition elimi- 
nated the need of this department. 

Beulah Home was established in 1910, and is proving 
a haven of refuge and a door of hope to many a friend- 
less, broken-hearted girl. Many have found the Saviour 
and gone out to take their place in the ranks of good and 
noble women. It is an undenominational work, sup- 
ported in part by the city. 

In 1919 Miss Chatham was obliged to abandon the 
work partly because of ill health, and the mission in 
Edmonton became somewhat disorganized. The Edmon- 
ton Bible School, which she had organized, was also 
closed the same year. The work of Beulah Home con- 

Alsask, — In the spring of 1910 the country around 
Alsask began to open up, and many came from Didsbury 
to get land for their sons who were now old enough to 
take homesteads. Among the pioneers to this place were 
Noah Eby, Oliver Hallman, S. S. Stauflfer, Robert Loug- 
heed, Noah Swalm and Wesley Hallman. Elder James 



Hall came at this time and was their pastor. We shall 
let Brother Hall tell the story in his own words : 

'*We started overland from Didsbury with horses, 
colts and loaded wagons; were eight days on the road, 
driving straight east for over two hundred miles, with 
a dim trail part of the way and often none at all. It 
snowed, rained, the wind blew and at other times we 
had hot sunshine. There were prairie fires all about us. 
We stopped for the night where we could find water. 
We had a little tent 6x8 feet for the party ; we had to 
put the stove out before we could all lie down. Every 
morning we read and had prayer. On Sunday we rested 
and held a service. This was the first time I ever 
preached a sermon on my knees, for I couldn't stand 
up in the tiny tent, and my congregation all had to lie 
down. The first Sunday after we reached our destina- 
tion, Mr. Gugin went on horseback twenty miles to in- 
vite people from the shacks we saw in the dim distance, 
to come to meeting in the tent. They came, but couldn't 
all get in, so we placed a plank in the open and preached 
in the sunshine. Seven men, one woman, a boy and a 
girl formed the congregation, and the Lord blessed us. 

**When we started out to find land we discovered that 
it was very hard to find, even when there was much of it 
all about us. We had to hunt in the grass for a small 
stake at the corner of every section. We learned to tie 
a handkerchief to the wagon wheel so we could count the 
revolutions between the stakes, and soon were able in 
this way to tell pretty well where the next stake 
should be." 

Alsask was not even named yet, there being nothing 
here but a store onfe week old. Mrs. Hall, who was Miss 



Janet Douglas, a very successful pioneer mission worker 
in Ontario, under whose labors both Miss Chatham and 
Mr. Hall were converted, came in June with their two 
sons, and they all went out to their homestead. **It 
didn't look much like home," said Sister Hall, **and at 
first we had to go and look for the stakes to see if it 
really was home. The ground was covered with buffalo 
bones, and it was a gruesome-looking sight. " She let out 
her hens, which had been three weeks in a crate. But 
even the hens did not feel at home. They stretched 
themselves, took one look over the desolate wilderness, 
and then climbed up on the crate and sat there. 

Less than a month later an awful wind storm came 
and blew away the shacks of some of the settlers — ^Noah 
Swalm's among them. George Gugin stood on the door- 
sill of his shack to try to hold it down, but was carried 
away with the shack, and his spine was injured. The 
neighbors soon built him a sod house, but he died in ten 
days. This was the first funeral. 

Though Brother Hall took up land, he did not forget 
his call to preach. The first services were held in Wright 
Speer's house, and then for two years in Noah Eby's 
home. A Sunday School was organized. Then the West 
Side school was built, and has been used for services 
since that time. Brother Hall walked fourteen miles 
each Sunday to his appointments, often getting off the 
trail, the snow often a foot deep and no track to be seen. 
But the house was crowded and they had grand meetings. 

In the spring of 1912 he opened an appointment at 
Graindale, sixteen miles from home, driving at first in 
his wagon and afterward in a drygoods box fixed up on 
a stoneboat. Two good Sunday Schools were organized, 
one here and another at Edendale, where he opened 



another appointment. Hopewell appointment was also 
I opened^ and the work at these points was successful. 

Mrs. Hall was also at work. She opened a Sunday 
School in her own home, where it was held for three 
years. It is now the Bonny Brier Sunday School. She 
has held a prayer meeting for years, driving nine miles 
every week with a neighbor woman, the nights often 
being so dark they could not see the trail, and had to 
get out and feel around for it. 

In 1913 Brother Hall took up an appointment at Ac- 
cadia Valley, and in 1914 opened two more — ^Highland 
Park and Sibbald. In December, 1915, he turned over 
Highland Park, Sibbald and Westside to Elder A. Traub, 
who was sent by conference to what is known now as the 
Alsask field. In 1919 the Hopewell appointment was 
also added to this field. 

The Darker Side. 

Though God sees the end from the beginning, and this 
scattering of forces was for the future benefit of the 
work, yet for a number of years there were some dark 
factors in the problem of the spiritual work which gave 
the pilgrims great concern and grave reason for earnest 

The emigration to Alsask had divided and weakened 
their spiritual forces at Didsbury. This had a tendency 
to discourage some, while others settled down into spir- 
itual lethargy. A withering of the population was one 
thing, but a withering of the faith was a much more 
serious problem to consider. / 

Another factor they had to reckon with was the spirit 
of unrest which possessed the West so often. No sooner 
were new families moved in and the work progressing 



nicely, than there was an upheaval and a scattering 

One of the really perilous factors they had to en- 
counter was the materialistic condition of those days. 
Men had to struggle for an existence, and try to place 
themselves in a position, financially, where they could 
live in some degree of comfort. So much effort was spent 
in this direction that the spiritual work suffered. 

Lack of efficient men to assume responsibilities in the 
directing of the work, and in giving leadership to the 
people was another factor which must be put down on 
the dark side. This conference still looked to the East 
as the great center from which spiritual forces must 
come, and as no more were forthcoming, it was feared 
that the work would wither and die. For a time there 
was no enlargement of the field of operations; only an 
earnest endeavor to hold the ground already gained. 
More could not well have been expected of the limited 
number of workers. 

Missionary Effort. 

It is on record that this conference showed a marked 
ii^terest in foreign missions, by frequent contributions, 
from the time of their first conference. 

When Elder Henry Maurer, of the Hadjin, Turkey 
Mission, was shot in the massacre of 1909, an appeal was 
made for a man to take his place. D. C. Eby, of On- 
tario, offered himself for that work. This conference, 
having no foreign missionaries as yet, offered to take up 
his support, and Mrs. Eby and he were sent out to Tur- 
key in February, 1910, where they labored until forced 
to return on account of the war. They came to the 
Canadian West in 1915, and were stationed on the Dids- 



bury Circuit for three years, after which they were sent 
to Alsask, Sask. In August, 1919, they sailed again for 
Turkey, taking up the work which had been discontinued 
because of the war. On account of unsettled conditions 
in Turkey, they were obliged to return to Canada late 
in 1920. 

Wm. Finlay and Miss Florence Adam were the first 
of the western young people to offer themselves as can- 
didates for the foreign field. For years Brother Finlay 
had assisted Miss Chatham in the relief work among 
men, which was carried on in connection with Beulah 
Mission, Edmonton. His untiring efforts were much ap- 
preciated, and the lives of scores of men were trans- 
formed. He was ready to sail for Africa in April, 1917, 
but, owing to the war and the difficulty of securing a 
passage on any steamer, he was unable to get away until 
November, 1918, when he, with his wife (formerly Miss 
Florence Adam), sailed for Jebba, Northern Nigeria, 
West Africa. 

Problem of the Foreigner at Home. 

Here lies one of the greatest Home Mission fields of 
the world. Pioneers of many races and tongues have 
crossed these wide plains, seeking homes and wealth in 
this vast new land. 

The present calls loudly to action. The church must 
feel her responsibility, but as yet has done very little 
for these foreigners who have come to us from almost 
every part of the globe. It will tax the energy and re- 
sources of our church to do her share in meeting the 
spiritual demands of these people. 

Already God has called some to this work. H. I. Ed- 
wardson has spent several years in service among the 



Scandinavians at Bergen, Alta. His wife (formerly 
Miss Hilli Suven) often assisted Miss White in Evan- 
gelistic services. 

R. Craddick has done some work among the Indians — 
the first Canadians — for whom we should be doing some- 
thing. The Calgary Mission (Bethel) which was con- 
ducted for a time reached some of the foreign element 

Encouraging Factors. 

It will take years of constructive work to eliminate 
many of the difficulties, but the West is a splendid field 
for producing the finest characters, developing courage 
and initiative, and should produce spiritual leaders for 
the future. 

The service rendered by the Edmonton Bible Insti- 
tute, which was established by Miss Chatham in 1915, is 
of significance and importance. It is an occasion for 
regret that circumstances forced the closing of this school 
in 1919, for it was developing workers. Already some 
of its graduates and students were in the field : Wilmer 
Reist, Ray Craddick, Eldon Cressman, H. I. Edwardson, 
Dougal Campbell, M. Dunnington, L. Wolf. Others who 
had attended are: Herbert Shantz, Miss P. Reist, Miss 
V. Herber, Loy Hart, Mr. and Mrs. S. Eidsath. From 
among these young people who are keen and alert in 
mind, consecrated to high ideals of service and sacrifice, 
should come some of the future history-makers of the 

Some of our young brethren had their loyalty to the 
church and its doctrine of non-resistance severely tested 
during 1917-1918, but the military authorities kindly 
granted exemption from military service to all who were 
members of the church before they were called. 



New fields are being opened^ and the Gospel in its 
simplicity and power is finding its way into many needy 
homes over these prairies. A tabernacle was purchased 
in 1914, and has been used since with good results. 

In 1917 Wm. Finlay was sent to open a work at Big 
Valley, where W. Reist was later placed in charge. 

A successful campaign was conducted with the taber- 
nacle in the district north of Castor during the summer 
of 1918, by Wm. Finlay and J. F. Gugin, assisted by 
Mrs. Finlay, Z. Cressman, and C. Hallman. A new 
work was opened up here adjoining the Castor field, 
where R. Craddick labored in connection* with the Elder 
Henry Goudie, the pastor. 

In 1918 three new appointments were opened on the 
outskirts of the Didsbury field. Another encouraging 
feature is the Annual Camp Meeting, where the pilgrims 
from distant points meet together, and are strengthened 
and encouraged. Since 1915 two camp meetings have 
been held each summer. 

Elder J. F. Gugin states, that in 1910 there was not a 
holiness camp meeting from Winnipeg to Vancouver, 
except the M. B. C. camp meeting, and very few places 
where holiness was taught or considered. Frequently 
ministers of other churches are met who publicly ac- 
knowledge the help they have gotten from these camp 

On February 9, 1919, Bethel Mission was opened in 
Calgary in a section of the city which is largely foreign. 
Misses L. Eby and M. Neil, assisted by L. Wolff, were 
placed in charge of this mission. This mission was closed 
in 1920. 

Elder C. T. Homuth was transferred from Ontario 
Conference to this Conference in January, 1919, and was 



made pastor at Alsask that year, Buceeeding D. C. Eby, 
who, together with his wife, returned to Turkey that 

The following statistics are taken from the Annual 
Conference Journal of 1920: 

Ordained Ministers 8 Appointments 21 

Probationers 3 Sunday Schools 11 

Approved Ministering Sis- Total Membership 349 

ters 4 Total Annual Offer- 

AppUcants for Ministry.. 1 ings $14,806.33 


At the close, as we look back over the road traveled 
by these pioneers, and take note of the different stages 
of the journey, we see how the Lord has led step by step. 
Compare the situation as it confronted the pioneers .in 
1894 with the conditions of to-day. Many of them had 
nothing but their faith in Qod and His divine promises. 
Now a large proportion of our people live in compara- 
tive comfort, have their church services, Sunday schools 
and prayer meetings. 

This one time wilderness home of the buffalo and In- 
dian is now the great granary of the West. Most of the 
buffalo trails have been ploughed and harrowed out of 
existence, and the ranch is fast giving way to the farm. 
It is said that the history of the Canadian West is little 
more than begun, a country so vast in extent, so rich in 
resources that few have begun to realize the limitless 
possibilities of both the material and spiritual realms. 
The golden harvest of ungathered souls should cause the 
church to concentrate her attention on this need, and 
pray the Lord of the Harvest to send forth a sufficient 
number of reapers. 



With a few words from Presiding Elder A. Traub 
we conclude this sketch: ''At the sacrifice of comfort, 
property and life on the part of our spiritual ancestors, 
our church has been launched forth into the work as a 
soul-saving institution. We therefore are responsible 
both to God and man for the doctrines and principles 
which are to us a precious heritage. Sham religion, false 
doctrine and destructive criticism have been the chief 
cause of the spiritual dearth and moral declension which 
is characteristic of the times in which we live. Unless 
we, as a church, specialize and insist on the necessity of 
holiness of heart and life, received by faith right here 
and now, we shall be shorn of spiritual power. The old- 
fashioned doctrines of sin, eternal punishment, judg- 
ment, repentance, the new birth, justification, . faith, the 
witness of the spirit, sanctification, etc., are essential, 
though not popular themes to preach. 

''Let us humbly beseech the Almighty for a fresh 
anointing of the Holy Spirit, without which we can 
neither face the issue nor meet the demands of the times. 
May He save us, as a church, from such a calamity as 
spiritual barrenness!*' 

Ministerial Roll. 

The ministers of the Conference at its last session were 
as follows: 

A. Traub, H. Goudie, Jas. Hall, C. T. Homuth, J. F. 
Gugin, I. Burkholder, D. S. Shantz, A. Geiger, H. Ed- 
wardson, S. S. Stauffer, D. C. Eby, Wm. Finlay, Wilmer 



Mes. D. C. Eby. 

Hark! O'er the waves of her prairie grass 

Our Canadian West is calling; 
In many a tongue her voice is heard ; 

Brother, the need is appalling ! 

Great are the stretches of Prairie Land ; 

So vast, mysterious, compelling; 
But greater the need in the hearts of men. 

On the boundless prairie dwelling. 

You who have passed by a western way. 

As the evening shadows fall, 
And softly the prairie winds whisper— 

Haven't you heard the calif 

Not the call of the ripening grain, 

As in golden waves it rolls ; 
But the call of the Master for reapers 

For the harvest of ungathered souls. 



Practical and Doctrinal Developments. 

That it was the intention of those who gave leadership 
,to the original movements which finally resulted in the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church to adhere to the 
fundamentals of the Christian faith as interpreted by 
historic Mennonitism, there can be no doubt. It is evi- 
dent, however, that they, at the same time, purposed to 
breathe into these doctrinal tenets an evangelical spirit 
superior to that in general practice on the part of those 
professing them. 

As related in Chapter II, when the New Mennonites 
and Reformed Mennonites merged to form the United 
Mennonites in 1875, a resolution prepared by a joint 
committee, representing both societies was adopted, 
which read as follows: 

*'We agree on the Word of God as contained in the 
Old and New Testaments and a synopsis of the Word of 
God as contained in the eighteen articles of the Confes- 
sion of Faith drawn up by the Union Conference held at 
Dort (Dortrecht), Holland, April 21, 1632, as a basis 
of Union." This conference referred to, held in Dort, 
Holland, was a Mennonite Conference, and the Dort 
Confession is the historic confession of the faith of Men- 
nonites. Having been adopted in Holland in 1632, it 
was ratified in 1660 by the churches of Alsace and South 
Germany, and later introduced into the early colonial 
Mennonite Church of America. 

^^ 145 


Further, as related in Chapter IV, the Evangelical 
Mennonites of Pennsylvania considered themselves as 
adherents of the Mennonite faith. In their Doctrine of 
Faith and Discipline, drawn up in 1858, the following 
statement appears: ''It is our sincere wish to take the 
simple and secure Bible way, as Christ, the Apostles 
and Menno Simons have taught." 

The following is an epitome of the Dort Confession 
above referred to: 

Brief Epitome op the Dort Conpession. 

1. There is one eternal God, Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost, Creator of all things. 

2. Adam and Eve, our first parents, seduced by the 
serpent, disobeyed God, and brought sin and death 
into the world. 

3. Jesus Christ, the Son, foreordained to the purpose, 
before the foundation of the world, became a ran- 
som for fallen man. 

4. Christ, in fullness of time, was bom of the Virgin 
Mary, lived, was crucified, buried, rose from the 
dead and ascended to heaven. How the Word be- 
came Flesh we content ourselves with the descrip- 
tion given us by the faithful evangelists. 

5. Christ, before his ascension, instituted His New 
Testament which contains the whole will of His 
Heavenly Father, and which is sufficient to the 
salvation of all those who are obedient to it. 

6. Man is in nature corrupt, and it is only through 
faith in Jesus Christ, the new birth and change of 
life, that he can have the promise of salvation, re- 
ceive pardon and become sanctified, justified and a 
child of God. 



7. Penitent believers, on confession of their faith, are 
baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son 
and Holy Ghost to the burying of their sins. 

8. The church of Christ consists of those who have 
truly repented and rightly believed, and are rightly 
baptized, and are incorporated into the communion 
of the saints on earth. 

9. Christ before His departure, and His apostles after 
Him, provided the church with faithful officers, 
bishops, ministers, apostles, evangelists, pastors, 
teachers and almoners. 

10. The Lord's Supper is observed in commemoration 
of the suffering and death of Christ. 

11. The Lord Jesus instituted the ordinance of the 
washing of the saints' feet as a sign of true humility, 
and more particularly as a sign of the washing of 
the soul in the blood of Christ. 

12. The honorable state of matrimony, as instituted by 
God and taught by the church, demands that those 
entering the state should, previous to their mar- 
riage, be united to the church, having received the 
same baptism, belong to the same church, and be 
of the same faith and doctrine. 

13. Civil government is ordained of God for the pun- 
ishment of the wicked and for the protection of 
the pious. Christians should pray for their rulers 
and pay required tribute. 

14. Revenge and resistance is forbidden by Christ to 
all His disciples. The Christian should refrain 
from the use of the sword. 

15. All oaths, high and low, are forbidden the followers 
of Christ. 



16. The ban of excommunication is a separation or 
spiritual punishment by the church for the amend- 
ment, and not the destruction of the offender. 

17. Those placed under the ban shall be shunned or 
avoided in ** eating and drinking and all such like 
social matters," in order that they may be made 
ashamed, and thus induced to amend their ways. 

18. At the Judgment Day all men shall be raised from 
the dead and appear before the judgment seat of 
Christ, where the good shall be separated from the 

The Amish, the Old Mennonites and the Central Con- 
ference of Mennonites still hold to the above confession 
as their articles of faith. Other branches have modi- 
fied their doctrines, so that they conform only in part 
to the items of this confession. The M. B. C. Church 
retains all these items, in substance, in her Confession 
of Faith as found in the Discipline, except article 17. 
To these, other items have been added, relating to both 
faith and practice, as are indicated by this chapter. 

For a thorough study of the Dort Confession the com- 
plete text of confession is recommended. 

Camp Meetings. 

One of the earliest innovations on Mennonite practice 
was the institution of the camp meeting. This seems to 
have been the natural outcome of the evangelical zeal 
manifested by the church. When it was said by the 
accusers in Canada, that these zealous people had intro- 
duced prayer meetings and revival services, and next 
they would hold camp meetings, Solomon Eby had an- 



swered that whenever they felt that the holding of camp 
meetings would be as beneficial as these, they would 
likely be held too. This time came soon, for camp meet- 
ings were begun before the union of 1883. 

The first camp meeting held by the church and, inci- 
dentally, the first one ever held in the history of Men- 
nonitism, was conducted in Fetter's Grove, Elkhart 
County, Indiana, beginning July 30, 1880, and continued 
ten days. This meeting was well attended, there being 
nineteen well-filled tents upon the ground. It was esti- 
mated that three thousand persons attended the meet- 
ing on each of Sundays. Besides the ministers from 
Indiana, Elder Jonas Musselman and Abel Strawn and 
several of the laity from Pennsylvania and Elder Menno 
Bowman, of Canada, were present. The services were 
conducted principally on the line of holiness, and it was 
reported that **many entered into the higher life or 
blessed state of sanctification. "^ 

This was a historic gathering in a number of respects. 
It was the first camp meeting in the history of Mennon- 
itism, and was considered very successful. The insti- 
tution had come to stay, as is evidenced by the fact that 
a camp was held at the same place the next year, also 
one near Coopersburg, Pa., called the Chestnut Hill 
Camp Meeting, and one at Breslau, Ontario. Ever since, 
the summer camp has been an important factor in pro- 
moting the work of the Lord entrusted to the M. B. C. 
Church. Every summer there have been conducted 
from one to three camps in each of the seven conferences 
of the church. Although the camps have been held in 
suitable groves available, several of the various confer- 

^ Gospel Banner, Aoffiut 15, 1880, p. 124. 



encea have secured permanent grounds, and others have 
taken steps toward permanent locations for camps, either 
by lease or by purchase. 

Sunday Schools. 

Sunday schools were not general among Mennonites 
in the days of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ organi- 
zation, but began early to be looked upon as an important 
factor in advancing the Lord's work. In this conviction, 
at the first Union Conference in 1875, the following 
resolution was passed: '* Resolved, That Sunday Schools 
shall be organized and supported by all our power. "* 

The General Conference of 1888 recommended that 
Sunday-School conventions be held in the different con- 

It has been the endeavor to establish Sunday Schools 
in connection with all the preaching points, and fre- 
quently the Sunday School has been the forerunner of 
organized churches. 

Women Preaching. 

Until the year 1885 women preaching was unheard 
of in connection with the church. No provision had been 
made for such a deviation from the former practices of 
Mennonitism, for it had not been anticipated. 

A departure quite radical was made in relation to the 
taking up of the work of ministry, when the United Men- 
nonite General Conference in 1875 provided that a 
brother who believed himself to have been called of God 
to the ministry might make his conviction known, and 
if the church approved, he might be privileged to preach, 
instead of having to wait election by the church (see 

^ General Conference Bfinatet, p. 29. 



Chapter IV). But this provision was only for a 
''brother.*' That sisters would ever be called to preach 
was not dreamed of. 

In the year 1885, Miss Janet Douglass, of DeanviUe, 
Mich, (now Mrs. James Hall), received a definite call to 
preach. She was of Scotch parentage and had been con- 
verted early. After a great struggle she yielded to the 
call and began public work. God wonderfully blessed 
the messages of His handmaiden, and great conviction 
seized the hearts of the unsaved, resulting in a large 
number of conversions. She was the first ''woman 
preacher *' in the history of the entire Mennonite Church, 
and has been an active worker ever since, though not 
always in the public ministry. She preached in Mich- 
igan, Ontario and later in the Canadian Northwest. 

But the time had evidently come when Gk)d wanted 
the daughters as well as the sons of the church to 
" prophesy. *' Before the close of that year the number 
of women preachers had increased to at least three and 
possibly four within the several conferences. 

It was late in the year 1885 that Miss Mary Ann Hall- 
man (now Mrs. William Simmons), of Waterloo County, 
Ontario, received a call to preach. The conviction which 
had come could not be shaken off, and she realized, quot- 
ing her own words, that it meant "to go or to lose her 
soul." She was then only eighteen years of age, having 
been converted two years previous. She was the daugh- 
ter of John and Mary Hallman, members of the Old 
Mennonite Church. They were bitterly opposed to 
women preaching, and although pious people, looked 
upon the conduct of their daughter as a disgrace. She 
was threatened with the loss of home if she persisted, 
but God had spoken, and she could not refuse. For the 




first six months she did no actual preaching, but assisted 
in personal work, testimony, altar calls and singing. 
The pulpit work was approached gradually, which she 
began at Greenwood, Mich. God wonderfully blessed 
her ministry, and gave gracious revivals in Michigan, 
Ontario, Indiana and Ohio. Several of the tent meet- 
ings which she held in Michigan resulted in the estab- 
lishing of churches. One of her co-workers in the early 
days in Michigan was Miss Hattie Bates (Mrs. Allen 
Schlicter), formerly a Free Methodist. She proved to 
be a very great help, particularly so since she did not 
have the prejudice against women preaching to overcome. 

It was during the same year that Miss Katie Hygema, 
of Indiana (now Mrs. A. A. Miller), was led of the Lord 
into the public work. She was of Dutch parentage, also 
of Mennonite stock. She was then thirty years of age. 
Her first public work was in a mission in Grand Rapids, 
Mich., with Janet Douglass as leader. She later at- 
tended a school conducted by Miss Laura Maines, at 
Dutton, Mich., and assisted her in public work. Her 
later field was in Indiana and the West. 

About the same time (1886) Miss Mary Nunemaker, 
of Indiana, felt called of God to preach. She had come 
into touch with Laura Maines while she held meetings 
in Indiana, and later attended her school in Michigan. 
She began her public work in Indiana, and has labored 
most of her time in mission work, in that state. She 
spent some time in Arkansas, where she held several 
revival meetings. 

The opposition to women preaching was quite general, 
at first, despite the evangelistic spirit of the church, but 
the prejudice was gradually overcome. Those who re- 
ceived a call of God to preach later did not have this 



difficulty to encounter. Within a few years women 
preaching was begun in Pennsylvania, the first ones to 
take up public work being Mrs. Jonas Musselman and 
Miss D. B. Rote. Soon others followed. In every con- 
ference, from that time on, women preaching has been 
recognized as an established practice. 

That God should call out several women in the vari- 
ous conferences into public work about the same time 
is no occasion for surprise. The Spirit of the Lord was 
at work in His Church, setting into operation a new and 
mighty evangelistic agency, which was to operate in the 
lanes of the cities and to the ends of the earth. These 
women heralds of the cross (** witnesses,'' as they were 
sometimes called) have figured largely in the home and 
foreign mission work, and without them it would have 
been impossible to accomplish what has been accom- 

If any human agency can be discovered which God 
used to call attention to the claims of the Gospel min- 
istry upon Christian women, it was likely the ministry 
of Laura Maines. She was a member of the Free Will 
Baptist Church, an ardent holiness advocate and in per- 
fect harmony with the M. B. in Christ Church. She 
came among them in the early eighties, and wrote a 
number of articles for the Oospel Banner, All of the 
four above-named women, who entered public work in 
1885-6, except Mary Ann Hallman, had come into touch 
with her, either in her meetings or in her school by 1886. 

Accordingly, provision was made in the Discipline 
for women preaching. The General Conference of 1888 
adopted the following resolution: **Any sisters who 
feel called of (Jod to preach shall be recognized as evan- 
gelists, subject to the minister in charge or the Presiding 



Elder. They shall be received the same as probationers, 
except ordination." This constituted the whole of the 
clause on Women Preaching in the Discipline, until a 
later General Conference authorized the following addi- 
tion: **A11 sister workers who have passed their Read- 
ing Course satisfactorily shall be recognized as approved 
ministering sisters by their Annual Conference." 

An Itinerant Ministry. 

In keeping with Mennonite custom where ministers 
were elected from among the laity, and no particular 
missionary work was carried on, ministers continued 
their occupations or trades and attended to the work of 
their ministry besides. This practice continued, in a 
measure, in the newly-organized church for some timje, 
and has not quite entirely disappeared. But it soon be- 
came evident that some change had to be made. The 
cause demanded the time of the minister, and he could 
not successfully carry on an occupation or profession; 
therefore some system had to be devised for his support, 
at least in part. 

The form of church government adopted may be called 
Semi-Episcopal — Episcopal in its polity, in part, but 
without bishops. The highest authority was vested in 
a General Conference, where the whole church met at 
stated intervals for general legislation, maintaining an 
Executive Board between sessions. Territorial confer- 
ences were provided for, presided over by a Presiding 
Elder or Elders, elected annually. The advisability of 
electing a bishop has been discussed at various General 
Conferences, but has not met with general approval. 

Pastors were appointed annually by a Stationing Com- 
mittee, elected by the Annual Conference, which, in re- 



cent years, has been composed of the Presiding Elder or 
Elders and a part or all of the lay delegates (Discipline, 
Chapter IV, Section XI). 

Until 1900 there was no stipulated limit to the time 
a Presiding Elder could serve a conference or a pastor 
a church. At the General Conference of 1900 the limit 
was set at five years for a Presiding Elder and three 
years for a pastor. Later the time limit was modified, 
making a longer service possible for each, by a special 
vote of Annual Conference. 

The system inaugurated to meet the financial needs of 
the ministers in part, was that of securing subscrip- 
tions, to be paid quarterly. The results at first were 
meager, but it was at least a recognition of the claims 
of the Gospel ministry upon the laity for support. The 
financial report given at the Annual Conference of the 
United Mennonites, held at Bethel, Elkhart County, 
Indiana, in 1877, is interesting for comparison. 

Samuel Sherk received for the year $75 ; traveling ex- 
penses, $24. 

Daniel Brenneman received $87.36; traveling ex- 
penses, $64.07. ' 

David U. Lambert received $52.10; traveling ex- 
penses, $24.87. 

John Krupp received $76.17; traveling expenses, 

The above reports serve to illustrate the financial strug- 
gles of the men who endeavored to give themselves to the 
work of the ministry and who had to struggle against 
the financial odds occasioned by a small constituency not 
accustomed to supporting the ministry. 

The quarterly subscription method of ministerial sup- 
port has been practiced throughout the church until the 



present, and has served its purpose reasonably well. By 
it, ministers have received a meager or partial support, 
enabling them to devote their time and energy in part 
and sometimes largely to the preaching of the Qospel. 

In recent years a sentiment has been growing quite 
generally, that the old quarterly system of finance is no 
longer adequate. No defense can be made for it from 
the Scripture as to its method. The weekly system of 
giving, which has the sanction of Scripture, not only as 
to principle, but as to method (1 Cor. 16 : 2), has been in- 
troduced into a number of the churches, with a very 
marked increase in the pastor's support, as well as in 
the various other funds. 

There has been no desire expressed nor need experi- 
enced for a change of the ministerial system. There has 
been a growing sentiment in favor of a somewhat length- 
ened pastorate, either lengthening the time limit or re- 
moving it altogether, so that ministers may render a 
more constructive service to the churches which they 
serve. There is also a determined effort toward a more 
adequate support for the ministry, making it possible 
for them to give themselves exclusively to the work. 


Throughout their long history, Mennonites have al- 
ways maintained that Christian baptism was to be ad- 
ministered to believers only. Unlike the so-called Refor- 
mation, they did not carry over into their' movement the 
Catholic superstition and practice of infant baptism. 
Baptism has always meant to Mennonites an outward 
testimony of an inward work of grace. 

The prevailing mode of baptism among American 
Mennonites was affusion (sprinkling or pouring). When 



the various evangelistic movements arose, which resulted 
in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, no particu- 
lar attention was given to the mode of baptism. Gradu- 
ally, step by step, the mode of baptism which came to 
be agreed upon for practice in the church was immersion. 

Until the formation of the United Evangelical Men- 
nonites in 1879, no specific mention of the mode of bap- 
tism is to be found in the Disciplines of previously ex- 
isting bodies. The Discipline of the United Evangelical 
Mennonite recommends, *Hhat baptism be administered 
in the water, and the mode be left to the choice of the 
candidate" (Chapter III, Section 1). The Mennonite 
Brethren in Christ Discipline, as agreed upon by the 
Union Conference of 1883, changed the corresponding 
clause to read as follows: '*We recommend that bap- 
tism be administered in the water'' (Chapter III, Sec- 
tion 1). This was something of a compromise measure 
concerning the mode, which restricted the choice of the 
candidate to being baptized in the water, without for- 
mally providing any further choice. The Discipline was 
allowed to remain unchanged until the General Confer- 
ence of 1896, at which time the clause on administering 
baptism was changed so as to read as follows: ** Bap- 
tism shall be administered to believers, and by immer- 
sion only." (Chapter III, Section 1). While this might 
mean triune immersion, it has generally been interpreted 
and practiced as single immersion. 

There has been no change in the Discipline on bap- 
tism since. The conviction that the church should ad- 
minister baptism by immersion only, based upon a con- 
clusion that immersion baptism measured up more 
nearly to every aspect of New Testament baptism, had 
become almost, if not altogether, unanimous. Since the 



last development, resulting in the change made at the 
General Conference in 1896, the question of mode is so 
thoroughly settled that scarcely ever is there an^ ques- 
tion raised. Very seldom has the Discipline been vio- 
lated in relation to baptism by immersion only, since the 
last change. 

The historian cannot always trace causes for such 
changes or development, though there are always causes. 
One of the contributing factors, even if a minor one, 
was the final union of 1883, which brought into the 
body the Swank branch of the Brethren in Christ, who 
had always been immersionists. It is believed by the 
sincere practitioners of this established mode of bap- 
tism, that God led them to a mode of. baptism which can 
stand every Scriptural test of the ordinance, which can- 
not be said of any other mode except immersion. 

Young People's Work. 

Though the church has, from its origin, sought the 
conversion of the young people, it has made but little 
effort to provide for the participation of young people 
in religious activity, except in the regular service in 
connection with adults. Observing the superficiality of 
the popular young people's societies, there has been a 
manifest hesitancy in introducing anything which would 
lead to a separation of the young people from the regular 
services into gatherii^ of their own. Children's meet- 
ings have been conducted at the camp meetings almost 
from the first, and Children's Day exercises have been 
held in some of the Sunday Schools. 

A conviction has been growing among the churches, 
however, that there should be some kind of religious 
exerckes provided which, though not to the exclusion 



of the older ones whatsoever, would place the responsi- 
bility of the service upon the shoulders of the young 
people, providing them a means for the development of 
their spiritual talents, and an outlet for religious energy. 
This conviction has been answered by the organizing 
of missionary societies, Bible study meetings, etc. 
There has been no general organization, consequently 
no uniformity in the effort. Beginning with July 1, 
1915, the Gospel Banner supplied Bible Study outlines, 
arranged by ministers in various conferences, designed 
to provide a suitable program for weekly Bible Study 
meetings for both young and old, purposing to enlist 
the young particularly in Bible study. This has been 
the nearest approach to uniformity in young people/s 
work within the church. 


The Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church was bom 
in a revival of experimental religion. This placed its 
adherents into a good state for spiritual development. 
Whatever regeneration led to was most certain to be 
reached by those who entered into the experience so 

The theory of sanctification, as a definite work of 
grace subsequent to regeneration, came to be accepted 
quite generally throughout the church by 1880. When 
preaching of the theory of sanctification was begun, 
there were those throughout the conferences who testi- 
fied to having entered into the experience without hav- 
ing known the theory of it. 

Beginning with the December issue, 1878, the Gospel 
Banner, then the organ of the United Mennonites, car- 
ried the following statement in its business card, as to 



the purpose of the publication: **Its most prominent 
theme shall be holiness unto the Lord. ' ' This is possibly 
the first documentary evidence to be found, indicating 
that ** holiness" was becoming a dominant theme in the 
new movement. In Canada, Menno Bowman became an 
ardent advocate of the doctrine. In Indiana, D. U. Lam- 
bert was perhaps the most aggressive exponent of holi- 
ness. In Pennsylvania, Jonas Musselman appears to 
have been the leader in this teaching. These were influ- 
ential men, and they, together with the other jainisters, 
seem to have experienced no difficulty in getting the 
people to accept the doctrine. 

Perhaps one of the greatest factors in spreading the 
teaching of sanctification was the first camp meeting, 
held in Fetter's Grove, Elkhart County, Indiana, in 
1880. The doctrine of holiness was made prominent at 
this meeting, with the result that some of the laity and 
even some from among the ministry sought and ob- 
tained the experience. 

From this camp meeting holiness teaching spread. 
Both Menno Bowman, of Canada, and Jonas Musselman, 
of Pennsylvania, were present at this camp, which may, 
in part, account for their zeal for the teaching in their 
respective conferences later. 

The following year (1881) there were three camps 
instead of one. In Canada, one was held at Breslau, and 
in Pennsylvania, one was held near Coopersburg, called 
the Chestnut Hill Camp. These, like the Indiana camp, 
proved to be ** holiness" camps. D. U. Lambert, who 
had been secured to assist in the Breslau camp, reported 
in part as follows: **The principal effort of the meet- 
ing was for the promotion of Scriptural holiness. Many 
entered by faith into the experience, and are now sing- 



ing, *I am washed in the blood of the Lamb.' Others 
that were prejudiced against the doctrine, having a 
theory of their own, had their foundation swept away. 
Thus * Holiness unto the Lord ' gained the day. ' '^ Jonas 
Musselman, reporting the Chestnut Hill Camp of that 
year, wrote: **The meetings were conducted strictly on 
the holiness line, and quite a number entered the land 
of Beulah. Some at the commencement could not un- 
derstand what these things meant, and were in doubt 
whereunto they might grow. But as the power of God 
was so wonderfully displayed, many began to change 
their minds and concluded that, after all, it is better in 
the land of Canaan. Praise God for the power ! Each 
day and night He gave us a new baptism of the Holy 

. The Discipline of the Evangelical United Mennonites 
of 1880 contains the following article on Sanctification : 

On Sanctification. 

** Sanctification necessarily follows justification 
and regeneration; for by it is implied a setting 
apart for the continual service of God, the individ- 
ual, justified, and regenerated ; also a cleansing from 
inbred or original depravity, which is removed only 
by the application and cleansing process of Christ's 
blood. It is an instantaneous act of (Jod, through 
the Holy Ghost, by faith, in the atoning merits of 
Christ's blood, and constitutes the believer holy; 
inasmuch, as it excludes depravity and all unright- 
eousness from the heart. He, therefore, is perfect — 

* Gospel Bmnncr, October 1, 1881, p. 149. 
^Goopel Banner, September 16. 1881, p. 142. 




perfectly sared — ^the will of God perfectly per- 
formed in the soul. 

^'By sanctification, or perfect love, is also implied 
a development or perfection of those heaven-bom 
principles imparted to us, or imbibed in the heart 
in regeneration ; and it is a state which is not only 
the privilege of Christians to enjoy, but the duty of 
every child of Qod to seek after and attain unto, 
which is evident from the Word of God, as it is said : 
*For this is the will of God, even your sanctifica- 
tion,' and again: *Be ye holy, for I am holy.' — 
Matt. 22 : 37, 38 ; Lev. 19 : 2 ; Heb. 12 : 14 ; 1 Cor. 
1 : 30 ; and Eph. 1:4." Article XII. 

The General Conference of 1888 aimed at the strength- 
ening of the article, adding the word ** Entire" to the 
heading of the Discipline article, making the heading to 
read: ** Entire Sanctification"; also omitting one para- 
graph and adding some outlined teaching on the subject. 
There have been several changes made since in the word- 
ing of the article in the Discipline. The General Con- 
ference of 1882 included the volume entitled ** Lessons 
in Holiness" in the original ministers' Reading Course, 
and it has remained there ever since. Holiness Conven- 
tions have been common since 1900 or a little earlier. 
The first and main paragraph of the article as it now 
stands in the Discipline reads as follows: 

Entibe Sanctification. 

'^ Entire sanctification necessarily follows justifi- 
cation and regeneration, for by it is implied a setting 
apart for the continual service of Gk)d the individual 
justified and regenerated ; also a cleansing from in- 
bred sin or original depravity, which is removed only 



by the application and cleansing process of Christ's 
blood. It is an instantaneous act of Qod, through 
the Holy Ghost, by faith in the atoning merits of 
Christ's blood, and constitutes the believer holy.'' 
— Chapter I, Article 12. 

Again, it is not easy to point out all the factors which 
entered into the development made in the church, in re- 
lation to this doctrine. A Free Methodist in one com- 
munity, a United Brethren in another, and an Evan- 
gelical in still another, may be accredited with having 
been instrumental in bringing the doctrine of sanctifi- 
cation to the attention of the church. The writings of 
A. Sims, Geo. D. Watson, John S. InsMp, and others 
fell into the hands of these zealous Christians and exerted 
their influence. But the cause was more likely inherent 
than external or visible. People, truly converted and 
walking in the light, were led to see their privilege and 
duty in relation to being cleansed from all sin, and they 
embraced the provision. God providentially permitted 
such human agencies as have been or may be pointed 
out to direct a willing and obedient people into the 
deeper things of Christian experience. 

The Second Coming. 

The doctrine of Christ's return began to receive special 
notice by various ministers along about 1890. The teach- 
ing received attention at the various camp meetings, 
and articles were written and selected for The Oospel 
Banner on the subject. 

With a rapidity and unanimity almost surprising, the 
church accepted thepre-millennial viewof Christ's second 
coming. At the General Conference of 1896 an article 



was arranged for the Discipline on the subject of the 
''Second Coming" and one on the ''Millennium," outlin- 
ing briefly the teaching of the New Testament on these 
subjects (Article XVII and XVIII). They have re- 
mained unchanged, and the teaching is general and 
prominent throughout the conferences. 


One of the historic and fundamental tenets of Mennon- 
ite faith is peace and good will. This doctrine has been 
taught under the captions of "Non-resistance," "Self- 
defense, ' ' and * ' Revenge. ' ' Its underlying principle has 
always been that Christians must not employ carnal 
weapons or physical force to attain any end whatsoever, 
in times of peace or war. 

For the sake of this faith many Mennonites gave up 
home and property, migrating from one European coun- 
try to another, and finally to America, in quest of free- 
dom from military service. Some even gave up their 
lives for their faith. 

The M. B. C. Church has maintained the historic Men- 
nonite attitude on this subject. Having arisen in a time 
of comparative peace, and little expecting that non- 
resistant faith would be submitted to any severe test in 
America, too little emphasis was placed upon the teach- 

When the World War broke out, the church was scarcely 
prepared for the test to which it was to be subjected. 
But it was the rare exception when a young man Volun- 
teered for army service, and it was not general that so- 
called "non-combatant" service was accepted. Most of 
the young men either secured farm furloughs, thus ren- 
dering service of a non-military nature, or where no 



favorable action could be secured, j)aid the price of their 
non-resistant attitude by suffering segregation in mil- 
itary camps or serving sentence in federal prisons. Thus 
they became, as Rufus W. Jones in his book, entitled, 
*'A Service of Love in War Time," calls the young 
Quakers who suffered during the war, ** Keepers of the 
Faith.'' In Canada, where Mennonites were i given ex- 
emption from military duty, but were disfranchised, the 
young men accepted quite willingly the loss of a meas- 
ure of citizenship rights that they might be true to their 
faith. The purchasing of war bonds was not generally 
practiced on account of their direct connection with the 
prosecution of war. 

General Statement. 

Apart from the above-named practices and doctrines, 
there have been no particular developments. There has 
been some trend toward participation in political mat- 
ters, but in a modest way. The church maintains her 
attitude very definitely against oath-bound societies and 
oaths. The sacrament and the washing of the saints' 
feet are perpetuated and observed together. The General 
Conference of 1888 provided an article for the Discipline 
on ** Divine Healing" (Article XIV), and recommended 
that each minister preach on the subject at least once a 
year. The use of musical instruments in public worship 
is left to the decision of the respective annual confer- 
ences. Life insurance is discouraged. Non-conformity 
to the world is enjoined, and Scriptural modesty in mat- 
ters of dress, excluding the use of the articles which are 
forbidden in the Word of God, as *'gold, pearls, and 
costly array," are required by the Discipline (Section 




Publishing Interests. 

That the founders of the church had a keen sense of 
the power of the printed page and felt the need of a 
church periodical early, is evident. About the year 1877 
the Canadian brethren, then the United Mennonites, 
issued a trial copy of a periodical called The Oospel 
Messenger, which was to have been issued monthly. The 
enterprise evidently did not receive sufficient encourage- 
ment to warrant continuing, at least no more issues 
were printed. 

But the need for a church periodical continued to be 
realized. In the first issue of The Oospel Banner the need 
is expressed as follows: ''That as a church we need a 
church organ is too plain to admit of any argument. Al- 
though our organization is yet in its infancy — only a 
few years' standing — only too long has it been without 
a special medium through which to advocate its object, 
defend its position, and diffuse its sentiments." In the 
same issue the purpose of such a periodical is stated: 
^'The Oospel Banner shall be a plain and free, outspoken 
exponent of the faith and doctrines of the Bible as un- 
derstood by the United Mennonites, without any design 
of marring the feelings or of gratifying the selfish prin- 
ciples and vain desires of our fellowmen." 

The launching of The Oospel Banner, which has ever 
since been the official organ of the church, came about 
in this way. A conference of the United Mennonites 
was in session in Natawasaga Township, Simcoe County, 



Ontario, from June 5-7, 1878. The need of a church pe- 
riodical was discussed and a plan for the publication of 
such a periodical was outlined by Elder Daniel Brenne- 
man. After the discussion the following resolution was 

'^ Resolved, That D. Brenneman will proceed at once 
with the editing and printing of a church paper called 
The Gospel Banner, to be printed at Goshen, Indiana. ' '^ 

Accordingly, The Gospel Banner made its first appear- 
ance in July, 1878, and was published monthly through- 
out the balance of that year, containing eight pages. 
The subscription price was fixed at one dollar a year. 
The managing committee was composed of Peter Geiger, 
Joseph B. Schneider, and Jacob Y. Shantz. 

For the first half year the publication of The Gospel 
Banner was assumed personally by the Editor, and in 
the manner published, the subscriptions almost paid the 
cost of printing. At the annual conference in Indiana, 
in October, 1878, it was requested that the new period- 
ical be published by the church, and that, as soon as 
possible, it should also be printed in German, or at least 
with a German supplement. The following members 
from Indiana were added to the managing committee: 
John Krupp, D. U. Lambert, and William Moyer. The 
managing committee was then composed of three from 
Canada and three from Indiana. It was also decided 
that funds be solicited to purchase type, press, etc. Plans 
for further development of the publishing interests were 
left to the General Conference. ' 

During the six months of 1878 that The Gospel Ban- 
ner was published, it was printed by the Goshen Times 

^ Gosp«l BaniMr, Jal7> 1878, p. 7. 



Company. Early in 1879 type was purchased and the 
composition was taken care of by The Oospel Banner 
office, which occupied an upper room on Main Street, 
in Gtoshen, but the press work continued to be done by 
The Times Company, until late in 1879, when a printing 
press was purchased on which to print The Oospel Ban- 
ner. A small job press had been installed early in 1879. 

Beginning with 1879, The Oospel Banner continued 
to be published as an eight page monthly, but was printed 
in both English and German, the German periodical be- 
ing called Evangeliums Panier. 

The General Conference which convened in June, 
1879, in Blair, Ontario, passed resolutions, making the 
printing establishment the property of the church, au- 
thorizing the continuation of The Oospel Banner in both 
languages; that it be published semi-monthly after 1879, 
also planning a campaign for funds for the publishing 
house. D. Brenneman was made Editor and T. H. 
Brenneman Assistant Editor. A publishing committee 
was elected, three from Canada, and three from the 
United States.* The price of The Oospel Banner and the 
Evangeliums Panier was to remain the same as when 
published as monthlies, one dollar per annum, each, or 
both papers to one address for a dollar and a half. 

At the Union Conference, held in Upper Milford, Le- 
high County, Pennsylvania, in November, 1879, there 
were two members added to the publishing committee to 
represent the Pennsylvania Conference, in the persons 
of John B. Gehman and John Traub.' 

The managing committee decided at its meeting, in 
November, 1879, to open a book store in connection with 

* Gospel Bmimer, July, 1879, p. S. 

* Gospel Baimor, Dccombor, 1879, p. 8. 



The Oospel Banner office, and chose Benjamin Bowman 
as Editor of the Evangeliums Panier and manager of the 
book store.* The book store was carried on under the 
name of U. E. Mennonite Publishing House. This proved 
an unprofitable venture, as the constituency was too 
small to support an institution of this kind. This, to- 
gether with some jobs of considerable size which were 
printed for others but which could not be collected for, 
embarrassed the young publishing concern somewhat 
financially. It was already carrying a heavy load in 
attempting to issue two periodicals (one German and 
one English), eight page semi-monthlies, to a small con- 
stituency at $1.50 a year for both. The circulation of 
the English periodical at this time was about a thousand 
copies, and the German periodical approximately five 
hundred copies. Frequent appeals were made for sup- 
port, and funds were solicited. Benjamin Bowman con- 
tinued in this relation until April, 1881. 

During the month of May, 1881, The Oospel Banner 
office was moved into a new building on South Main 
Street, Goshen, which Jacob Y. Shantz, of Ontario, had 
erected for the purpose and which had been rented from 

At the General Conference of Ocfober, 1882, held at 
the Bethel Church, Elkhart County, Indiana, D. Brenne- 
man was elected General Agent and Traveling Mission- 
ary; T. H. Brenneman, Editor of both periodicals; and 
John Traub, of Pennsylvania, as manager of the print- 
ing establishment.*^ 

Beginning with the issue of November 15, 1882, the 
Church and Home, the periodical of the Wenger branch 

*Gosp«l Banner, December, 1879, p. S. 

* Gospel Banner, October 16, 1882, page 168. 



of the Brethren in Christ Church, was consolidated with 
The Oospel Banner, becoming a department of the same, 
occupying two pages. This department continued to be 
edited by the periodical's former Editor, Dr. C. Nyse- 
wander. The additional subscribers, thus brought to- 
gether with the growth of The Oospel Banner's subscrip- 
tion Hst, necessitated an issue at that time of 2,600 copies 
(both languages). 

At the close of the year, 1884, the managing commit- 
tee found itself face to face with a serious financial sit- 
uation: a considerable debt had accrued. The Editors 
had always been paid but a small salary. D. Brenneman 
received from $200 to $600 per year as Editor. Ben- 
jamin Bowman received $400 per year as business man- 
ager and Editor of the German periodical. But the ex- 
penditures and investments had been out of proportion 
to the income. The managing committee, then composed 
of J. W. Buzzard and Christian Nusbaum, of Indiana, 
Jacob Y. Shantz and John Troxel, of Canada, and John 
Gehman and Abel Strawn, of Pennsylvania, decided to 
move the printing plant to Kitchener, Ontario (then 
Berlin), and elected Casper Hett, formerly of Philadel- 
phia, but who had been a typesetter in The Oospel Ban- 
ner oflSce for several years, aa Publisher. The reason, 
as assigned for this move, in an ^^Explanation" made in 
The Oospel Banner, issue of April 1, 1885, is "cheaper 
rent, postage, fuel, etc." A program of economy was 
evidently to be inaugurated so as to avoid further finan- 
cial embarrassment The plant was moved to Kitchener, 
and the first issue printed in the removed plant was 
dated February 15, 1885. Beginning with 1885, The 
Oospel Banner was made sixteen pages, but reduced ma- 
terially in the size of the page. The Editor, T. H. 



Brenneman, did not remove to Canada with the publish- 
ing plant, but continued to edit the periodicals until 
April 1, 1885, when Joseph Bingeman, who was selected 
to succeed him to fill out the unexpired portion of the 
term, assumed the office as Editor. 

At the General Conference held in October, 1885, 
Elder J. B. Detwiler was elected Editor. A contract 
was entered into with the publisher, Casper Hett, by the 
managing committee, and confirmed by the General Con- 
ference, whereby the church would secure the publica- 
tion of its own periodicals on its own plant, which should 
be operated by the publisher, and also a small margin 
(ten percent) from job work printed in the establish- 
ment.® In this, manner no further indebtedness accu- 
mulated. The name of the publishing house was changed 
to the M. B. C. Publishing House, consistent with the 
name of the church since 1883. 

In 1888 Elder H. S. Hallman was elected Editor. A 
contract similar to the one described above was entered 
into by the General Conference with Messrs. Hett and 
Hallman, printers, for the publishing of The Gospel 
Banner and Evangeliums Panier for the General Con- 
ference term of four years.*^ 

In 1892 H. S. Hallman was reelected Editor, and a 
contract for the publication of the church periodicals 
entered into with the Berlin Publishing Company, Ltd.* 
This company also operated the original printing plant 
of the church, together with other equipment. General 
Conference instructed that The Oospel Banner be made 
a weekly (16 pages), and that the Evangeliums Panier 

* Gospel Bmnner, NoTemb«r 1, 1885, p. 10. 
^Gospel Banner, Norember 1, 1.888, p. IS. 
'General Conference Minatca, p. 148. 



be reduced to four pages and continue to be published 
semi-monthly.* The plant of this company was partially 
destroyed by fire after a few years, and their business 
waB sold. H. S. Hallman was again elected Editor in 
1896, with C. H. Briumer as Editor of the Sunday 
School Department. 

The old debt which had accumulated during the earlier 
years of the publishing work hung heavily upon the 
church. During the time persistent efforts had been 
made to raise enough money among the various confer- 
ences to liquidate this debt. Some had given freely, 
while others did not do so. Some misunderstandings 
stood in the way of a complete adjustment. In 1898 
H. S. Hallman proposed to take the printing plant of the 
church, operate it, publish The Oospel Banner (the 
Evangeliums Panier having been discontinued by this 
time), and pay the remaining indebtedness of about two 
thousand dollars (twelve hundred and forty-eight dol- 
lars with accumulated interest),^® from the earnings of 
the plant. This proposal was accepted. An executive 
committee had been elected by the General Conference 
of 1896 to take the place of the former Managing Com- 
mittee, who were to have charge, among other things, of 
the publishing interests of the church. The above con- 
tract with H. S. Hallman was entered into by the former 
Managing Committee, which was permitted to hold 
over until the obligation of the printing plant was met 
By 1904 the debt on the printing plant had been paid 
off, and the Secretary of the Managing Committee, John 
Troxel, so informed the General Conference of that 

* General Conference Minntce, p. 144. 
" General Conference Minatee, p. 270. 



year.*^ A vote of thanks was given H. S. Hallman, as 
follows : 

*' Whereas, H. S. Hallman assumed the indebtedness 
of The Oospel Banner, about six years ago, and has, in 
the face of much difficulty and with a great deal of hard 
work, and under the blessing of God paid the debt in 
full ; therefore 

Resolved, That we as a conference express our sincere 
thanks and deepest appreciation of his faithfulness in 
carrying out his undertaking."^^ 

H. S. Hallman was reelected as Editor in 1904, with 
0. B. Henderson as Assistant Editor. Again a contract 
was entered into between him and General Conference, 
by which he operated the plant upon his own responsi- 
bility, printing The Oospel Banner for the church and 
paying the assistant editor out of the earnings of the 
publishing and printing business, as a whole. 0. B. Hen- 
derson served as Assistant Editor from January 1, 1905, 
until April, 1907, when he resigned. 

At the General Conference held at Brown City, Mich- 
igan, 1908, a contract was entered into with The Union 
Gospel Printing Co., by which the said company assumed 
the publication end of The Oospel Banner for eight years 
(1908-1916). Elder C. H. Brunner was elected Editor 
in 1908, and gave four years of editorial service free. 
J. A. Huffman was elected Editor in 1912, and served 
during the latter four years of the eight years that The 
Oospel Banner was published by The Union Gospel 
Printing Co. The Executive Committee was authorized 
by the General Conference of 1908 to dispose of the 

^General ConferenM Minntes, p. 270. 
^General ConferenM Minotes, p. 281. 




church-owned printing machinery, which was done, and 
the church discontinued printing entirely. 

At the General Conference held at New Carlisle, Ohio, 
in 1916, J. A. Huffman was made both Publisher and 
Editor. In order that The Oospel Banner might be put 
upon a sounder business basis, it was reduced to eight 
pages for a year, until the Executive Board could find a 
solution for the problem by which it could safely be made 
a 16-page weekly (50 issues per year) again. This was 
done at the close of the first year, and the subscription 
list has had a steady growth to date (1920). Over three 
thousand copies are issued weekly, size of page being 9^ 
by 13% inches. 

The solution of the problem of the church periodical 
deficit came about in this way : 

About 1902 a book business was started by J. A. Huff- 
man in New Carlisle, Ohio. This business was moved 
to Dayton, Ohio, a few years later and incorporated un- 
der the name of The Bethel Publishing Company, with 
J. A. Huffman as President. The business grew until 
it had become well established, serving most of the Men- 
nonite Brethren in Christ conferences in an unofficial 
capacity, and a large outside constituency, proving it- 
self a success. 

Realizing that the only immediate solution for the 
publishing problem of the church lay in the securing of 
an established publishing business whose earnings could 
be used to meet the annual deficit of a church periodical, 
which was certain to result from an attempt to supply 
a 16-page weekly paper, the officers of The Bethel Pub- 
lishing Company, in 1917, proposed to the Executive 
Board to transfer all the publishing assets and interests, 
including Sunday School periodicals, copjrrights, stock, 



mailing list, good will, etc., at a figure which the Execu- 
tive Committee recognized as reasonable. The company 
had once operated presses, but this had been abandoned 
for a method to them more satisfactory — ^that of using 
the presses of other printers, contracting for the me- 
chanical work to be done, thus avoiding great investment 
and expense, as well as trouble. 

A solicitation for funds with which to make the pur- 
chase was begun under the name of The General Con- 
ference Forward Movement, with the result that suffi- 
cient money was raised. The business was taken over 
on January 1, 1918, and has been conducted for the 
church since that time. The annual earnings of the gen- 
eral publishing business, thus secured, and located at 
New Carlisle, Ohio, have been sufficient to meet the an- 
nual deficit accruing from the publication of The Oospel 
Banner. * 

The General Conference held at Eatchener, Ontario, 
in 1920, reelected J. A. Hufinan as Editor for a third 
term. The Executive Board assumed the responsibility 
of the publishing business, and employed J. N. Panna- 
becker as manager. 


Ev^r since the first union in 1875, the church has 
striven toward a printed statement of its faith and prac- 
tice. Even before the earliest union, several bodies had 
their printed Disciplines; the Evangelical Mennonites, 
which was printed in 1867 ; and the Brethren in Christ, 
which was issued in 1879. At the United Mennonite 
Conference, held in Ontario, in June, 1878, a committee 
of three was chosen to formulate a Discipline, to be sub- 
mitted to the next annual conference. The committee 



was composed of Solomon Eby, Benjamin Bowman, and 
J. H. Steckley. The committee reported at the next an- 
nual conference, and the Discipline was approved and 
ordered published, both in English and German. By 
March, 1880, the Discipline was ready for delivery, and 
since the union of 1879 had taken place in the mean- 
time, bears the name of the Discipline of the United 
Evangelical Mennonites of the United States and 

^Naturally enough, this Discipline was published at 
The Oospel Banner oflSce, Goshen, Indiana. As a result 
of the union of 1883, and various General Conferences 
which made revisions in doctrine and practice, the Dis- 
cipline has gone through a number of revisions. This 
has always constituted a part of the publishing inter- 
ests of the church, and has been conducted in connection 
with The Oospel Banner. 

Song Books. 

The effort toward the solution of the song book problem 
is almost as old as that concerning a church periodical 
and a Discipline. At the first General Conference of the 
United Mennonites, held in Blair, Ontario, in June, 1879, 
a committee of three, composed of Solomon Eby, Daniel 
Brenneman, and Benjamin Bowman, was elected to com- 
pile a suitable hymn book. The English hymn book was 
ready by January 1, 1881, and contained about 600 
pages with 900 hymns, and sold for one dollar. The 
German edition was ready about October, 1882. Thus 
hymn book publishing was also assumed as a part of the 
publishing interests of the church. 

By 1892 the hymn book was thought to need revision, 
and a committee, composed of W. B. Musselman, D. 



Brenneman, and H. S. Hallman, was elected for that 
purpose, with authority to proceed to publish." This 
was done in the English language, and the book was 
called The Standard Church Hymnal. 

It seems that the use of the Hymnal never became gen- 
eral. This called for a resolution at the General Con- 
ference of 1896, as follows: 

^^ Resolved, That the Standard Church Hymnal of our 
church, as compiled by the committee of last General 
Conference, be used in all our regular English church 

A motion was made at the General Conference of 1900 
to have a new Hymnal, but was defeated.^' Since that 
date no church hymnal has been published nor strongly 
advocated, possibly due to the persistency with which 
music publishers have pushed their products. The On- 
tario', Michigan and Canadian North West Conferences, 
however, jointly issued a Hymnal in 1907, which was 
used quite generally in these conferences for a number 
of years. 

Young People's Paper. 

The first effort to supply a periodical for young peo- 
ple was made when The Youth^s Monitor was launched 
on January 1, 1883. It was a small monthly paper, the 
subscription price of which was twenty-five cents per 
year. Quite a subscription list was secured, but after a 
few years it was discontinued. A paper called The 
Youth's Banner was published by H. S. Hallman for a 
number of years, a semi-monthly, which had a circula- 

^ General Conference Minutes, p. IM. 
^^Generml Conference Minutes, p. 197. 
"Generml Conference Minutes, p. 267. 




tion of 1,400 copies in 1900,^* but it, too, has been dis- 
continued for some time. 

Almost throughout the period of the publication of 
The Oospel Banner, a Youths' Department has been con- 
ducted and in recent years, both a Young People's De- 
partment and a Boys' and Girls' column have been 
strongly featured. 

Sunday School LmsRATUBB. 

Early in the history of the church was the discovery 
made that the Sunday Schools should be furnished with 
a literature which would teach the work of (Jod as be- 
lieved by the church. On account of the limited con- 
stituency, the only solution which seemed possible was 
to select the best which was available and encourage 
the Sunday Schools to order such through the publish- 
ing house. 

The necessity for a suitable series of Sunday-School 
literature became so apparent, that the following reso- 
lution was passed at the General Conference of 1900: 

*' Whereas, some questionable literature has been 
used; therefore 

^'Resolved, That we recommend each annual confer- 
ence to make an effort to ascertain the amount of Sun- 
day-School literature they can use, and consult the Pub- 
lisher, H. S. Hallman, who, under existing circum- 
stances, shall have the right to decide the advisability 
of publishing the same."^^ 

The constituency was evidently considered too small 
to maintain a series of Sunday-School literature. At 
any rate, is was not launched. 

^* General Conference MInntce, p. 242. 
"Generml Conference Minatee, pp. 255-266. 




On January 1, 1911, The Bethel Publishing Company 
launched a complete series of Sunday-School literature, 
called The Bethel Series, edited by J. A. HuflEman. Al- 
though published with a view of supplying a larger con- 
stituency than the church, the series was edited for the 
purpose of furnishing the Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
Church with a series of Sunday-School literature which 
would meet the long-felt need in every way. The series 
was successfully maintained, and most of the Sunday 
Schools of the church availed themselves of the privilege 
of their use. This Series has grown constantly. It was 
not until the Executive Board secured the publications 
of The Bethel Publishing Company on January 1, 1918, 
that the problem of a Sunday-School literature was 
solved by the church. 

Other Publications. 

Prior to 1920, the Publishing House also produced 
several much-needed record books, such as The Ideal 
Church Record, The Pastor's Pocket Record, The Bethel 
Sunday School Record, etc. 

Conference Publications. 

Besides the efforts of the church as a whole to carry 
forward its publishing work, some efforts have been put 
forth by individual conferences. 

The Pacific Conference began the publication of a 
small monthly periodical in 1911, called The Oospel 
Preacher. It was continued until 1915, when it ceased 
to be- published. 

The Pennsylvania Conference, along about 1915, 
launched a series of Sunday-School literature called The 
Christian Life Series, and two years later began the 



pnUiestioxi of a oonf erenos periodical, called the Eagtem 
Oospd Banner, betides several other periodicals. 

The publishing interests of the church have passed 
through various experiences. Although progress has 
been slow, the publishing work of the church has never 
been on a sounder nor more satisfactory basis, and the 
indications are that the church will, in an increasing 
manner, avail herself of the use of the silent but power- 
ful printed page, and occupy her own literary field, sur- 
rounding herself and constituency with an enlarging 
body of church literature. 



Foreign Missions 

The term '* missions" has been a frequently used one 
all during the progress of Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
history. Sometimes it included in its scope one thing, 
and at another time other things. The little Mennonite 
Brethren in Christ group that settled in the Sunflower 
State prior to 1880 and constituted one of the earliest 
classes of the church west of the Mississippi, was fre- 
quently referred to as the ** Kansas Mission.'' Thus a 
group of Christians without a regular pastor, somewhat 
isolated, was a "mission." Then the Macedonian call 
of the heathen began to be heard and heeded, and the 
differentiating term which was used was *' Foreign Mis- 
sions," and the former came to be called **Home Mis- 
sions. ' ' Later the needs of the cities with their neglected 
population were pressed upon the people, and a new 
field of activity was entered, which was called *'City 
Missions. " * ' Home Missions ' ' then included such efforts 
as were made to build up groups of Christians into classes 
or local churches. *' Foreign Missions" embraced all 
work done to bring the Gospel to unevangelized peo- 
ples. '*City Missions" represented the church at work 
in her endeavor to carry the Gospel into the lanes and 
streets of the crowded city. With these meanings the 
above terms are used in this and the following chapter. 

Inasmuch as Home Mission work has constituted a 
large part of the building up of various Conferences, 
with scarcely a dividing line between it and regular 



church work, we shall not detain with any special treat- 
ment of it — ^the story would be too long and too com- 
plex. In some real sense, the whole of the history of the 
church, apart from Foreign and City Missions, is a story 
of Home Missions. Consequently, this chapter will be 
devoted to Foreign Missions, and the next chapter to 
City Missions. 

That the church was from the earliest interested in 
Foreign Missions is quite evident from its expressed de- 
sire to enter upon such activity. The commission relat- 
ing to the *' uttermost parts" seems to have rested 
heavily upon these zealous followers of Christ. 

Prior to 1867, the Evangelical Mennonites of Pennsyl- 
vania had organized a Missionary Society. The consti- 
tution of this society which was to embrace Home and 
Foreign Missions^ was as follows: 


We, as a small branch of the Christian Church, feel in duty 
bound to render obedience to the precepts of our Lord and 
Savior, who offered up his life out of love towards us, in order 
to redeem us from eternal death ; since he has commanded his 
Apostles, as well as all who love him, to go into all the world, 
to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), and to 
preach repentance and remission of sins among all nations 
(Luke 24:47), we, as a small division of the Mennonite So- 
ciety, feel it also our duty to organize a Missionary Society 
to contribute our mite to the great work of our Lord. May the 
Lord grant willing hearts and open hands, besides his rich 

Article 1. This society shall be called "The Home and For- 
eign Missionary Society of the Evangelical Mennonite Society 
of East Pennsylvania." The aim of it shall be to hit upon such 
measures, by contributions and means of prayer, that the king- 
dom of Christ may be extended by missionaries. 

1 Eruiffelical Mennontte Discipline, Editton of 1867. 



Abticle 2. Every congregation shall organize a missionary 
class, and the preacher or deacon shall hold a missionary meet- 
ing every three months, and every member of our society, quar- 
terly, shall voluntarily contribute a certain sum for its sup- 
port, according as the Lord has blessed him. Also, members 
of other confessions may join such classes to assist in advancing 
the work of the Lord. 

Abticle 3. The society shall hold a yearly meeting a short 
time before the spring sitting of the semi-annual conference, 
to elect ofllcers for the society and to transact other business ; 
on which occasion a missionary sermon shall be preached and 
a public collection shall be held for the benefit of the mission- 
ary cause. 

Abticle 4. The ofiicers of this society shall be a president, 
a secretary, and a treasurer, who shall all be members of the 
Evangelical Mennonite Society, and shall be elected annually; 
by its agreement, however, they shall be eligible again. 

Abticle 5. Every congregation or missionary class shall 
elect a secretary and a treasurer for a term of three years. 
The duty of the secretary shall be to keep a book in which he 
shall enter the names of the members opposite to their con- 
tributions. The treasurer shall receive all contributions paid 
in and shall annually pay them over to the chief treasurer of 
the society. 

It shall be the duty of the president to see that the regula- 
tions of the constitution be observed in all respects and to pre- 
side over the yearly meeting and all business meetings ; in case, 
however, the president be absent, deceased, or deposed from 
his oflace, the secretary shall take his place. 

Abticle 8. The secretary shall take note of all the trans- 
actions of the society and transcribe them in a register, shall 
record the amounts collected which at each meeting are handed 
in to the treasurer, and keep an account of other contributions 
to the society. In case the ofllces of the president and secre- 
tary have become vacant, their duties shall devolve upon the 
treasurer until their places be filled by an election at an annual 
meeting. Should the office of the treasurer become vacant, the 
president shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy until an 
annual meeting of the society. Should it become necessary at 



any time for the lecretary to take the place of the president, 
he may appoint himaelf an assistant 

AancLB 8. The treasurer of the society shall receive all 
moneys of the class treasurers, and all bequests or presents 
firen for the society, and shall keep a book in which he shall 
enter punctually all the receipts of the society ; both he and the 
secretary, every time after a lapse of six months, shall present 
their books at the sitting of the semi-annual conference and 
exhibit an accurate account of their receipts and expenditures. 

Abticlb 9. Every preacher who has been commissioned as 
a missionary by the Council shall present to the conference an 
accurate report of his travels and labors, and of his receipts 
and expenditures, semi-annually or annually, as he shall be 
called upon, and the conference shall then grant an order on 
the treasurer in his favor, specifying the amount he shall pay 
him out of the treasury. 

Abticlb 10. At any time an addition or amendment may be 
made to this Constitution by agreement of two-thirds of the 
Council members. 

This constitution is of historic interest, since it rep- 
resents the first organized effort for the purpose of mis- 
sionary endeavor in the history of the movement 

At the annual conference of the Evangelical United 
Mennonites of Canada, held in Waterloo, Ontario, in 
June, 1881, a Foreign Missionary Society was organ- 
ized. A conunittee of three, consisting of J. T. Shantz, J. 
H. Steckley, and John McNally was elected to formulate 
a constitution.^. This was the first definite step toward 
purely foreign missionary effort in the church. The 
committee appointed to formulate a constitution re- 
ported at the annual conference of 1882, but the con- 
stitution formed was considered inadequate, as it failed 
to specify certain important items. A new committee, 
composed of J. Y. Shantz, John McNally, and Joseph 

'Gmp«1 Bftiin«r, Jiiii« 1, 1881, p. 9S. 



Bingeman was appointed to perfect the constitution.' 
This committee reported at the annual conference of 
April, 1883, and the constitution was adopted.* The con- 
stitution has seven articles, as follows: 


Abticlb 1. This society shall be known as the "Foreign and 
Heathen Missionary Society of the E. U. Mennonite Church 
of Canada." 

Article 2. The object of this society shall be the spreading 
of the Grospel in foreign countries and among the heathen in 
our own country. Funds to be raised for this purpose by col- 
lections and voluntary subscriptions. Bequests to advance the 
glorious cause shall be faithfully carried out. 

Abticle 3. Any person paying one dollar or collecting two 
for this society shall be a member for one year. Any person 
paying twenty dollars, either at once or in four equal annual 
installments, shall be a life member and shall receive a cer- 
tificate to that effect. Any person paying fifty dollars in one 
payment shall be an advisory member of this society. 

Article 4. The officers of this society shall consist of a 
president, secretary, treasurer, and five directors, chosen an- 
nually by the yearly conference from among the life members 
and advisory directors of this society. These five directors 
shall form the executive body. They shall hold one meeting just 
previous to or during the sitting of the annual conference — 
to frame and deliver report to the annual conference. If re- 
quired, the directors may hold as many meetings as they think 
necessary during the year — such meetings to be called by the 
president, or, in his absence, by the secretary and treasurer. 
The secretary and treasurer shall hold or invest all moneys be- 
queathed or collected for the society, to the order of the five 
directors, or a majority of the same. The directors shall have 
power to provide for expenses in publishing reports, issuing 
circulars to further the cause, out of the fund, and otherwise 

*Gotpel Bftiin«r, Mmj 1, 1882, p. 71. 
^Gotpel Bftiiner, May 1, 1888, p. 68. 



to wisely appropriate such funds as tliey may have for the 
purpose according to Articles 1 and 2. 

Abticle 5. It shall be the business of each minister to bring 
the importance of the cause before their respective charges. 

Abticle 6. Branch societies may be formed in each Sab- 
bath school. Each member of such school, whether teacher or 
pupil, can become a member of such branch society for one year 
by paying twenty-five cents and shall get a ticket of member- 
ship. The funds raised by such societies shall be regularly paid 
into the hands of the secretary-treasurer of the society by the 
secretary-treasurer of such Sunday school half yearly. 

Abticle 7. To effect a change in this Constitution it shall 
require two-thirds of the votes of the members of the society 
present at a meeting for such a change, due notice having 
been given of such meeting to each member. 

This constitution has historic value, as it is the first 
constitution of a purely Foreign Missionary Society 
within the history of the church. That the society was 
getting practical results is evidenced by the fact that in 
1882 the amount of $138.00 was turned over to S. S. 
Haury for work among the Indians in the United States, 
and there remained in the treasury $94.25, which was 
put on interest until next year.*^ 

The General Conference of 1882 passed the following 
resolution : 

'*Wheeeas, We see the great necessity of doing For- 
eign missionary work, and inasmuch as many have mani- 
fested a desire to contribute to the cause ; therefore 

Resolved, That each annual conference adopt a system 
to collect foreign missionary funds and report the same 
to the next General Conference. ' '* 

*Gotpel Banner, July 1, 1882, p. 101. 
*Gener»I ConferMice Minutes, p. 44. 



At the General Conference of 1885, the following 
resolution was adopted : * ' That each annual conference 
put forth earnest efforts to raise means for Heathen Mis- 
sion Work, and each minister preach at least once a year 
at each of his appointments on the subject. ' '^ 

The foreign mission interest, in its earliest manifes- 
tation, did not have organized direction. The church was 
too busy with the organization and prosecution of home 
interests to enter so early upon the larger missionary 

It was not until 1890 that the first M. B. C. mission- 
ary set foot upon heathen soil. Eusebius Hershey, of 
Pennsylvania, felt the call of God upon the church, and 
since there were no others who were ready to go, decided 
to go to Africa, in the above named year. 

This pioneer missionary to Africa had been a veritable 
home missionary for forty years, traveling almost inces- 
santly. He distributed tracts, prayed with people, and 
preached everywhere he went. In 1882 he reported that 
he had labored in Ontario eleven times, as well as hav- 
ing been in the west. He was weak in body but courage- 
ous in spirit, never failing to make use of the opportumty 
to press Christ's claims upon the church to evangelize 
the world. He was married, had a wife and daughter, 
but was seldom at home. At the Union Conference of 
1883 he announced that the church would have a mis- 
sionary in the foreign field before long, but this all 
seemed too wonderful to believe. 

When Hershey sailed to Africa in 1890, he went with- 
out a commission from any conference. He was con- 
sidered too aged for the undertaking. It is stated that 

^ General Conferenee Minutes, p. 59. 



as his vessel left the harbor, he stood with his right hand 
pointing heavenward until he passed beyond the range 
of vision. He was not only going to Africa, but evi- 
dently to heaven, by way of Africa, for he soon suc- 
cumbed to the African climate, and his body lies buried 
in the sands of Liberia. 

It might appear to the casual observer that Herahey's 
African mission was a failure ; but not so. While he took 
no direct conference approval nor commission, he took, 
unknown, perhaps, to himself and others, the hearts of 
a score or more of future missionaries. Qod had used 
him to press the cause of missions upon hearts in the 
homeland, by precept, and then permitted him to do so 
by example. The earliest M. B. C. missionary in China, 
William Shantz, writes: ** About the time that old 
Father Hershey went to Africa, I was hearing the call 
of heathen lands. This deepened my conviction that it 
was time that younger men should go." So God used 
this herald of the cross to open the way for foreign mis- 
sion work in the church, and within a few years the new 
generation of young men and women, to whom Qod had 
spoken, began to offer themselves. 


In the light of the above one would naturally expect 
that the first foreign missionary energy would have been 
directed toward Africa; but such was not the case. It 
was not until 1901 that A. W. Banfield, of the Ontario 
Conference, and E. Anthony, of the Michigan Confer- 
ence, in company with A. Taylor and C. H. Robinson, 
of the Soudan Interior Mission, left Canada for Africa, 
reaching Lokoja, West Africa, on November 29th of that 
year. They remained there, taking itinerating trips from 


\ Station-, Jebba, Wes 

.' Home at Shomga, Wks 


that location until March, 1902, when they located at 
Patigi, about 160 miles farther toward the interior. At 
Patigi they lived in grass houses until 1903, when they 
moved into a mud house. The missionaries, Robinson 
and Anthony, were invalided home in April, 1903, which 
left A. W. Banfield alone on the field. He returned home 
in December, 1904, after he had sustained two attacks of 
Black Water Fever. This effort, too, seemed humanly 
speaking, not entirely successful. It was under the aus- 
pices of the Soudan Interior Mission (interdenomina- 

In 1905 the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Missionary 
Society (General Board) was organized for work in 
Africa, with representatives from three conferences: the 
Ontario, Indiana and Ohio, and Michigan. A. W. Ban- 
field was elected field superintendent. He was married 
to Miss Althea Priest in March, 1905, and returned to 
Africa in the autumn of the same year, sailing on Augost 
27th and arriving at Shonga, about sixty miles beyond 
Patigi, in October. They took with them an American 
constructed bungalow, bi;ilt in sections, which they 
erected at Shonga. This was a great improvement over 
former missionary houses, and added materially to their 

Misses C. W. Pannabecker, of Ontario, and Florence 
Overholt (Mrs. Lang), of Michigan, reached Shonga in 
July, 1906. Miss E. Hostetler, of Ontario, and Ira W. 
Sherk, of Michigan, arrived there in August of the fol- 
lowing year. 

In 1910 Miss E. Hostetler returned home on furlough, 
and in July, 1911, she, in company with Mr. and Mrs. 
C. T. Homuth, of Ontario, arrived on the field. Miss 
B. M. Evans reached Africa in May, 1913, and Allen J. 



Shultz and wife arrived in November of the same year. 
Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Shantz arrived in January, 1916. 
These five were all from Canada. Miss Evans and Mr. 
and Mrs. Shultz returned home on furlough in 1916. 
Mr. and Mrs. Shultz did not return to Africa on account 
of physical disability. H. R. Pannabecker, of Canada, 
arrived at Jebba in November, 1915. 

Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Hein, of the Soudan, Interior Mis- 
sion, came to Mokwa Station in 1917. After remaraing 
two years, they returned to America. 

In 1918, a party of seven missionaries arrived at 
Jebba on Christmas Eve. The party consisted of the 
following persons: Mr. and Mrs. Ira W. Sherk (formerly 
Miss Evans), Mr. and Mrs. William Pinlay, Mr. and Mrs. 
W. Lageer, and Miss Norah Shantz. Mr. and Mrs. Sherk 
having been on furlough, returned as representatives of 
the Michigan Conference. Mr. ^ind Mrs. Finlay repre- 
sented the Alberta Conference, while the last-named 
three were sent from the Ontario Conference. Splendid 
Christmas gift from the church to dark Africa! 

The M. B. C. stations were opened as follows: Shonga, 
1905 ; Jebba, 1909 ; Mokwa, 1911. 

In 1911 A. W. Banfield, at the invitation of the other 
missionary societies, began the operation of a small print- 
ing plant, which eventually grew to quite large propor- 
tions. He began Bible Society work in 1915, and in 1918 
was appointed by the British and Foreign Bible Society 
as its secretary for West Africa, and the printing plant 
was transferred to the Soudan Interior Mission. During 
the time the plant was operated by Mr. Banfield, por- 
tions of the Scriptures and other literature were printed 
in eleven Nigerian languages. 

In May, 1907, the Nupe Language Conference was 



formed, including all the missionaries in the three so- 
cieties working among the Nupe tribe. Mr. Banfield was 
appointed secretary and chief translator for the con- 
ference, and was asked to translate the Four Gospels, 
which he proceeded to do. In 1910 he translated the 
Acts, and in 1914 he translated from Romans to Revela- 
tion, thus completing the New Testament. He has also 
translated the Psalms, Proverbs, and Genesis; has com- 
piled a Nupe-English and English-Nupe Dictionary in 
two volumes with over twelve thousand words ; a Nupe 
Grammar, a book of Bible Stories of three hundred pages, 
a book containing six hundred and twenty-three Nupe 
proverbs, school books, and some hymns. It is his in- 
tention to complete the translation of the Bible into the 
Nupe language. 

Besides the work carried on by the M. B. C. Missionary 
Society in Africa, several other missionaries were rep- 
resenting the church in other parts. Miss Ida Mae Comp- 
ton, of the Nebraska Conference, went to British-South 
Africa in 1903, under the Hepzibah Faith Missionary 
Association. She labored with this society until October, 
1909, when she returned to America. She died in Decem- 
ber of the same year. Miss Maude Cretors, also of the 
Nebraska Conference, went to British-South Africa in 
1904. She labored with the Hepzibah Faith Missionary 
Association until 1906. The rest of her ten years in 
Africa were spent laboring with the Free Methodists at 
various stations in British South Africa. She returned 
in 1914. In 1916 the Pennsylvania Conference adopted 
as their missionaries Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Crist at Boma, 
Congo Beige, West Africa ; also in 1917, E. R. Hess, and 
in 1920, M. E. Barter, of the same place. 



The first M. B. C. missionaTy in China was William 
Shantz, of Canada, who went in 1895. He remained on 
the field eleven years before returning on furlough. 
After he had been on the field about six years, he married 
Miss Mary Davidson, a missionary of the Baptist Church, 
who later united with the M. B. C. Church. They have 
labored continuously in China under the Christian and 
Missionary Alliance, although supported by the Ontario 
Conference. Their field has been Wuhu and Tatung. 
Mr. Shantz has the distinction of being the first mission- 
ary sent out by the M. B. C. Church fully credentialed 
and supported. 

Miss Ella Rudy, then of the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference, went to China in 1907. She, too, labored under 
the Christian and Missionary Alliance, being partially 
supported by her conference. 

C. F. Snyder, of the Pemisylvania Conference, went 
to China in 1897, where he labored under the C. and 
M. Alliance Board. Miss Phoebe P. Brenneman, of the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference, went out in 1904, and was 
married to missionary Snyder in 1908. They have la- 
bored extensively in Eansu Province, although they 
spent several years in Thibet. Mrs. Snyder's support 
was later assumed by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Since 1913 W. N. Buhl has also represented the Penn- 
sylvania Conference in Eansu Province; also William 
Christie, since 1915. 

South Amesica. 

Blissionary interest in South America dates to 1897, 
when Mr. and Mrs. H. L. Weiss went to Chile, and 
opened work in that republic. They were reinforced 


F HocHow, Kansu 

;, South America, Princi 


in 1904 by the coming of Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Peldges. 
Mr. and Mrs. M. P. Zook have labored in Chile since 
1905. Miss Anna LaFevre was added to the force of 
workers in 1911, and Mrs. Nettie Meier in 1919, the lat- 
ter not being a member of the M. B. C. Church, but sup- 
ported, with the above-named, by the Pennsylvania Con- 
ference. The work in Chile has been conducted in the 
regions of Osorno, Valdivia, Victoria and Temnco. 

In December of 1908, Miss Frances Bechler, of the 
Pacific Conference, sailed for South America, arriving 
there in February of 1919. She spent several years la- 
boring in the regions of Valdivia and Valparaiso, Chile. 
She was called to her reward in 1911. Her labors were 
in connection with the Christian and Missionary Al- 
liance Board, though supported by her conference. 


In 1898 Miss Rose Lambert, of Indiana (Mrs. David 
Musselman), and Miss M. A. Gerber went to Turkey to 
take up work among the Armenian children who had 
been left orphans by the massacre of 1896. They be- 
,lieved that God had called them to this work and that 
God Himself would supply the need. They sailed from 
New York November 12, 1898, and arrived at Hadjin, 
Turkey, on December 28. By the help of interested 
friends in Europe and America, they were enabled to 
begin the orphanage work in the spring of 1899, and by 
autumn had 175 orphans under their care. There were 
two homes opened— one for girls and the other for boys 
— ^and by 1905 the number of orphans had reached, in 
both homes, 305. 

On March 4, 1900, Misses Fredericka Honk and Ada 
Moyer (Mrs. T. F. Barker) arrived at Hadjin to assist 

*3 193 


in th^ orphanage work. They were both from C&nadt. 
A little later, in 1900, J. E. Pidler and wif^ of Penn- 
sylvania, joined the workers. He served as superin- 
tendent while on the field. In April Of 1901, T. F, 
Barker, of Canada, went to Turkey and was married to 
Miss Ada Moyer upon his arrival upon the field. He 
became superintendent of the work in 1902, and con- 
tinued in that capacity until the work was closed on 
account Of the war, in 1914. In 1905 Miss Ida Tschumi 
and Miss Helen Penner, of Cleveland, Ohio, also ar- 
rived to assist in the work. 

In 1905 Henry Maurer, of Indiana, was sent to share 
in the work in Turkey. He was married in 1907, to 
Miss Elizabeth Hawley, a missionary doctor, who also 
joined the workers in Turkey. In February, 1909, 
Misses Dorinda and Anna Bowman, from Michigan, 
reached Hadjin, and were welcomed as much-needed re- 
inforcement. In the fall of 1909 three more were added 
to the missionary group at Hadjin. They were Misses 
Katherine Bredemus and Norah Lambert, of Indiana, 
and Miss Ethel Nelson, of Ontario. 

Protn the first the work in Turkey had grown. It had 
beisome, in some sense, an industrial mission. There were 
so many people who were destitute, at the same time 
unemployed, that it was considered wise to provide em- 
ployment for them at a very meager wage, so that they 
might live, rather than to treat them as subjects of (Par- 
ity. Thiis would encourage industry and place them 
npon thfeir own resources, in a measure. Widows were 
employed to wash, spin, and weave. A native s^oe shop 
was opened for the employment of men. A small Shoe 
utore, a &fy goods store, and a bakery were also eon- 
dneted. Besides fumii^ing employment for men, these 


The Missionaries' Home in the 

Destroyed in 1980 dui 

Th^ Gtrla' Home, Hadjin, Turkey. 
Burned during the World War by the Turks. 


small industries netted a fair margin of profit. At 
the same time opportunity for spiritual work, both 
among the men and women, was afforded. 

The number of workers who attached themselves to the 
work in Turkey, up to and including the year 1909, 
did not increase the force permanently, as would be 
supposed. J. E. Pidler's stay was comparatively short, 
he, with his wife, returning to America in 1903. 

Besides, there were several deaths, which cast a 
shadow of gloom upon th workers. Miss Adeline Brunk, 
of Indiana, who returned with Rose Lambert from her 
furlough in 1905, took sick with typhoid fever three 
weeks after her arrival, and died on December 11. Mrs. 
Henry Maurer also succumbed to the same disease in 
September, 1908. Henry Maurer was shot by a fanatical 
mob of Moslems in Adana on April 15, 1909. Miss 
Fredericka Honk had taken ill with typhoid in 1908, an 
illness from which she never fully recovered. On her 
way home, the following year, she became worse and 
was taken to a hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, where she 
died on May 30, 1909. 

Several were compelled to leave the field for other 
reasons. On account of poor health, Mr. and Mrs. 
Barker were obliged to take a somewhat extended fur- 
lough, beginning in April, 1907. The Miss Bowmans 
came just at a time when the workers had been reduced 
to a small number, and were much in need of cheer and 
help. They arrived just a few weeks before the mas- 
sacre of 1909 began, the strain of which caused the 
breakdown of the health of Miss Rose Lambert so that 
she was obliged to return to America early in 1910, 
not to return to Turkey. 

From the beginning of the work it had been carried on 



interdenominationally. The United Orphanage and Mis- 
sion was the name of the organization effected, for the 
purpose of carrying on the work more systematically. 

While the work had been conducted in an interde- 
nominational way, no small part of the support of the 
work came from the Mennonite Brethren in Christ 
Church, and the Board has at all times been predomi- 
nantly of M. B. C. membership. 

The year 1910 marked a new era in the history of the 
work in Turkey. In the spring of 1910 Mr. and Mrs. 
D. C. Eby, of Ontario, were sent out to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the death of Mr. and Mrs. Maurer. They 
reached Hadjin in March of that year. 

The Hadjin missionaries, who had long desired to ex- 
tend their work into other needy sections, felt that with 
the coming of the reinforcements of 1909 and 1910, they 
were able to enter another district. In July, 1910, Mr. 
Barker and Mr. Eby set out on a tour of inspection, 
with a view of selecting a second location in which to 
conduct orphanage work. After visiting a number, of 
cities, Everek, a city several days' journey on horseback 
from Hadjin, was chosen as the one to be recommended 
to the Home Board for the second station. Everek is lo- 
cated about twenty-five miles from Csesarea, in Cappa- 

The work was opened in Everek in September of that 
year, in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Barker, assisted by 
Misses Eatherine Bredemus and Ethel Nelson, and was 
made the Boys* Orphanage. At Hadjin a school had 
been provided by the American Board, and the Girls* 
Orphanage, which was continued there, shared in this 
school by paying towards the support of the same. At 
Everek, however, it was necessary ^to open a school, 



which was done promptly, with nine grades, with seven 
native teachers, four of whom were boys from the or- 
phanage, who had been brought along from Hadjin. The 
work at Everek received new recruits in the persons of 
Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Storms, of Ontario, in 1913. 

The work at these two stations was continued uninter- 
ruptedly until the war broke out in 1914. A number of 
the workers being Canadian subjects, it was not possible 
to continue with Turkey at war with Great Britain and 
Canada. Accordingly, the two stations were closed, and 
the missionaries returned to America in December of 
1914. The missionary party at both stations, when com- 
pelled to return to America in 1914, was composed of 
the following: Mrs. T. P. Barker and children (Mr. 
Barker having returned early in the year), Katherine 
Bredemus, Norah Lambert (Mrs. Oscar Sommer), Do- 
rinda Bowman, Anna Bowman, Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Eby, 
Mr. and Mrs. D. J. Storms. 

The great work done in Turkey cannot be accredited 
alone to the M. B. C. Church, much less to any one con- 
ference of the church. The hundreds of orphans housed, 
clothed, fed, educated, and the untold numbers who had 
been touched by the spiritual message constitute an ac- 
complishment the credit for which God alone can de- 
termine. The fellowship of this work, as it was shared 
by various conferences, was as follows: Mr. and Mrs. 
T. P. Barker, Miss Ethel Nelson, Mr. and Mrs. D. J. 
Storms were supported by the Ontario Conference ; Miss 
Rose Lambert, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Pidler by the Penn- 
sylvania Conference; Miss Prederika Honk, Henry 
Maurer, Miss Katherine Bredemus, and Miss Norah Lam- 
bert by the Indiana and Ohio Conference; Misses Do- 
rinda and Anna Bowman by the Michigan Conference ; 



and Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Eby by the Alberta Conference. 
At the close of the war, Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Eby and 
Miss Bredemus were sent by the Board to resume work 
among the Armenians in Turkey, all the more needy 
after several years of hardship, cruelty, and deporta- 
tions. They sailed on August 2, 1919, and arrived in 
Hadjin on September 12. They found that the Girls' 
Orphanage building had been burned during the war, 
but that the missionaries' home had not been destroyed. 
Very soon a company of orphans was gathered around 
them, and the work gave promise of permanency. Dur- 
ing the last week in March, 1920, Hadjin was besieged 
by the Nationalists (Kemalists), and after almost three 
months of continuous siege, Mr. and Mrs. Eby, Miss 
Katie Bredemus, and three other American mission- 
aries escaped from the city while it was yet under siege, 
and succeeded in arriving at Constantinople on July 2. 
Prom Constantinople they went to the Island of Cyprus, 
awaiting developments in Turkey. Mr. and Mrs. Eby 
returned to America in November, 1920. 


In the fall of 1908 Miss Fanny Matheson and Miss 
Ruby Reeve, of Ontario, went to India and labored un- 
der Bishop Wame, of the Methodist Church. Miss Reeve 
labored in Calcutta and Miss Matheson in Tamluk. 

Miss Reeve married a native Indian Christian in 1913. 
Miss Matheson, after a furlough in 1915, returned to 
her station at Tamluk. 

Miss Laura Steckley went to India in 1909, where she 
labored in the Province of Bengal for five and a half 
years with the Hepzibah Faith Missionary Association. 
When she returned to America in 1915, she united with 



the M. B. C. Church (Nebrwka Conference), expecting 
to represent them in Xn^a as soon as the wt^ opens for 
her return. 

Migs Myrtle Williams also went to India in X909 wd 
labored with the Hepzxbah Faith Missionary Association 
for several years. Upon her return to America she also 
united with the M. B. C. Church (Pacific Conference), 
and in 1919 returned to India together with Miss Emma 
L. Einnan. They are laboring at Raghunathpur, Men- 
bboom District, Behar, India, with the Hepzibah Faith 
Missionary Association as representatives of the Pacific 
Conference, by whom they are supported. 

The Pennsylvania Conference has had a missionary in 
the Kaira District since 1917, in the person of S. P. Ham- 
ilton, also Mrs. S. P. Hamilton since 1920. Mr. and Mrs. 
Samuel Kerr have been in Gujarat Province since 1920. 
The reinforcements added by the same Conference dur- 
ing 1920 were: Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Camer and Miss 
Eunice Wells. 


In 1919 the Pennsylvania Conference accepted Mr. 
and Mrs. William C. Cadman as their missionaries to 
Annam (French Indo-China). Some progress has been 
made among the Annamese, two chapels having been 
built and four hundred and fifty children having been 
enrolled in the Sunday School by 1919. In 1920 Mr. 
F. L. Dodds and Mr. B. M. Jackson were added to the 
force of workers. 


It was not until 1919 that th$ M. B. C. Church began 
the support of missionaries in Palestine, when th« P^nn- 

sylvania Conference adopted Mr. E. 0. Jago, md Wm 



Mary A. Butterfield of the Christian and Missionary Al- 
liance to support. These missionaries have been labor- 
ing in Jerusalem, where a promising station has been 
organized right in the religious capital of the world, and 
in the identical city where He who gave the commission 
to the Church to evangelize the world was crucified. 


Until 1920 the foreign mission work of the church had 
no general head. Each conference had its own foreign 
mission committee or board, and besides these, two inter- 
conference boards had been organized: the African 
Board and the Armenian Board. 

A conviction had been entertained early on the part 
of some, that greater success could be achieved by a 
uniting of the forces of the various conferences in for- 
eign mission work. In 1904 the Ontario Conference pe- 
titioned General Conference for a General Conference 
Foreign Mission Board, but the petition was not granted. 
The Nebraska Conference did the same thing in 1908, 
with the same result. 

' The General Conference of 1920 was petitioned by 
three conferences — the Ontario, Indiana and Ohio, and 
Nebraska — ^with the result that the request was granted. 
The following resolution was passed: 

''Resolved, that the recommendations of the Ontario, 
Indiana and Ohio, and Nebraska Conferences be 
granted; that a General Conference Foreign Mission 
Board be organized; that all Conferences which desire 
to unite in the same be encouraged to do so; that no 
Conference be required to do so." 

The above action of General Conference provides for 
the organization of the foreign mission work of the 



church on a basis which makes united purpose and 
effort possible, without the overlapping of interests. 
While a very commendable amount of work has been ac- 
complished by the past methods, it is hopefully expected 
that the future will result in greater accomplishment in 
foreign mission endeavor. 

Note. — Of the various foreign missionaries named as being sup- 
ported by the Pennsylvania Conference, only seven are members of 
the M. B. Church: Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. 
Feldges, Mr. and Mrs. M. P. Zook, and Mrs. H. L. Weiss. The 
other missionaries named are members of the Church and the Con- 
ferences supporting them. 



City Missions. 

It is worthy of note that the great strides of develop- 
ment came almost simultaneously throughout the vari- 
ous conferences of the M. B. C. Church. This is so true 
in the matter of City Missions that it is somewhat diffi- 
cult to determine what the order of the historical narra- 
tive should be, especially in relation to the three older 

Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

In the Indiana and Ohio Conference the beginning of 
City Missions came about in quite an unexpected way. 
At the annual conference of 1895, Elder E. McDannel 
was assigned tabernacle work in the Indiana District, 
with A. H. Kauffman and Miss Delia Huffman (Mrs. 
H. E. Freeze) as helpers. Elder Jacob Hygema was as- 
signed the pastorate of the West Union Circuit. Dur- 
ing the month of June of that year. Elder Hygema se- 
cured the assistance of Delia Huffman and held a taber- 
nacle meeting in South Bend, Indiana. The meeting met 
with considerable success, and an appeal was so strongly 
made by the converts and interested families that the 
work should be continued, that a room was secured and 
a mission opened in South Bend in July. There had been 
no such item included in the program, and it was with 
considerable hesitation that the church leaders were per- 
suaded that the work of City Missions should be added 
to the activities of the church. 

But the conference caught the vision, at least in a 



measure, and in 1896, for the first time, the annual con- 
ference minutes contains a group called ' * Mission Work- 
ers.'' The group consisted of A. H. Kaufl&nan, W. 0. 
Mendell, Delia Huffman, and Phoebe Brenueman. They 
were to labor at the direction of the Presiding Elder. 
Phoebe Brenneman was placed in charge of the South 
Bend Mission for the following year. 

The second mission was opened during the month of 
May, 1896, in Dayton, Ohio, by Delia Huffman. During 
the same year the interest had spread to Harshman, a 
suburb of Dayton, to the east, and to the National Mil* 
itary Home, to the west. Perhaps no other mission in the 
conference made itself so quickly and generally felt as 
the Dayton Mission. Out of it came several ministers, 
city missionaries, and one or more foreign missionaries. 

By 1898 missions had been opened in the following 
cities, besides the above named: Elkhart and LaFa- 
yette, Ind. ; Kalamazoo, Mich. ; New Carlisle and Green- 
ville, Ohio ; and Gibson City and Bloomington, 111. The 
list of workers assigned to missions was as follows : Mary 
Nunemaker, Fredericka Honk, Ella *Rudy, Cora Durst, 
Lydia Klopfenstein, Rosa Stahley, and Mr. and Mrs. 
H. E. Freeze. The supply list contained the follo^ng 
names: Emma Lockhart, Katherine Bredemus, and 
Olive Scott. 

By 1900 the following missions had been added to the 
list: Goshen, Middlebury, and Laporte, Indiana. The 
following workers had been added : Margaretha Werner, 
Bertha Bartlett, Cora Rudy, Mae Snyder, Anna Oden, 
Ida Virgin, Emma Sando, Emma Swank, Edith Herri- 
man, Amanda Hall, Jennie Little, Lucy Pittman, Maud 
Cretors, Anna McAfee, Ida Monn, Flossie Lamb, and 
Flora Yoder. 



Between the years 1900 and 1904 there were only four 
new missions opened: Plymouth and Mishawaka, In- 
diana, and Arcanum and Cincinnati, Ohio. The workers 
who were added to the list during this period were 
Vianna Longenecker, Bertha Weaver, Emma Lambert, 
. Lena Knell, Mae Talmage, Delia Troyer, and Julia Ran- 

Since 1904 there have been only two City Missions 
opened in the conference: Springfield and Lima, Ohio. 
There have been several new workers added to the list : 
Ethel Amy Walker, Edith Schryer, Mamie Helscel (Mrs. 
Frank Long) , Mabel Angelmyer, Mary Steele, and Fern 

The City Missions within the conference have all been 
discontinued as such. Some of them have become regu- 
lar churches, among which are : Greenville, Dayton, New 
Carlisle, Springfield, and Lima, 0., and Mishawaka, Ind. 
Some of the workers have gone to foreign missions ; some 
have transferred to other conferences; some have mar- 
ried ; and several continue in the capacity of assistants. 

The City Mission work has, with the exception of one 
year, been directed by the Presiding Elders. In 1908 
I. P. Moore was elected as Superintendent of Missions, 
and served one year, at the end of which the work was 
again placed under the direction of the Presiding Elders. 
Since the cessation of activity in the direction of City 
Missions, the conference has been featuring Church Ex- 
tension work, which is, in reality, mission work which 
belongs more directly to the Home Mission class. 

Ontario Conference. 

In 1898 the Ontario Conference had seven mission 
workers, but no City Missions had as yet been opened. 



The names of the workers were reported as follows: 
Emma Hostettler, Sarah Klahr, S. Madden, Jennie 
tiittle, Laura Moyer, Saloma Cressman, and M. E. Chat- 

The conference of 1899 reports an addition to the list 
of workers as follows: A. Moyer, S. Bowmian, and M. 
Spree. Four missions had been opened by this time, in- 
cluding CoUingwood, St. Thomas, Woodstock, and Owen 

Until the year 1902 the City Missions were in charge 
of a committee of three, elected by the annual conference, 
usually including the Presiding Elders. In 1902 an or- 
ganization was effected, providing for a President and a 
Constitution. The society was called **The City Mission 
Workers' Society,'* and Elder H. S. Hallman was its 
first President. The society adopted a uniform dress 
and was, in a measure, self-governing. The society was 
composed of women missionaries. 

Between the years 1899 and 1902 other missions were 
opened, as follows: Toronto Junction, St. Catharines, 
Aylmer, Sherkston, Guelph, and Waterloo. The new 
workers who were added were : L. Shantz, S. McQuami, 
N. Little, S. Pool, E. Bertram, A. Ball, L. Kuntz, D. 
Young, M. Rennie, E. Guy, C. M. Rudy, J. C. Krauth, 
E. Evans, M. Dunnington, A. Priest, and J. Miller. 

H. S. Hallman served as President of the City Mission 
Workers' Society until 1908. During this period con- 
siderable of progress continued to be made. The records 
disclose the fact that the following missions were opened 
within the period : Mt. Salem, Orwell^ New Market, Wiar- 
ton, IngersoU, Southampton, Winnipeg, Stratford, To- 
ronto (Dundas St.), and Brandon. A large number of 
workers were also added to the list during the period: 



C. Loop, H. Peard, M. Good, E. Block, R. Reeve, M. 
Markle, D. Shantz, M. McLelland, M. Drefich, M. Neill, 
A. Srigley, F. Matheson, L. Swalm, B. Nelson, M. White, 
L. Holmes, B. Barefoot, B. Mclntyre, S. Cober, R. Hos- 
tettler, M. BaUey, M. Hisey, E. Mcintosh, E. Shantz, M. 
Doner, 0. Bryant, A. Bowman, M. Devitt, C. Brubaker, 
M. Scheifele, and S. Moyer. 

During this period the organization was developed to 
a marked degree of efficiency. Not only had a uniform 
dress been adopted, but one of the number (not always 
the same one) served as seamstress. Miss E. Block served 
as seamstress for the year 1906, and Miss D. Shantz 
for 1907. 

The City Mission work was conducted very much the 
same in the various missions from the start. Public 
services were held in mission halls almost every evening 
in the week. Open air meetings were common. There 
was much house to house visitation, and during this 
period colporteur work was begun. 

In 1908 Elder J. N. Kitching was elected President, 
and served continuously until 1913. The work was con- 
tinued along the lines previously developed. 

During this period two other missions were opened, as 
follows: Toronto (East End) and Hamilton. The work- 
ers were reinforced by the addition of the following per- 
sons: H. Thompson, C. Pannabecker, E. V. Jacobson, M. 
Hunsberger, M. Kesselring, M. Parr, N. Shantz, J. 
Mitchell, L. Frey, 0. Baalim, M. Hood, and 0. Thistle. 

Elder C. N. Gk>od was elected president of the society 
in 1913, and continued in that office until 1919. No 
new missions were opened during this period, although 
several new workers were added. They were: C. Dou- 



brottgh, H. French, W. Bell, E. Abbott, E. Hutchison, 
E. Raymer, J. Eby, and B. Fidler. 

In 1919 Elder S. Cressman was elected President. 
During the summer of 1920 a new mission was opened 
at Petrolia. Misses H. Rogers and M. Lageer also en- 
tered the work during the year. S. Cressman was re- 
elected at the conference of 1920. 

As is the case in City Mission work, the number of 
missions continued was not as cumulative as one might 
suppose. Some missions were closed for various reasons. 
Others were organized into churches and given pastors. 
At the annual conference in 1920 seven missions were 
reporte4 going. They were as follows: Toronto (East), 
St. Catharines, St. Thomas, Stratford, Wiarton, Owen 
Sound, and Petrolia. Neither is the list of workers as 
cumulative through a period of years as a historic re- 
counting of them would make it appear. In relation to 
this Society, quite a number, after serving for a time 
in the homeland, went to foreign missions. Some mar- 
ried, others left the work for various reasons, and several 
died. At the annual conference in 1919 the workers 
to be stationed numbered twenty. 

Pennsylvania Conference. 

City Mission work was begun in the Pennsylvania Con- 
ference about the same time as in the Indiana and Ohio 
and Ontario Conferences. The first missionary society 
was organized by Elder W. B. Musselman, and included 
both men and women. About 1898 a body of women mis- 
sionaries, including Mrs. Lucy Musselman, the widow of 
Jonas Musselman, withdrew from the Mennonite Breth- 
ren in Christ Home Missionary Society (retaining their 



individual membership with the church) and organized 
themselves into an unsectarian Home Missionary Society. 
Members of different churches could at the same time 
be members of this organization, which was called the 
Gospel Worker Society. W. B. Musselman was elected 
as President, which position he has held ever since. The 
society is still in existence, with headquarters at Cleve- 
land, Ohio. 

The remainder of the society, from which the Gospel 
Worker Society withdrew, continued, and later became 
known as the Gospel Herald Society (men only). Elder 
C. H. Brunner was the first President of this society, 
serving from 1901-1905. He was succeeded by W. G. 
Gehman, who has served continuously since 1905. 

The Gtospel Herald Missions which later became regu- 
larly organized M. B. C. Churches are as follows: Sun- 
bury, Shamokin, Stroudsburg, Easton, and Philadel- 
phia. Gtospel Herald Society missions are still con- 
ducted in the following places : Scranton, Lebanon, Har- 
risburg, York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pa. ; and Jersey 
City, N. J. 

Michigan Conference. 

The Michigan Conference began its City Mission work 
in 1897, at Grand Rapids, Michigan, with A. H. Kauff- 
man in charge. He was assisted by Sarah Fink (Mrs. 
C. A. Wright) and Nellie Bitter (Mrs. Wheeler). The 
following year Lizzie Koebke and Lydia Miller (Mrs. 
Briggs) were placed in charge, assisted a part of the 
year by Mary Swartz (Mrs. B. M. Dodd). The mission 
was discontinued at the end of the year. 

In 1900 a mission was opened at Caro, in charge of 
Lydia Miller and Ella Nash (Mrs. F. A. Jones). This 
mission was closed at the end of the year. 



In 1903 Elder W. Graybiel was elected City Mission 
Superintendent. During that year three new missions 
were opened, as follows: St. Clair, in charge of Lydia 
Miller, assisted by Florence Overholt (Mrs. Lang, of 
Patigi, Africa) ; Bad Axe, in charge of Ella Nash, as- 
sisted by Anna Bowman ; Port Huron, in charge of Susie 
Dean, assisted by Ametta Erb (Mrs. 0. B. Snyder). 

In 1904 the mission at St. Clair was discontinued and 
one was opened at Flint, in charge of Lydia Miller, as- 
sisted by M. Pigeon. A mission was also opened in South 
Park the same year, in charge of Ella Nash. 

In 1905 the City Mission work was again placed un- 
der the supervision of the Presiding Elders. No new 
missions were opened during the period from 1905 to 
1908; but in 1908 a mission was opened in Pontiac, in 
charge of Susie Dean, assisted by Ora Spoors. 

In 1911 a mission was opened in Jackson, Michigan, 
in charge of Hattie Rosenberger, assisted by Mary Jausi 
(Mrs. N. Clemens), Olive Stoner, and Myrtle Hall. 
Other workers who were added to the list between 1908 
and 1912 were: Lenora Annabel, Ella Ditty, and Viola 

In 1912 a City Mission Board was organized with a 
view of giving a larger efficiency to the City Mission 
work. This Board has been continued, and has served 
its purpose. The general oversight, however, of the City 
Mission work has been at all times, with the exception 
of the years 1903-1905, in charge of the Presiding Elders. 

A mission was opened in Battle Creek in 1912, in 
charge of Susie Dean, assisted by Ella Ditty, Lenora 
Annabel, and Olive Stoner. 

In 1913 a mission was opened in Detroit, in charge of 
Hattie Rosenberger and Myrtle Hall. Two new workers 

" 209 


were added to the list in 1913. They were Minnie Fra- 
leig^ and Hazel Robinson. 

In 1915 a mission was opened at Highland Park (De- 
troit), in charge of Hattie Rosenberger and Emma Holtz. 
Since that time no new missions have been opened, ex- 
cept one at Kalamazoo, Michigan, during the summer 
of 1920, in charge of Leonora Annabel, assisted by Alice 
Francis. The new workers who were added between the 
years 1915 and 1920 were: Isabelle Hollenbeck, Mable 
DeQroat (Mrs. A. Q. Herman), Emma Jausi (Mrs. R. G. 
Morgan), (Jertrude Spencer, Loretta Shupe, and Alice 
Francis. Dorinda Bowman had returned from Turkey 
on account of war conditions by this time and assisted 
in the work. 

As was the case in other conferences. City Mission 
work underwent a constant change. Some missions were 
discontinued, while a number, including the following: 
Battle Creek, Highland Park, and Kalamazoo, are 
still in operation. Several missions developed into 
churches. In 1907 Port Huron was recognized as a 
church. Pontiac and Bad Axe were organized into 
churches in 1911 ; Flint in 1914. In 1918 Ralph W. Ber- 
ber was made pastor at Detroit. This church, though 
organized, was not fully self-supporting, and continued 
to be listed as a mission. 

Nebraska Conpbbbnce. 

The following is a brief sketch of the City Mission 
work of the Nebraska Conference, as it was written by 
JJ. W. Rich, and appeared in the Historical Conference 
Journal of 1918-1919 : 

* * The City Mission work was started about the second 
year after the organization of the conference. It was 



then called the Home Misiaon work. At times it seemed 
that the work would go under, then again it looked en- 
couraging. The mission workers were faithful to their 
calling. They would not retreat, but would faithfully 
preach the Gospel to a lost world. At the present time 
the City Mission work is a success. There are now five 
City Missions in operation, one at each of the following 
places: Omaha, South Omaha, Council Blufifs, Iowa; To- 
peka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. This is the 
largest number in operation at any one time. Most of 
these missions are self-supporting now. The first mis- 
sions opened by the inference were located at Clarinda, 
Iowa; Newton, Kansas; Nebraska City, Nebraska, and 
Pueblo, Colorado, but these are no more. But the seed 
that was sown there is now ripe to harvest. Our first 
workers were as follows: Mina (Myers) Creasy, Jennie 
(Wohlford) Jett, Hannah (Wilson) Persell, Priscilla 
Overholt, Phebe Overholt, Charity Overholt, Ida (Vir- 
gin) Foreman, Nannie (Jameson) Jett, Louise Barbazat, 
Estella Wilmot, Edith (Herriman) Green, Esther 
(Stahly) Hygema, and possibly others. May Compton 
and Maude Cretors were foreign missionaries to Africa, 
but helped some in City Mission work at times.'* 

The list of workers at the conference of September, 
1919, contained the following: Emma Nickel (Mrs. 
Pennell), Stella Lantz, Ellen Flesher, Edna V. Jacob- 
son, Phebe Overholt, Bessie Robbins, Charity Overholt, 
Ethel A. Walker, Amelia Overholt, Honor Fonts, Audra 
Laird, Mary Yocum, Lexie Hardin. Besides these, a 
part of whom also appeared among the Approved Min- 
istering Sisters, the following list of Approved Min- 
istering Sisters is found : Hannah Persell, Maude Hod- 
son, Francis Palmer, Addie Utter, Lula Overholt. The 



names of Maude Cretors and Laura StecUey appear as 
foreign missionaries. The name of Mr. S. J. Service, who 
labored for a number of years in the Hope Mission, of 
Omaha, Nebraska, is also listed as a City Mission worker. 
The conference of 1920 provided for a City Mission to 
be opened in Los Angeles, California, in chiEirge of S. J. 

Pacific Conpebence. 

From the time of the organization of the conference, 
City Mission work was pressed vigorously. Missions 
were conducted in the following places : Yakima, Ellens- 
berg, Bellingham, Pasco, Anacortes, and Everett, Wash- 
ington, and later Portland, Oregon. Several classes have 
been organized as a result of these missions, but none 
continue as missions. 

The annual conference Journal of 1920 reports the 
workers as follows, some of whom are Approved Minis- 
tering Sisters: Bertha Carmichael, Arcie Grout, Laura 
Wilder, Louise Barbezat, and Sophia Aman. These were 
assigned as assistant pastors and helpers. Myrtle P. Wil- 
liams and Emma L. Einnan are listed as foreign mis- 

Canadian North West Conference. 

The City Mission enei^es of the youthful conference 
of the Canadian North West were expended almost en- 
tirely upon the Beulah Mission of Edmonton, Alberta, 
during the period of its operation. It was opened in 
1907, and continued until 1919. Miss M. E. Chatham, 
an Approved Ministering Sister of the conference, was 
in charge of the mission, although it was conducted in- 

In February of 1919, Bethel Mission was opened in 



Calgary, Alberta, in charge of Misses L. Eby and M. 
Neill, assisted by Miss L. Wolfe. This mission was closed 
in 1920. 

The list of workers as reported at the annual con- 
ference of 1920 is as follows: M. E. Chatham, M. Neill, 
L. Eby, L. Wolfe, Mrs. M. Pinlay, C. Price, P. Reist, 
Mrs. 0. Eidsath, Janet Hall, Minnie Martin, V. Herber, 
B. Hallman, G. Williams, M. Spreeman, and E. Shantz. 
Foreign missionaries : Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Eby, Mr. and 
Mrs. William Finlay. 

The home workers, who are not engaged in City Mis- 
sion work, are largely engaged as assistants to pastors 
and in rural mission work, which would be classed as 
Home Missions. 




The Mennonite Bethren in Christ movement being 
from the start largely evangelistic, some other interests 
were left somewhat in the rear. Among the neglected 
problems was that of education. 

The founders of the church, though not professionally 
schooled men, were considerably above the average of 
their day. The movement being largely confined to the 
rural districts and common people, the necessity for edu- 
cation above the ordinary was not so keenly felt. 

Some sense, however, of the need of special prepara- 
tion for ministers was realized early in the history of the 
church, for at the Ontario Conference, in its session held 
in April in 1882, the following resolution was passed: 
**That we recommend to the General Conference th^t 
there be a course of reading adopted for the ministry."^ 
Pursuant to this recommendation, the General Confer- 
ence held in October of the same year, appointed a com- 
mittee to select such a course of reading for probation- 
ers. The committee was composed of William Gehman, 
David U. Lambert, and Menno Bowman,^ and reported 
as follows : 

'^ English Course — Holy Bible, Mosheim's Church 
History, Lee 's Theology, Philosophy of the Plan of Sal- 
vation, Nelson on Infidelity, Finney's Lectures on Re- 
ligion, Lessons in Holiness, Depravity of the Soul, Menno 
Simon's Works, Fletcher's Appeal, and Baxter's Works. 

^ GMpel Banner. May It 1882. p. 70. 
'General Conference Minutes, p. 40. 



^'Oerman Course — Holy Bible, Mosheim's Church 
History, Buck's Theological Dictionary, Heilsfuelle, 
Menno Simon's Works, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, 
and Baxter's Works. ' '* 

These books, properly studied and mastered, would 
have given the student a fairly good theological train- 
ing. The list has been revised from time to time, but a 
number of tHe original titles are still found in the Pro- 
bationer's Beading Course. Perhaps more than is gen- 
erally realized, the success of the ministry has been the 
result of this modest theological course of home study 
prescribed for probationers. The more valuable has the 
course become as a result of the fact that probationers 
have been obliged to pass examinations on the books 

But as the result of the progress made in education 
generally and the pressing need of better trained work- 
ers, a growing conviction seized some of the leaders of 
various conferences that a more thorough and systematic 
program of education should be carried on by the church. 
This conviction was expressed in various ways, and the 
recounting of the expression of this conviction consti- 
tutes the balance of the history of the church, on the 
subject of education, to date. 

At the General Conference of 1900 the question of a 
Bible Training School was discussed, and referred to the 
Committee on Foreign Missions. The committee reported 
as follows : 

^^ Resolved, That the subject of a Training School be 
left to the discretion of each annual conference, re- 
spectively. ' '* 

'General Conference Minntcs, pp. 40 and 41. 
* General Conference Minntca, pp. 246, 247. 



The Indiana and Ohio Conference, through its City 
Mission Committee, opened a Bible Training School in 
Elkhart, Indiana, in the fall of 1900. The teaching dur- 
ing the first three years was done principally by Elder 
J. J. Hostettler, assisted in the second year by Miss 
Vianna Longenecker. Vocal and instrumental music 
were taught by Moody Brenneman and Naomi Brenne- 
man (Mrs. John Kane) respectively. The third year 
the school was moved to Coshen, and the work continued 
there by the same teachers. 

Until the fourth year, the school had been held in 
rented residences ; but during the year of 1903 The Elk- 
hart Institute building on Prairie Street, Elkhart, was 
purchased and the school was conducted there during its 
fourth year of existence. The quarters were commodious, 
being a two-story brick building, erected for school pur- 
poses. The institution was then christened The M. B. 
C. Seminary and Bible Training School. A regular or- 
ganization was effected, with D. Brenneman, President; 
C. K. Curtis, Vice-President and Treasurer; and J. J. 
Hostettler, Secretary. 

The school conducted during 1903-1904 an Interme- 
diate Department, giving work in the grades; an Aca- 
demic Department, offering high school work; and a 
Bible Depart;ment. By this time the faculty had been en- 
larged and included the following persons: J. J. Hos- 
tettler, Jacob Hygema, A. B. Yoder, Mary B. Sherk, 
Moody Brenneman, and Sadie Miller. 

Despite the excellent beginning made by the school, 
the session of 1903-1904 was the last. Some of the con- 
stituency within the conference withheld support, and 
some prominent persons in other conferences gave the 
school active opposition, and the institution was closed. 



Thus the first serious attempt toward founding an M. 
B. C. School came to an end. 

The question of a Bible Training School was brought 
up again at the General Conference of 1904, and after 
discussion the following resolution was passed: **With 
reference to the school question, 

Resolved, That this conference abide by the decision of 
last General Conference."*^ 

The decision of the previous General Conference was 
that the matter should be decided by each annual con- 
ference. Thus General Conference action, on the edu- 
cational problem was defeated. 

General Conference action had not been secured in 
relation to a school, doubtless because of the fact that 
the church, as a whole, had not realized the importance 
of the same. So each conference set itself to the task, 
in its own way, just as soon as the need was sensed. 

The Indiana and Ohio Conference had failed in the 
first attempt, and it required some years to overcome the 

In the winter of 1903-1904 a Bible School was con- 
ducted for several months by M. J. Carmichael at Bel- 
lingham, Washington, and the following two years in 
succession by Jacob. Hygema. The student body the 
second year at Bellingham numbered seventeen. In 
1906-1907 a short term was conducted by Elder Hygema 
at Mountain View, Washington. He also conducted a 
Bible School at Yakima, Washington, during the win- 
ter of 1912-1913, followed the next year by a course 
taught by Mrs. Mina Creasey. Short courses were given 
at Filer, Idaho, during the winter of 1916-1917, and at 

^General ConferenM lliiintcs» p. 299. 



Yakima^ Washington, the following winter by A. W. 

Within the bounds of the Nebraska Conference a Bible 
School was conducted in Lincoln, Nebraska, during the 
winter of 1899. Jacob Hygema gave instruction in Bible, 
Homer J. Pontius conducted a class in vocal music, and 
Clifton Hurst taught the common branches. A short 
Bible course was also conducted by Jacob Hygema in 
Hope Mission, Omaha, Nebraska, during the months of 
January and February, 1916. 

While the Pennsylvania Conference has conducted no 
schools, as such, training of a practical kind has been 
given the younger workers, both men and women, by or- 
ganizing them into societies and placing them under the 
direction of experienced leaders. 

In the year 1915, the Ontario Conference arranged 
a Correspondence Course in Bible, English, etc., to be 
conducted by H. S. Hallman, especially for the workers. 
Quite a number registered for the course, but its pos- 
sibilities were too limited or the plan not satisfactory, 
and it was not long continued. 

In the Alberta Conference the need was partially met 
in the following way: A mission had been opened in 
Edmonton, Alberta, in 1907, by Miss M. E. Chatham. 
It was conducted on an interdenominational plan, but 
was supported, in part, by the Alberta Conference. In 
1913 evening Bible classes were held, with seventeen stu- 
dents enrolled. They were continud in 1914, with an 
increase in students to twenty-nine. In 1915 The Beulah 
Mission Bible Training School was organized, and that 
year there were nineteen resident and thirty-seven cor- 
respondence students enrolled. The school also was in 
terdenominational, but was supported, in part, by the 



Alberta Conference, and 'quite a few of the younger 
workers availed themselves of the training provided in 
the somewhat limited courses. On account of some mis- 
understandings and dissatisfactions, this institution 
ceased to operate after the close of the school year 1918- 

While the various conferences were carrying on their 
programs of evangelism and attempting, in a limited 
way, to train their workers, there were young men and 
women who felt the necessity of more thorough train- 
ing, both for Christian service directly and for the 
legitimate occupations and professions. Since the church 
had no institutions capable of giving such training, they 
were compelled to resort to the institutions of higher 
education, provided either by the state or by other 
churches. The institutions of other churches were em- 
ployed, principally. As a result of going to the institu- 
tions of other denominations for their training, being 
isolated from their own church, doors of usefulness open- 
ing to them on every hand when their training was 
completed, some choice young people were lost to the 

It was during the summer of 1913 that the Middle 
District Conference of the General Conference Mennon- 
ites proposed co-operation in education to such branches 
of the Mennonite Church as desired to engage with them. 
They proposed to turn over their institution at Bluffton, 
Ohio, called Central Mennonite College, then a Junior 
College, to a new board to be composed of three repre- 
sentatives from each branch of the church desiring to 
co-operate, and .to devote the institution to both College 
and Seminary work, to be called Bluffton College and 
Mennonite Seminary. Three branches united in the 



movement o£Scially, and two more were connected un- 
o£Scially. The Indiana and Ohio Conference gave en- 
dorsement to the movement, electing three men to the 
Board of Trustees, and ratified the election of J. A. 
Huffman to the faculty, which electiion had been made 
by the Board of Trustees. This position he has held 
since 1914. A few years later the Michigan Conference 
elected a member to the Board of Trustees, thus offi- 
cially connecting that conference with the movement. 
In 1918 S. Floyd Pannabecker and Naomi Brenneman 
were added to the faculty of the College, giving the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ three representatives on 
the faculty. 

Although only two of the seven conferences were 
officially connected with the Institution, all of the con- 
ferences, save one, were represented in the student body 
at various times. # 

An increasing interest in education among the various 
conferences resulted in petitions being sent to the Gen- 
eral Conference of 1920, from three conferences — ^the 
Indiana and Ohio, the Nebraska, and the Canadian 
North West — asking that General Conference offer a so- 
lution of the educational problem of the church. These 
requests were answered by the following resolution: 

Resolved, that we wish to recommend our young peo- 
ple who desire to take a special course in some Bible 
Training School, to the decision of their Annual Confer- 
ence ; and be it still further 

Resolved, that we recommend each Annual Confer- 
ence to appoint a Committee on Education, which shall 
take this matter in hand in its respective Conference, 
and that the above Committees be encouraged to act co- 
operatively. ' ' 



While the action of General Conference noted regis- 
ters no great progress toward a constructive program 
of education within the church, it does recognize that 
there is an educational problem; advises Educational 
Committees in the Annual Conferences to take the mat- 
ter of education in hand, and encourages a co-operation 
of these various Educational Committees. What the 
outcome will be — ^whether some institution or institu- 
tions will be established or some existing institutions 
adopted — is a matter of the future. General Confer- 
ence resolution opens the way for such action by any 
Annual Conference desiring to do so, and suggests the 
cooperation of various Conferences in the matter of edu- 
cation, through their Educational Committees. No 
church can hope to maintain itself aggressively which 
does not provide for the training of its leaders. Until 
the Church formulates some more definite program' of 
education, the constituency will be obliged to continue 
to utilize such institutions and means of education as are 
considered most advisable. 



Biographical Sketches. 

The MSk9i¥inM w Bi»gTB^iieal niw wntm wkHAm •£ •rdained minis- 
ton, past and prcMiit. 

ThoM before wiioee iiamee an * mppean* mre no lender mMnbeni. 

Andenon, William Murry — Bom in BeUshill, Scotland, June 1, 
1880. Parents were William and Margaret Anderson. Re- 
ceived a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years and entered 
the ministry in 1909, being ordained by the Nebraska Confer- 
ence in 1916. 

Married to Ethyl Hall on October 17, 1906. Eight chil- 
dren: Ruth, Paul, Mark, Mary, Esther, Earl, Lois, Guy. 

Held pastorates at Clarinda, Iowa; Quitman, Mo.; and 
Holdbrook, Colo. 

Anthony, Ebenazer — Bom in the township of Derby, Grey 
County, Ontario, November 27, 1865. Parents were Francis 
and Isabelle (Packman) Anthony. Raised on the farm and 
attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years and entered the 
ministry in 1888, being ordained by the Ontario Conference 
in 1891. 

Married to Harriet Alma French on October 9, 1889. 
Four children: Berval, Isabel, Mary Alma, Ray Banfield. 

Held pastorates in the Ontario Conference, also at Brown 
City, Caledonia, and Greenwood, in the Michigan Conference. 

First Presiding Elder of the Michigan Conference, and 
served in that capacity for various terms totaling ten years. 

Was a missionary to Africa two years (1901-1903), where 
he contracted the disease which caused his death. 

Died at Brown City, Mich., April 6, 1913. 

▲▼6X7, James Arthur-^Bom near Roseburg, Mich., July 25, 
1870. Parents were Arthur M. and Eliisabeth (Saimders) 
Avery. Wa^ raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of twenty-nine years and entered 
the ministry in 1903, being ordained by the Michigan Con- 
ference in 1906. 



Married to Lavonia Bradshaw on December 24, 1805. 
One child: Henrietta. 

Held pastorates at Bliss, Petoskey, Caas River, Pontiac, 
and Greenwood, in the Michigan Conference. 

Served various terms on the Examinaticm, Foreign Mis- 
sion, and City Mission Boards of the Michigan Conference. 

Baer, John— Bom near Preston, Ont., May 15, 1804. 

Converted when a yoimg man, and united with Old Men- 
nonite Church. Entered the ministry in 1838 and was ordained. 
He joined the New Mennonite movement and assisted in form- 
ing the unions leading up to the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

Married to Annie Pannabaker, February 11, 1827. Thir- 
teen children: Magdalene, David, Moses, John, Aaron, Re- 
becca, Samuel, Leah, Martin, Connilus, Abraham, Benjamin, 
Joseph. Died December 24, 1894. 

Banfield, Alexander Woods — ^Bom in Quebec, Canada, August 
3, 1878. Parents were William Henry and Elizabeth Jane 
(Johnston) Banfield. Educated in the public school, then 
studied and prepared himself as a civil engineer, which trade 
he followed for eight years. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two years. Went to Africa 
first as a missionary in 1901, and was ordained by the Ontario 
Conference in 1905. 

Married to Althea Amanda Priest, March 1, 1905. Three 
children: Althea Mable, Alexanora Ruth, Alexander William 

Went to Africa with the pioneer party of the Africa In- 
dustrial Mission in 1901 and served as a missionary in Nigeria, 
West Africa, imtil 1915, when he accepted a position as Secre- 
tary for the British and Foreign Bible Society for West Africa. 

Barbezat, Alfred William— Bom in Illinois, February 7, 1881. 
Parents were Albert and Helen Barbezat. Raised on the 
farm, received a common school education and later took a 
theological course. 

Converted at ttte age of twenty-two and entered the 
' ministry in 1906, being ordained by the Pacific Conference in 

Married in 1908 to Arminta Mable Prouty. Two chil- 
dren: Mercedes and Rhoda. 

Held pastorates at Wenas, Strandale, and Mt. View, 
Wash., and at Filer, Idaho, in the Pacific Conference. 

Presiding Elder of the Pacific Conference for four years, 
and later Conference Evangelist. 



Barrtll» Jacob Franklin— Bom in Northampton County, Pa., 
December 3, 1867. Parents were Daniel and Lovina Barrall. 
Attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-nine; entered the ministry 
in 1901, and was ordained in 1004, by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married to Annie J. Wolf on November 20, 1890. Two 
children: Ray L. and Frances R. 

Held pastorates at Weissport and Lehighton, Allentown, 
Coopersburg and Springtown, Fleetwood, Blandon and Terre 
£[ill. Spring City and Royersford, Shamokin, Pa. 

Bartlett, Sylvester— Bom at Sangate, Vermont, July 13, 1867. 
Parents both Highland Scotch, the father dying four months 
before he was bom. 

Converted at the age of thirty-one years and entered the 
ministry in 1897, being ordained by the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference in 1904. 

Married to Carrie Irilla Flemings, November 9, 1889. 
Six children: Maud Ethel, Richard Eugean, Sylvester jr., Levi, 
Henry, Mable Edna. 

Held pastorates in the United Brethren Church (Old Con- 
stitution) at Elkhart, LakeviUe, and Bruce Lake, Indiana, also 
in the M. B. C. Church at Beech Grove, Ohio and Gk>shen, 

Was Conference Evangelist for several years. 

Bechtel, Manuel D.— Bom in Blair, Waterloo Coimty, Ont., 
August 10, 1855. Parents were Moses and Elizabeth Bechtel. 
Raised on the farm and received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of 15 years and entered the min- 
istry in 1893, being ordained by the Michigan Conference in 

Married to Mary Ann Hembling, March 12, 1896. Three 
children: Moses Gordon, John Earl, Mary Elizabeth. 

Held pastorates at Geneva, Cass River, Elkton, Green- 
wood, Elmer, Ubly, Wetzel, Clearwater, and Riverside, in the 
Michigan Conference. 

Beex7» Jesse Al— Bom at Shambaugh, Iowa, July 22, 1885. 
Parents were Amos and Laura (Woods) Beery. Raised on the 
farm and attended the common school, also attended one year 
at the Central Holiness University. Converted at the age of 
twenty-one years, and entered the ministry in 1908, being 
ordained by the Nebraska Conference in 1911. 



Married to Velma L. Fulk, December 6, 1906, and after 
her death to Bertha Palmer, September 10, 1915. Five chil- 
dren: Alvin, Maurice, Marvin, Ethel, and Wayne, of whom 
the last two are deceased. 

Held pastorates at Holbrook Center, Colo.; Trenton, 
Iowa; and Blooniington, Nebr., in the Nebraska Conference. 

Bergstresser, Robert — Bom in Northampton County, Pa., Aug. 
19, 1860. Parents were David and Lovina Bergstresser. 

Was raised on the farm, and attended the common school. 

Was converted in 1891; began to preach in 1901 and was 
ordained by the Pennsylvania Conference in 1904. 

In 1882 was married to Sarah A. Hixon. There were five 
children : William D., Robert C, Oliver F., Paul H., and Viola H. 

Held pastorates at Walnutport and Tripoli, South Allen- 
town and Emaus, Graterford and HarleysviUe, Zionsville, 
Nazareth and Plainfield, and Mt. Carmel, Pa. 

Bolwell, John — ^Bom in London, Middlesex, England, July 13, 
1852. Parents were James and Loveday (Popjoy) Bolwell. 
Due to the death of his father, his education was limited to 
the conmion school, and he became an apprentice at twelve 
years of age. 

Converted at the age of seventeen and entered the min- 
istry in 1902, being ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married to Jemima Jane Day, July, 1878. Six children 
living: Annie, Ellen, Edith, Rose, Alfred, John. 

Held pastorates at Stouffville, Sunnidale, Maryboro, Hes- 
peler, Collingwood, Scott, and Stayner, in the Ontario Con- 

Before joining the M. B. C. -Church he labored four years 
with the Primitive Methodists and twenty-four years with the 
Canada Methodist Church. 

Bowman, Benjamin U. — ^Bom in Wilmot township, Waterloo 
County, Ontario, April 2, 1857. Parents were Joseph B. and 
Leah (linger) Bowman. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two years, and entered 
the ministry in 1904, being ordained by the Michigan Confer- 
ence in 1914. 

Married to Veronica Hallman, November 4, 1878, and 
after her death to Rachel Hallman, December 26, 1882. Seven 
children: Eva, Elmer, Irvin, Aden, Ira, Roy, and Vema. 

15 225 


Held pastorates at Cass River, Caledonia, and Petoskey, 
in the Michigan Conference, and served as Presiding Elder in 
the Michigan Conference from 1917-1920. 

Bowman, Mexmo — Bom in Kitchener, Ont., May 20, 1837. 
Parents were Samuel and Anna Bowman. Raised on the farm 
and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight years. Entered the 
ministry in 1875. 

Married to Susan Snyder on April 11, 1858. Eleven chil- 
dren: Alice, OUver, Cjrrus, Nancy, Susie, Allan, Lena, Emer- 
son, Lloyd, Annie, Frank. 

Held pastorates at Bethel, Vineland, Markham, and 

Served as Presiding Elder for fourteen years. 

Died March 18, 1906. 

Bradley, John Albert — ^Bom near Yale, Michigan, April 11, 1894. 
Parents were Reuben and Mary Bradley. Raised on the farm 
and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years and entered the 
ministry in 1915, being ordained by the Michigan Conference 
in 1920. 

Was married to Mamie Orcutt, July 8, 1920. 

Held pastorates at Caledonia, Williamsburg, and Flint, 

Brexmexnan, Daniel— Bom near Bremen, Fairfield Coimty, Ohio, 
June 8, 1834, his father being Henry Brenneman. He was 
raised on the farm and attended the conunon school. 

Converted in 1856 at the age of twenty-two years and 
was ordained as minister in the Old Mennonite Church in 

Married to Susannah Keagy in March, 1857, and after 
her death to Delia Troyer in April, 1910. Ten children: Tim- 
othy, Samuel, Joseph, Daniel, Moody, Mary, Rhoda, Martha, 
Phoebe, and Naomi. 

Was a prominent minister among the Old Mennonites. 
Leader of the Reformed Mennonites in the U. S. when they 
separated from the Old church in 1874. He took an active 
pajrt in the various church unions leading up to the formation 
of the M. B. C. Church, and held various pastorates in the 
Ohio and Indiana Conference. He was Presiding Elder for 
many years and a member of every General Conference during 
the period of his active ministry. 



Founder of the Gospel Banner and its Editor for the first 
four years; also the author of a little volume of poems en- 
titled "Thoughts in Rhyme." 

Died at Goshen, Ind., September 10, 1919. 

For further details see biographical sketch, Chapter V. 

Bricker, Milton — ^Bom near Roseville, Waterloo Coimty, Ont., 
August 16, 1877. Parents were Noah and Catheran (Kie- 
fabhor) Bricker. Raised on the farm and attended the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years and entered the 
ministry in 1900, being ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married to Agnes Schell, March 5, 1907. Three children: 
Ella, Olive, and Edna. 

Held pastorates at Hespeler, Port Elgin, Shrigley, Stouff- 
viUe, Markham, and Sunnidale, in the Ontario Conference. 

Brown, William — Bom in the township of Amaranth, Ont., 
December 23, 1872. Parents were Robert and Mary (Barnes) 
Brown. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two, entered the ministry 
in 1900 and was ordained by the Ontario Conference in 1904. 

Married to Ida Troxell, Jime 30, 1903. Four children: 
William Cecil, Irvin Emerson, Ivan Wesley, and John Elmore. 

Held pastorates at Scott, Stouffville, Simnidale, Toronto, 
Kitchener, and Vineland in the Ontario Conference. 

Brubacher, Isaac B. — Bom near Kitchener in Waterloo County, 
Ontario, November 8, 1883. Parents were Isaac M. and Mary 
Ann Brubacher. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of ten years; entered the ministry 
in 1908, and was ordained in 1912 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Cora May Sider on December 26, 1911. Two 
children: Mervin John and Elgin Grant. 

Held pastorates at Collingwood, Port Elgin, and Elmwood, 

Brunner, C. H. — Bom January 2, 1864; raised on the farm and 
received a common school education. 

Married to Sarah C. Musselman on September 27, 1888. 
Two children: Paul M. (deceased), and Dorothy C. 
Entered the ministry in 1893 and was ordained in 1896. 
Held pastorates at Erwinna, Morristown, Royersford and 



Grateraford, Reading, Blandon and Athol, Bethlehem and 
Allentown, in the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Pennsylvania Conference 
from 1898 to 1902 and from 1906 to 1908, President of the 
Home Missionary Society of his Conference from 1900 to 
1906. Missionary Presiding Elder from 1901 to 1905. Sec- 
retary of the Conference for twenty years. Edited the Gospel 
Banner from 1908 to 1912. 

Campbell, Andrew— Bom at Milford, Seward Comity, Nebraska, 
Jmie 5, 1875. Parents were George and Rachel Campbell. 
Was raised on the farm and attended the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of seventeen and was ordained to 
the ministry in the Nebraska Conference in 1905. 

Married to Mable Elsie Miner on June 2, 1904. Three 
children: Alice, Helen, Clarice. 

Held pastorates at Kremlin and Jett, Okla.; Cambridge 
and Moline, Nebr.; and Reamsville, Kans., in the Nebraska 

Carmichael, M. J. — Bom in Page Comity, Iowa, November 20, 

Converted at the age of twenty-three years and entered 
the ministry soon after. He was ordained by the Nebraska 
Conference in 1900. 

Married to Eva Taylor, February 7, 1900. Children: 
Ruth, Rhoda, and Philip. After the decease of first wife, 
which occurred in 1906, he was married to Bertha M. Bartlett, 
May 22, 1907. Children: Paul and Mark. 

Held pastorates at Newton, Kan.; Stuttgart, Ark., and 
La Junta, Colo., in the Nebraska Conference; and at Yakima 
and Mt. View, Wash.; Orange, Calif.; Filer, Idaho, and Mo- 
Minnville, Ore., in the Pacific Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Pacific Conference, 
1906-1907, 1911-1914, 1915-1917, 1919-. 

Caisely Emanuel N. — ^Bom in Montgomery County, Pa., Novem- 
ber 10, 1875. Parents were Jonas M. and Kate (Nice) Cassel. 
Attended the common school and spent a short time in Normal 

Converted at the age of nineteen; entered the ministry in 
1899, and was ordained in 1904 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Married on May 15, 1897, to Ida Price. Five children: 
LolUy Byrcm, Alton, Herbert, and Willard. 

Heki pastorates at Athol, Blandon and Fleetwood, Zions- 



ville and Hereford, Spring City and Royersford, Allentown, 
Coopersburg and Springtown, South Allentown, Graterford 
and Harleysville. 

Cline, Walter O. — Bom near Middleville, Barry County, Mich- 
igan, *May 16, 1885. Parents were Mason and Nancy Cline. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years and entered the 
ministry in 1908, being ordained by the Michigan Conference 
in 1914. 

Married to OUve Amybell Kelley on December 12, 1906. 
Two children: Oliver Gail and Esther Mae. 

Held pastorates at Geneva, Pontiac, Flint, and Fremont, 
in the Michigan Conference. 

Cober, Peter — Bom in Pushlinch Township, Wellington County, 
Ontario, May 7, 1853. Parents were Nicholas and Nancy 
(Holm) Cober. Raised on the farm and educated in the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one, entered the ministry 
in 1881, and ordained in 1884. 

Married to Martha Steinacher, September 28, 1875. 
Eight children: Rosa, Addie, Ira, Samantha, Vernon, Wilfrid, 
Milton, and Gordon, the third and last being deceased. 

Held pastorates at Ubly and Deanville, Mich.; Bethel 
and Groshen, Ind. ; Markham, Berlin, Kilsyth^ Bethel, Shrigley, 
Breslau, Maryboro, and Hespeler, Ont. 

Presiding Elder of the Ontario Conference for two terms, 
totaling ten years; member of six General Conferences and 
chairman of one of them; member of the Executive Committee 
for a nimiber of years; member of the Ontario Foreign Mis- 
sion Board and of the United Orphan and Mission Board. 

Creasey, Arthur — Bom in Derbyshire, England, February 14, 
1878. Parents were Henry and Mary Creasey. At the age of 
one and a half years his parents moved to the United States, 
settling in Illinois and later in Colorado and Washington. Re- 
ceived a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four; entered the ministry 
in 1908, and was ordained in 1920 by the Pacific Conference. 

Married to Mina Meyers on July 29, 1907, and after her 
death in 1917 to Elida Enochs on July 26, 1920. 

Held pastorates at Madras, and Culver, Oregon, Harper, 
Kans; Round Butte, and Rockland, Idaho; and Wapato, Wash. 



Cressman, Silas — ^Bom in Waterloo Ck>unty, Ontario, November 
7, 1866. Parents were Enos and Elizabeth (Shantz) Cressman. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years and entered the 
ministry in 1889, being ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married Sarah Wagner on March 19, 1890. Seven children : 
Clayton Wellington, Wilmot Stanley, Gertrude Elizabeth, 
Vernon Wagner, Lloyd Silas, Joy Beatrice, Franklin Homer. 

Held pastorates at KilB3^h, Manitoulin Island, Port Elgin, 
Markham, Breslau, Stayner, and Kitchener, in the Ontario 

Presiding Elder of the Ontario Conference various terms, 
and Treasurer of the Home and Foreign Mission Boards; City 
Mission President 1919 — 

Culp» Wilson W. — Bom near Teegarden, Marshall Coimty, Ind., 
November 23, 1887. Parents were Amos J. and Magdalena 
Culp. Lived in Wakarusa, Ind., till eleven years of age and 
then on a farm in Missouri till eighteen; attended the common 

Converted at the age of twenty-two years and entered 
the ministry in 1911, being ordained by the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference in 1915. 

^' Married to Mary E. Hughes on April 6, 1907. Seven 
children: Florence, Gladys, Clarence, Harley, Beulah, Bertha 
May, and Richard (deceased). 

Held pastorates at West Union, Nappanee, Oak Grove, 
Indiana Chapel, Greenville and Beech, in the Ohio and Indiana 
Conference. Also evangelist for one year. 

CurtiB, Claudiiu K,— Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, July 27, 
1850. Parents were Burtin H. and Elizabeth Curtis. 

Was educated in the public school of Elkhart county, 

Was converted in 1880; began to preach in 1884, and was 
ordained by the Indiana and Ohio Conference in 1886. 

In 1869 was married to Leah Blosser. There were four 
children of this marriage: Lucinda, Ella, Joseph (deceased), 
and Barbara. After the death of the first wife he married Re- 
becca Blosser, in 1879. There were five children of this marriage: 
Viola, Eva, Otho, Homer, and Metta Aura. 

Held pastorates at South West, Wakarusa, Nappanee, Oak 
Grove, Bethel, West Union, North Union, Indiana; Pleasant 
Hill, Michigan. 



Served as Presiding Elder ten years: seven years in the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference, and tluree years in the Nebraska 

Davis, John L. — Bom in Worth County, Mo., June 26, 1875. 
Parents were Bartholomew and Amanda Davis. Raised on 
the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four years, entered the 
ministry in 1902 and ordained by the Nebraska Conference in 

Married to Etna Wilkerson, January 6, 1897. Eight chil- 
dren: Ora, Marie, Carlos, Priscilla, Edward, Claud, Mildred 
(deceased), Willard. 

Held pastorates at Bonanga, Ark.; Helena, Okla.; Weep- 
ing Water, Neb.; Harper, Kan.; and Osborne, Kan., in the 
Nebraska Conference. 

Dean, Ransom Daniel — Bom near Brown City, Sanilac County, 
Mich., April 5, 1881. Parents were Ransom and Caroline 
(Temple) Dean. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years, entered the 
ministry in 1917, and ordained by the Michigan Conference in 

Married to Matilda Johnson, June 19, 1906. 

Held pastorates at Petoskey, and Pellston, in the Michigan 

Detwiler, Jacob B. — Bom in North Dumfries Township, Waterloo 
County, Ont., October 6, 1844. Parents were Enoch R. and 
Abigail (Bechtel) Detwiler. Raised on the farm and attended 
the conunon school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years and entered the 
ministry in 1879. 

Married to Harriet Shantz, March 18, 1866, and after her 
death to Margaret Williams, February 28, 1911. No children, 
but two girls adopted: Louisa Miller and Mary Fister. 

Held pastorates at Nottawasaga, Kitchener, Blair, Elm- 
wood, and Bethel, in the Ontario Conference. In 1894 removed 
to Alberta, where he remained seventeen years. Spent three 
months in 1903 in Washington State, and had charge of Moun- 
tain View work. Returned to Ontario in 1913, and had charge 
of Sunnidale work for seven months. 

Editor of the Gospel Banner for two years, 1886-1888. 



Detwiler, Noah — Bom in Dumfries Township, Ontario, March 23, 
1838. Parents were Benjamin and Elizabeth Detwiler. Re- 
ceived a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-seven. Entered the 
ministry in 1874 and was ordained in the same year by Solomon 
Eby, at Port Elgin. 

Married to Fanny Bush on September 4, 1860. Seven 
children: Mrs. Eliza Sherk, Mrs. S. S. Hallman, Sarah, Jos- 
ephine, Lovina, Hannah McJinda, and Priscilla, the last three 
being deceased. 

First traveling minister of the Ontario Conference. Held 
pastorates at Port Elgin, Nottawasaga, Stayner, Maridiam, 
Kitchener, Bethel, and Toronto, Ont. 

Also traveled through Pennsylvania and Kansas on evan- 
gelistic tours, and spent twelve seasons in tabernacle work in 
the Ontario Conference. 

Died December 25, 1914. 

Diekert, Robert William— Bom at Quakertown, Pa., December 
29, 1889. Parents were William B. and Sarah Dickert. At- 
tended the common school. 

Converted at the age of nine years; entered the ministry 
in 1916, and was ordained in 1919 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married to Miss Nellie Mae Blank on December 25, 1912. 
One child: Mildred Ethel. 

Held pastorates at Quakertown, Graterford, and Read- 
ing, Pa. 

Dodd, Russell Maynard — Bom in Listowel, Ontario, August 16, 
1878. Father was Charles B. Dodd. Moved to Michigan when 
foiu*teen months of age; attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of nineteen, entered the ministry in 
1899, being ordained by the Michigan Conference in 1906. 

Married to Mary M. Swartz on April 17, 1900. Seven 
children: Vera, Rorie, Allen, Virgil, Clare, Russell, and Fred- 

Held pastorates at Cass River, Elmer, Brown City, Elk- 
ton, Port Huron, and Pontiac, in the Michigan Conference. 

Presiding Elder of the Michigan Conference 1914-17; 1918- 

Douglass, B.— Bom in Huron Coimty, Ontario, August 20, 1874. 
Parents were Robert and Jane S. (McKersey) Douglass. At- 
tended the common schooL 

Converted at the age of eighteen years and entered the 



ministry in 1906, being ordained by the Michigan Conference 
in 1911. 

Married to Edith L. Tice on August 14, 1907. Two chil- 
dren: Mary Dorothy and Oliver Glenn. 

Held pastorates at Clearwater, Colfax, Cass River, and 
Brown City, in the Michigan Conference. 

""Eby, Amos — ^Bom near Kitchener, Ontario, April 13, 1842. 
Parents were Benjamin and Elizabeth (Cressman) Eby. 
Raised on the farm and attended the conunon school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-nine years; entered the 
ministry in 1876 and was ordained in 1888. 

Married to Esther Mayer on February 9, 1869. Six chil- 
dren: Allan, Louisa, Matilda, Norman, Josiah, Ida. 

Held pastorates at Port Elgin, Stayner, Breslau, Shrigley, 
Sunnidale, Scott, Toronto, and Vineland, in the Ontario Con- 

""Eby, Solomon — Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, May 15, 
1834. Parents were Benjamin and Elizabeth (Cressman) Eby. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirty-five, after he had been 
preaching in the Old Mennonite Church for eleven years, 
having been ordained in 1858. 

Married to Catirine Shantz on June 17, 1855, and to them 
twelve children were bom. 

Held pastorates at Breslau, Elmwood, Bethel, Markham, 
and Kitchener, in the Ontario Conference. 

Presiding Elder of the Ontario Conference for various 
terms totaling eighteen years, and a member of many General 
Conferences. Leader of the Reformed Mennonites in Canada 
when they separated from the Old Church, and active in the 
various unions that later resulted in the M. B. C. Church. 

For further details see biographical sketch. Chapter III. 

Brb, Isaac — Bom near Stratford, Ontario, January 1, 1886. Parents 
were Dilman Kinsey and Phoebe (Huber) Erb. Raised on the 
farm and received a conunon school education. Later graduated 
from the Toronto Bible Training College. Graduated in 
medicine from the University of Toronto in 1918. 

Converted at the age of fifteen years. Entered the min- 
istry in 1909, and was ordained m 1914 by the Ontario Con- 
ference. Took medical training with a view of becoming a 
medical missionary, but conditions hindered his going. Has 



had charge of the Department of Pathology in the Hospital for 
8iok Chfldren, Toronto. 

Married to Olive Leolia Troxel on April 24, 1918. One 
child: John Troxel Erb. 

ndler, Joshua Elmer— Bom at North Heidelberg, Pa., January 
26, 1868. Parents were John K. and Sarah A. (Gruber) Fidler. 
Raised on the farm and educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years. Entered the min- 
istry in 1888 and ordained in 1891 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married to Elizabeth H. Rittenhouse on June 6, 1889. 
Eight children: Naomi R., Anna R., John R., Laiu*a Bertha, 
Rosa Ruth, Adoniram Elmer, Elsie Isabelle, and Ethel Eliza- 

During a period of twenty-two years held pastorates at 
Norristown and Gratersford, Quakertown and Hatfield, 
Coopersburg and Emaus, Spring City and Norristown, Latrobe, 
Fairmount and Loop, Royersford, Upper Milford, Pa.; Glen- 
gardner and Amandale, N. J.; Markham, Elmwood, and 
• Toronto, Ont. 

Also served as a missionary in Hadjin, Turkey. 

Fieaher, Oscar Lee— Bom near Chillicothe, Ohio, March 3, 1882. 
Parents were Jacob and Tamsy Flesher. Raised on the farm 
and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of nineteen, entered the ministry in 
1905, being associated with the Christian Nation Evangelistic 
Association. United with the M. B. C. Church in 1913 and 
was ordained in 1918. 

Married to Blanche E. Rohrer on January 16, 1907. 
Three children: Mildred, Mamie, Myma. 

Held pastorates at Da3rton, Ohio, and Wakarusa, Ind., in 
the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Frets, Sylvester H. — Bom near Jordan, Lincoln County, Ontario, 
October 2, 1870. Parents were Samuel and Margaret (Houser) 
Fretz. Attended the public school. 

Converted at the age of sixteen, entered the ministry in 
1^, and was ordained in 1906. 

Married to Lydia Ann Eby on December 24, 1903. Two 
children: Samuel Cornelius and Milton Harold. 

Held pastorates at Dornoch, Bruce Peninsula, and Mani- 
toulin Island, in the Ontario Conference. 



TrBjf Harvey R. — ^Born at Erbsville, Waterloo County, Ontario, 
April 13, 1882. Parents were Martin M. and Susannah (Rudy) 
Frey. Received a common school education and later took 
some English work with the International Correspondence 

Converted at the age of fourteen, and entered the ministry 
in 1906, being ordained by the Ontario Conference in 1910. 

Married to Ethyl E. Squire on September 14, 1909. Three 
children: Nellie Jean, Herbert Squire, and Leslie Morris (de- 

Held pastorates at Manitoidin Island, Maryboro, Sunni- 
dale, and Breslau, in the Ontario Conference. 

Qehxnan, William— Bom in Hereford Township, Berks County, 
Pa., January 22, 1827. 

Voted into the ministry when quite young and ordained 
in 1849. 

Married to Anna Musselman, and to them were bom five 
sons and four daughters: Menno, Henry, Francis, Allen, 
WilUam, Amanda (Mrs. Geo. Lambert), Hannah (Mrs. H. Z. 
Heist), Mary (Mrs. D. M. Taylor), Sarah (Mrs. A. Hassler). 
The first and last named are deceased. 

Leader of the EvangeUcal Mennonites when they separated 
from the Oberholtzer branch of the Mennonite Church (later 
General Conference) ih 1857, and active in the various unions 
leading to the M. B. C. Church. First Presiding Elder of the 
Pennsylvania Conference, which ofl&ce he held for thirteen 
consecutive years, until his retirement. Attended a total of 
106 special, annual, semi-annual, and general conferences and 
was chairman of twenty-nine of these. 

Died near AUentown, Pa., April 12, 1918. 

For further details see biographical sketch, Chapter VII. 

Qehxnan, William Qeorge — Bom in Vera Cruz, Lehigh County, 
Pa., September 17, 1874. Parents were WilUam and Anna 
Gehman. Raised on the farm and received a high school 

Converted at the age of nine years; entered the ministry 
in 1896, and was ordained in 1899 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married in September, 1900, to Emma T. Einsell, and after 
her death to Lizzie T. Kinsell in August, 1910. Seven children, 
the first four by the first marriage: Grace I., Mildred L., Va* 
leria M., Ethel M., N. Vivian, Alma E., and Wilbert E. 



Held pastorates at Ro3rerBford and Spring City, Ldiigh- 
tcm and Weissport, Mt. Carmel, and Bethlehem, Pa. 

Served dso as Presiding Elder since 1905 and President 
of the Gospel Herald Society since 1905. 

Qeiger, Amos— Bom in Wilmot Township, Waterloo County, 
Ontario, February 8, 1873. Parents were Daniel S. and Mag- 
dalena (Hotell) Geiger. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years, entered the min- 
istry in 1896 and was ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married to Nancy Mathilta Battler on Jime 20, 1894. 
Six children: Jerrimah, Vernon (deceased), Melvin, Irvin, 
Mary, and Lillie. 

Held pastorate at Hespeler and labored as helper at 
Bethel, Bright, Breslau, and a few other places in the Ontario 

Qeiger, Peter — ^Bom in Wilmot Township, Ontario, January 11, 
1835. Raised on the farm and received a common school edu- 

Converted at the age of twenty-four. Entered the min- 
istry in Huron County, Mich., in 1863. 

Married to Mary Ann Wilson in 1858, and after her death 
in 1873, to Mrs. John Lemon Connor in 1874. The latter died 
in 1900, and he remarried in 1902 to Eliza Shirley. Six chil- 
dren: Albert, James, Adaline, John, Anna, and Lovina. 

Held pastorates for about twelve years in Huron County, 
^ Mich; Blair, Kitchener, Breslau, and New Ihmdee, Ontario. 

Was a representative at the conference in 1875, when the 
New and Reformed Mennonites imited. 

Died February 3, 1920. 

Qood, Andrew— Bom m Fairfield Coimty, Ohio, February 6, 
1838. Parents were Samuel and Catherine Good. 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the min- 
istry in the Brethren in Christ Church about 1870, serving as 
pastor and evangelist. In 1885 he imited with the M. B. C. 
Church, continuing his ministry. 

Married to Dianah Hendrich on October 4, 1866. There 
were nine children, three of whom are deceased. 

Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Conference for 
three years (1887-1890). The greater part of his time was 
devoted to evangelistic work. He traveled over 200,000 miles, 



preaching in nearly every state in the Union, also making 
twenty-nine trips to Canada besides one to Northwest Canada. 
Died at New Carlisle, October 3, 1918. 

Good, Csmis Nathaniel — ^Bom at Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, 
in 1869. Parents were Jacob G. and Elizabeth (Frank) Good. 
Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty, entered the ministry in 
1894 and was ordained in the Ontario Conference in 1897. 

Married to Lovina Snyder in 1893, and after her death to 
Livy C. Hallman, in 1900. Four children: Grace Irene, Ira 
Merle, Gordon Ray, Myrtle Dell. 

Held pastorates at Port Elgin, Elmwood, Breslau, Aylmer, 
Toronto, Markham, and Kitchener, in the Ontario Conference. 

Also served as City Mission President from 1913-1918; 
Presiding Elder for 1 year (1918-1919), and Conference Evan- 
gelist afterward. 

Qooding, Thomas Alonzo — Bom near Washington, Oxford 
Coimty, Ontario, July 6, 1884. Parents were Stephen and 
Margaret Gooding. Raised on the farm and attended the 
conmion school, later took some Bible work by correspondence. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one. Entered the ministry 
in 1908 and was ordained in 1912, by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Flossie Louisa Dimcan on September 18, 1912. 
Three children: Eldon, Evelyn, and Dorothy. 

Held pastorates at Manitoulin Island, Stayner, Wallace, 
and Maryboro, Ontario. 

Qoudie, Henry — ^Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, January 16, 
1851. Parents were David and Nancy Goudie. Received a 
common school education. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1878, and was ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married to Sarah Wildfong on December 24, 1872. Seven 
children: Angeline, Alzinah, Adah, Nancy, Emerillah, Royal, 

For twenty-eight years was a pastor, and for fourteen 
years Presiding Elder in the Ontario and Canadian Northwest 

Goudie, Samuel-— Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, August 11, 
1866. Parents were David and Nancy (Wanner) Goudie. 
Raised on the farm and received a common school education. 



Passed entrance examination to high school, and took up con- 
tinuation work. 

Converted at the age of seventeen. Entered the ministry 
in 1886 and was ordained in 1891, by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Eliza J. Smith on March 20, 1889. Three 
children: Pearl E. (deceased), Fletcher S., and Howard A. 

Held pastorates at Sherkston, Port Elgin, Maryboro, 
Vineland, Kitchener, and Toronto, Ontario. 

Served as Presiding Elder, Associate Editor of the Gospel 
Banner, and Chairman of the Executive Board. 

Oraybiely William— Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, July 20, 
1862. Parents were Edward and Mary (Whitmer) Graybiel. 
Raised on the farm, received a conmion school education. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1891, and was ordained by the Ontario Conference in 

Married to Lucy Ann Young in 1885. Three children: 
Verdella Florence, Mary Lucile, and Isaiah Ashton. 

Served as a pastor for twenty years in the Michigan and 
Ontario Conferences, and as Presiding Elder for two years in 
the former. 

Oreen, Sheridan J. — Bom in Midland County, Mich., January 4, 
18i59. Father was Francis Green. Was educated in the pubHc 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the min- 
istry in 1898, and was ordained in 1901 by the Nebraska Con- 

Married to Edith Herriman on January 3, 1901. Three 
children: Charles Gerald, Delbert Francis, Veleda Mae. 

Held pastorates at New Market, Iowa; Milford, Oxford, 
and Cambridge, Neb.; Osborne and Reamsville, Kan., and 
Hinton, Okla. 

Died February 10, 1915. 

Orout, John Oarfleld— Bom in Linn, Wabash County, 111., Sep- 
tember 22, 1881. Parents were Elon and Luella Grout. Raised 
on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-three; entered the ministry 
the same year, and was ordained in 1907 by the Pacific Con- 

Married to Edith Leona Zediker on October 26, 1907. 
Three children: LaVera Leona, Claude LeEldrin, Leland 



Held paatorates in Filer, Idaho; Pleasant Valley, Mt. View, 
and Yakima, Wash., in the Pacific Conference. 

Served as Home Mission Superintendent one year, Editor 
of the Gospel Preacher three years. Conference Evangelist 
three years, and President of the Pacific Coast Evangels one 

Grout, William Rathbom— Born in Lynn, 111., March 19, 1883. 
^ Parents were Elon and Luella Grout. Raised on the farm and 
received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty years. Entered the min- 
istry in. 1908 and was ordained in 1913 by the Pacific Confer- 

Married to Arcie Wright on March 7, 1912. One child: 
Donell LaVee. 

Held pastorates at Strandell, Belfast, Bremerton, Yakima, 
Mt. View, Birch Bay, Leber, Wash. 

OroTer, Theodore D.— Bom in Smith County, Kan., October 5, 
1884. Parents were Matthew D. and Margaret L. (McNealy) 
Grover. Raised on the farm, and received a common school 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years; entered the 
ministry in 1913 and was ordained in 1916 by the Nebraska 

Married to Mary V. Tilton on December 28, 1910. Two 
children: Julius H. and Virgil K. 

Held pastorates at Bethel, Kan., and Trenton, Iowa, in 
the Nebraska Conference. 

Gugin, John Francis — Bom in Osprey Township, Grey Coimty, 
Ontario, April 30, 1870. Parents were Greorge and Elizabeth 
(Vogle) Gugin. Raised on the farm and educated in the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight years; entered the 
ministry soon after, and was ordained in 1905 by the Ontario 

Married to Daisy Young on February 27, 1901. Six chil- 
dren: George L., Roswell W., Arthur W., Irene P., Annie M., 
and Florence L. 

Held pastorates at Manitoulin Island and Hespeler, Ont., 
in the Ontario Conference, and Didsbury, and Castor, in the 
Canadian Northwest Conference. 

Ouy, Jesse Samuel — Bom near London, Ontario, September 2, 
1862. Parents were Robert and Charlotte Guy. Lived in 



Michigan near Brown City from early childhood, and received 
a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four years; ent^«d the 
ministry in 1887, and was ordained in 1890. 

Married to Euphemia Pool on January 4, 1888. 

Held pastorates at Dornoch, Vineland, Stayner, in the 
Ontario Conference. 

Died March 15, 1897. 

Hall, James— Bom in Owen Soimd, Ontario, m 1862. Parents 
were William and Margaret Jane (Hoath) Hall. Raised on the 
farm and attended the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-five. Entered the min- 
istry in 1888 and was ordained in 1892 by the Ontario Confer- 

Married to Janet Douglass on March 27, 1889. Two chil- 
dren: William Robert and Lorance Douglass. 

Held pastorates in Wetzell, LeetsviUe, and Lamotte, Mich. 

Served as Evangelist in Michigan for six years,' and later 
moved to Alberta, where he engaged in frontier work. 

Hallxnan, H. S.— Bom August 5, 1859. 

Converted at the age of fourteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1881 and was ordained in 1885. 

Was married to Maria Rosenberger on February 18, 1881. 
Nine children: Manilla (Mrs. Roy Shantz, deceased), Abner, 
Ellen (Mrs. H. Geach), Lome, Ametta (Mrs. A. Bentley), 
Grace Isabelle, Alice Myrtle, William Howard, and Frances 

Held pastorates at Port Elgin and Elmwood in the On- 
tario Conference. 

Elected Editor of the Gospel Banner in 1888 and served 
for twenty years; also served as Publisher from 1899-1908. 

Secretary and Treasurer of the Ontario Conference Mis- 
sion Board from 1898 to 1910, and President from 1910 to 
1917. President of the Ontario Conference City Mission work 
for several years. Secretary of the Ontario Conference for 
fifteen years, and of the General Conference for twelve years. 

Published several periodicals and a Gospel Text Calendar. 

For several years pastor of the United Tabernacle, an in- 
dependent church in Columbus, Ohio. Later, Superintendent 
of the Publishing Business of The Christian and Missionary 
Alliance, New York City. 



Haveiui, William B.— Born in Wayne County, Ind., April 12, 1842. 
Parents were James and Mary EEavens. Received a common 
school education. 

Converted at the age of thirteen years; entered the ministry 
in 1894, being ordained in 1914 by the Pacific Conference. 

Married to Eliza Jane Reasoner on February 23, 1862. 
Five children: Mary Levina, EUie 'Clendora, Cary Oscar, Cora 
Alice and Lewis Austin. 

Held pastorates at Norton Coimty, North Dakota; Everett, 
Lyman, Leber, and Strandell, Wash.; and Portland, Ore. 

HefEner, William Franklin~-Bom at Fleetwood, Pa., September 
3, 1892. Parents were Daniel and Andora Heffner. Attended 
the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of fifteen years; entered the ministry 
in 1916, and was ordained in 1920 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married to Anneda Schearer on July 22, 1913. Three 
children: Ethel Mae, Donald Elwood, and Helen Ruth. 

Held pastorates at Washington, N. J.; Nazareth, and 
Quakertown, Pa. 

Henderson, Omer Bion — Bom near Clarinda, Page County, Iowa, 
February 14, 1871. Parents were Samuel Butler and Sarah 
Elizabeth (Perkins) Henderson. Raised on the farm, and at- 
tended the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1895, and was ordained in 1898 by the Nebraska Conference. 

Married to Eva Belle Fowler on February 2, 1898. Five 
children : Paul F., Rose Esma, Louise E., Earl T., and Omer B., 
the last two being deceased. 

Held pastorates at Hillsdale and Oswego, Kan.; Sham- 
baugh, Iowa; and Milford, Neb., in the Nebradsa Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Nebraska Conference for 
three years. 

Berber, William Ralph— Bom at Clarksville, Mich., April 13, 
1895. Parents, Henry H. and Ada A. (Nash) Herber. Raised 
on the farm, and educated in the common and high school at 
Brown City, Mich. 

Converted at the age of seventeen; entered the ministry 
in 1916, and was ordained in 1920. 

Married to Ida Luella Wilks on April 6, 1918. 

Held pastorates at Fremont, and Detroit, in the Michigan 

i« 241 


Htrriman, Cluules Hance— Bom in Ohio, April 28, 1843. Parents 
were John C. and Julian (Nedrow) Herriman. Attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of thirty-six years; entered the min- 
istry in 1895, and ordained in 1898 by the Nebraska Confer- 

Married to Maggie Brown in March; 1867. Nine children : 
Maude, Benjamin, Edith, Grace, Glendora, Vanzo, Oliver, 
Cecil, and Frederick. 

Most of his ministry was served in a local capacity. 

Henhey, Eusebiiu — ^Bom near Manheim, Lancaster Coimty, 
Pa., August 14, 1823. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; joined the United 
Brethren Church and started preaching for them in 1842. 
About 1845 he joined the M. B. C. Church, then called the 
Evangelical Mennonites. He traveled many miles through 
various states preaching, and made thirteen trips to Canada. 

He early felt the call to Africa, and on November 1, 1890, 
sailed from New Yoric, arriving at Sierre Leone after thirty- 
eight da3rs. He labored through an interpreter for six months, 
then took sick, and after a short illness of seven da3rs died on 
May 24, 1891. 

Hess, John Henry— Bom in Newton, Kan., July 12, 1886. Parents 
were Daniel and Hattie Hess. Raised on the farm andtittended 
the common school. Later took some high-school work and a 
course in Bible training at the Bible School, at Tabor, Iowa. 

Converted at the age of fifteen. Was ordained to the 
ministry by the Hepzibah Faith Missionary Association in 
1908, and accepted as a minister by the Nebraska Conference 
in 1918, and was ordained by them in 1920. 

Married to Naomi Weavers, September 1, 1908. Four 
children: Susannah Hattie, Beulah May, Geraldine Pearl, and 
Robert Daniel. 

Held pastorate at Shambaugh, Iowa. 

HillegasSy Oswin S.— Bom in Montgomery County, Pa., Sep- 
tember 14, 1859. Parents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Slo- 
necker) HUlegass. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1889, and was ordained in 1892 by the P^insylvania Con- 

Married on S^tember 27, 1879, to Celia H. Steiner. Five 
children: Joseph, Emma Alvesta, Aimie Louisa, Noami Rullr, 
Leah May. (All deceased). 



Held pastorates at Reading, AUoitowny Bethlehraa, Weiss- 
port and Lehighton, Terre Hill, Graterford, Zionsville, North- 
ampton, Quakertown, Pa. 

Hilly Henry — ^Bom in Lamton County, Ontario, in 1849. Parents 
were James and Almeda Hill. Raised on the farm and attended 
the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of thirty years; entered the ministry 
in 1906, and was ordained in 1917 in the Michigan Conference. 

Married to Clara Streeter on April 29, 1872. Five chil- 
dren: Wallace, Ethel, Emma, Jennie, Frank. 

Held pastorates at Ubly, Bad Axe, South Garfield, Cale- 
donia, and Wetzell, in the Michigan Conference. 

Hilts, William John — ^Born near Victoria Square, Ontario, January 
24, 1842. Parents were Godfrey and Mary Hilts. Raised on 
the farm and educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of seventeen years; ordained by the 
Ontario Conference in 1880, previous to which he had spent 
some years as a local minister among the Evangelical Meth- 

Married, to Eliza Jane Hilts on January 12, 1864. One 
child: William Albert. 

Held pastorates at Sunnidale, Bethel, Vineland, Brown 
City (Mich.), Maryboro, Shrigley, Scott, Port Elgin, in the 
Ontario Conference. 

Died June 19, 1901. 

Hodson, Emerson L. — Bom in Indiana, October 12, 1860. Parents 
Allen and Mary E. Hodson. Attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirty-six; entered the ministry in 
1901, and ordained in 1905 by the Nebraska Conference. 

Married to Maud A. Lucas on November 18, 1885. One 
child: Perry A. 

Held six different pastorates during a period of fourteop 
years, in the Nebraska Conference. 

Holdeman, I^anklin Alvin— Bom in Branch County, Mich., 
January 19, 1879. Parents were Abraham and Elizabeth 
Holdeman. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1899, and ordained in 1902 by the Indiana and Ohio 

Married to Emma Sando on March 25, 1908. Two chil- 
dren: Edith Myra and Nancy Elizabeth. 



Held pastorates at Goshen, Ind.; Latrobe and Hollidays- 
burg, Pa., in the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Homuth, Charles Tobias— Bom in Wingham, Huron County, 
Ontario, March 12, 1872. Parents were William F. and Eliza- 
beth (Gingrich) Homuth. Raised on the farm, and educated in 
the common school; later attended the Christian and Mission- 
ary Alliance Institute two terms. 

Converted at the age of fourteen; entered the ministry in 
the M. B. C. Church in 1909, and was ordained in 1911 by the 
Ontario Conference. 

In 1898 was pastor of the Christian Workers' Church in 
Toronto, and 1903 went to Africa with wife as missionary under 
the Africa Industrial Mission (Sudan Interior Mission); re- 
turned in a year and a half, due to sickness of wife. Entered 
the M. B. C. work in 1909, in the Ontario Conference, being 
sent to Aylmer. Returned to Africa in 1912, and spent two 
three-year terms there. On return, went to the Canadian 
Northwest and worked imder the Canadian Northwest Con- 
ference, stationed at Alsask, Saskatchewan. 

Hostetler, Jacob J.— Bom in Hohnes County, Ohio, August 12, 
1854. Parents were Moses J. and Elizabeth (Mast) Hostetler. 
Raised on the farm; commenced teaching school at seventeen 
years of age. Received a high-school education at Coimty Noiv 
mals and at Valparaiso, Ind.; took Bible courses by corre- 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1893, and was ordained in 1896. 

Married to Jennie Nelson on November 26, 1876, and 
after her death to Samantha Leatherman, on April 22, 1894; 
after her death, to Ida Tchumi, on March 19, 1913. Seven 
children by first marriage: William Owen, Myrtle May, Perley 
Grover, Grace Gladdys, Roxanna, Ora Mansel, and Bessie Belle, 
the last two being deceased. 

Held pastorates at Bluffton, S. Dak.; Shambaugh, Iowa; 
Nappanee, Wakarusa, Elkhart, and Goshen, Ind.; Greenville, 
Lima, and Dayton, Ohio — all appointments in the Indiana 
and Ohio Conference. 

Also served as Assistant Secretary and Secretary of the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference, Superintendent of the M. B. C. 
Bible Training School, and Editor of the Seminary Evangelist. 

Hottel, Frank M.— Bom at Locust Valley, Lehigh County, Pa., 
August 21, 1882. Parents were Solomon and Mary Ann Hottd. 
Attended the common school and took a correspcmdenoe course. 



Converted at the age of nine years; entered the ministry 
in 1905, and was ordained in 1909 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married on March 2, 1906, to Ida Gertrude Moyer. Six 
children: Verlette Mae, Harvey W., Clarence W., Ruth Hilda, 
Winfred Bruce, and Grace Pearl. 

Held pastorates at Washington, N. J., Fleetwood, Blandon, 
Terre Hill, Reading, and Philadelphia, Pa. 

Huffman, Calvin Irvin — Bom in Kosciusko County, Ind., October 
6, 1875. Parents were John W. and Hannah Martha Huffman. 
Raised on the farm and attended the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1896, and was ordained in 1901 by the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference. 

Married to Cora Sando on December 31, 1896. Four chil- 
dren: Russell J., D. Irene, Francis Feme, and Charles Marion. 

Held pastorates at Union Chapel, Stringtown, Western 
Pennsylvania circuit. Beech, Phillipsbiu*g, Berlamont, New 
Carlisle, all in the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Ohio District of the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference for five years, 1912-1917. 

Huffman, David H. — Bom in Noble Coimty, Ind., January 6, 
1867. Parents were John W. and Hannah Martha Huffman. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the ministry 
in 1916 and was ordained in 1920. 

Married to Hettie R. Smeltzer on March 26, 1891. Six 
children: Herbert A., Julia Ruth, George Arthur, Mary E., 
Jessie Paul, and Carl D., the last two being deceased. 

Assistant pastor at Elkhart, Ind., and pastor of the Misha- 
waka chiu*ch, in the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Huffman, Jasper Abraham — Bom in Elkhart County, Ind., Feb- 
ruary 28, 1880. Parents were John W. and Martha Huffman. 
Attended the pubUc schools of Indiana; graduated from Bone- 
brake Theological Seminary, 1909; graduate student University 
of Chicago, 1915; received A. B. from Bluffton College, 1915; 
B. D. from McCormick Theological Seminary, 1919; honored 
by Taylor University with the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 

Converted at the age of eleven years; entered the ministry 
in 1898, and ordained in 1904 by the Indiana and Ohio Confer- 



Married Elizabeth D. Lambert on May 5, 1901. Four 
children: David Paul, Martha Emma (deceased), S. Lambert, 
and John Abram. 

Held pastorates at Georgetown and Phillip8biu*g, New 
Carlisle and Pleasant Grove, and Dayton, in the Indiajoa and 
Ohio Conference. 

Served as Editor of the Gospel Banner, 1912- ; Editor 
and Publisher of the Gospel Banner, 1916-1920; Editor of the 
Bethel Series of Sunday School Literature, 1909- ; Chairman 
of the Indiana and Ohio Conference Foreign Mission Board; 
Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis in Bluff- 
ton College and Mennonite Seminary, 1914- . Author of 
'^Redemption Completed,'' ''Old Testament Messages of the 
Christ," "Job a World Example," "Upper Room Messages," 
and Editor-in-Chief of the History of the M. B. C. Chiu*ch. 
Secretary of General Conference in 1920. 

Huffman, William Judson — Bom in Noble County, Ind., Novem- 
ber 19, 1871. Parents were John W. and Hannah Martha 
Huffman. Received a common school education, and attended 
high school at Wolf Lake, Ind. 

Converted at the age of seventeen; entered the ministry in 
1891, and was ordained in 1897 by the Indiana and Ohio Con- 

Married to Jennie F. Good on February 9, 1893. Four 
children: Walter Andrew, Chester Arthur, John Elgar, and 
Orpha May. 

Held pastorates at Georgetown, Beech Grove, Greenville, 
Ohio; Western Pennsylvania; Goshen and Oak Grove, Ind., in 
the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference for three yearsj and worked under the North Indiana 
M. E. Conference for five years. 

Hygexna, David — Bom in Kosciusko County, Ind., October 13, 
1862. Parents were Romke and Yetskey Hygema. Left an 
orphan at the age of twelve years; received a common school 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the min- 
istry in 1891, and was ordained in 1895 by the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference. 

Married to Sarah Loucks on February 4, 1884. Six chil- 
dren: Martha, William, Irvin, Pearl, Mabel, Grace. 

Held past(Mrates at West Union, Southwest, Elkhart, 
Goshen, Bethel, Oak Grove, and Nappanee, Ind., in the Indiana 
and Ohio Conference. 



Hygexna, Jacob — ^Bom in Marshall County, Ind., November 26, 

1869. Parents were Romke and Yetskey Hygema. Left an 
orphan at the age of five ye£u*s, and placed in three different 
homes till seventeen. Attended the common school, also a 
Free Will Baptist college one term. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1892 and was ordained in 1897 by the Nebraska Conference. ^ 

Married to Esther Stahly on November 24, 1898. No 
children, but adopted two girls: Olive (deceased) and Dorotha 

Held pastorates at Stuttgart, Ark.; West Union, Ind.; 
Milford and Cambridge, Nebraska; Shambaugh and Trenton, 
la.; Harper,* Kan.; and Mountain View, Wash. 

Served as Presiding Elder one year in the Nebraska Con- 
ference; teacher in Bible schools eight winters; Associate Editor 
of the Gospel Banner eight years; elected as instructor in the 
Fort Wayne Bible School in 1920. 

Jackson, Qeorge Clement — Bom in Holland Township, Cfrey 
County, Ontario, September 25, 1881. Parents were Thomas 
and Susan Jackson. Educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirteen; entered the ministry and 
was ordained in 1914 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Charlotte Allen on October 13, 1903. Two 
children: Ida Pearl and Allen Thomas. 

Jetti Warner Maddoz — Bom at Lagrange, Ky., December 13, 

1870. Parents were James P. and Huldah F. (Maddox) Jett. 
Received a common school education. 

Converted al the age of thirty-five years; entered the min- 
istry in 1911, and was ordained in 1914 by the Nebraska Con- 

Married to Carrie Saylor on December 9, 1897, and after 
her death to Nannie Jamieson, on September 9, 1909. Three 
children: Feme, James Edmond, and Lowell La Verne, the 
former from first marriage. " 

Held pastorates at Oswego, Kan., and Bloomington, Neb., 
in the Nebraska Conference. 

Jones, Fred A. — Bom in St. Clair County, Mich., August 16, 
1779. Father was M. S. Jones. Raised on the farm and re- 
ceived a conmion school education; later attended two terms 
of Bible School at Elkhart, Ind. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1904, and ordained in 1914 by the Michigan Conference. 



S Married to Ella Nash on April 11, 1905. Three children: 
Ethel (deceased), Ray, and Roy. 

in Held pastorates at Bliss, Brown City, Yale, Greenwood, 
Detroit, and Cass City, in the Michigan Conference. 

Kagey, Faj Stewart— Bprn in Blaine, Whatcome County, Wash., 
September 14, 1892. Parents were Joseph Henry and Mary 
Katherine Kagey. Raised on the farm and attended the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of fifteen; entered the ministry in 
1910, being ordained in 1912 by the Pacific Conference. 

Married to Ruth Bessie lliompson on March 10, 1917. 

Held pastorates at Ctdver, C)re.; L3rman, Slrandell, and 
Granger, Wash. 

Also served as Vice Presiding Elder of the Pacific Confer- 

*Kailffman, Abraham Huber — ^Bom near Lancaster City, Pa., 
August 6, 1854. Parents were Christian and Mary Kauffman. 
Raised on the farm and educated in the common school. 

Baptized and joined the church at the age of twehty-two, 
but not clear in conversion till thirty-four. Entered the min- 
istry in 1891, and was ordained in 1894 by the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference. 

Married to Lizzie B. Horst on September 9, 1873. Four 
children: Harvey H., Ada H., Elmer H., and Alvin H. 

Held pastorates at Weaver School House, Kan.; Grand 
Rapids, Mich., and Port Huron, Mich. 

Served for some time as evangelist, city missionary, and 
tabernacle worker. Organized the classes and built the churches 
at Elkhart, Ind., and Port Hiux>n, Mich. 

For some years has been connected with the Nazarene 

Kitehing, John Norman — Bom at Shrigley, Dufferin Coimty, 
Ontario, June 10, 1869. Parents were Thomas and Elizabeth 
Kitching. Raised on the farm, and educated in the common 

Converted at the age of eighteen; entered the ministry in 
1891, and was ordained in 1895 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Matilda A. Goudie, July 15, 1903, and after 
her death to Hannah B. Little, November 15, 1904. Five 
children: Verdella, Vera, Bertha (deceased), Edna, and John 

Held pastorates at Bright, Ont.; Wetzell, Greenwood, 
Brown City, and Port Huron, Mich.; Owen Sound, Kitchener, 



Toronto^ and Scott, Ont., under the Ontario and Michigan 

Served as City Mission President seven years, and Con- 
ference Treasurer four years, in the Ontario Conference; also a 
member of the Foreign Mission Board. 

Kiteley, Nelson — Bom in Guilliansbery Township, York County, 
Ontario, .April 15, 1844. Parents were Henry and Sarah 
Kiteley. Raised on the farm and received a common school 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the ministry 
in 1870, and was ordained in 1873 in the Brethren Church. 
United with the M. B. C. Church in 1882. 

Married to Maria Dougherty on November 10, 1864, and 
after her death, to Rachel Alexander in 1889. Eleven children: 
Martha A., James H., Alfred E., Sarah J., Jamima M., Char- 
lotte v., Lewis W., Edward A. G., Emerson A. W., Norene E., 
and Irene R., the last five being of the second marriage. 

Came to Michigan in 1889. Served as pastor at Bliss, 
Clearwater, Cass River, Caledonia, and Elmer. 

Krack, Blmer— Bom at Brown City, Mich., February 24, . 1878. 
Father was John Krack. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight; entered the ministry 
in 1911, and was ordained in 1917 by the Michigan Conference. 

Married to Ethel S. Brooks on May 31, 1911. Four chil- 
dren: Esther, Wesley, Russel, Marcus. 

Held pastorates at Elmer and Colfax, Mich., in the Mich- 
igan C($nference. 

Kratz, Eburvey K. — ^Bom at Souderton, Montgomery County, Pa., 
February 14, 1879. Parents were Daniel C. and Lizzie Kratz. 
Attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1906, and was ordained in 1909 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married to Laura D. Gehman on July 24, 1904, and after 
her death to Attie I. Schaden on October 5, 1911. Two chil- 
dren: Marian G., and Harold Leighton. 

Held pastorates at Walnutport, Macimgie and Emaus, 
Graterford and HarleysviUe, Coopersburg, Spring City and 
Royersford, Pa. 

Kreider, Lot! — Bom in Lagrange County, Lid., November 13, 
1857. Parents were Tobias and Eliza Kreider. 



Converted at the age of thirty-four; entered the ministry 
in 1905, and was ordained in 1909 by the Indiana and Ohio 

Married to Rebecca Keller, June 4, 1881. One child, 
Lydia L. 

Held pastorates at West Union, Elkhart, Pleasant Hill, 
Nappanee, and Wakarusa, Ind.; Georgetown, Ohio, in the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Kreutsiger, Bemhard — Bom in Saxaldenburg, Germany, June 
12, 1843. Parents were Andrew and Anna Kreutziger. Came 
to America when four years of age with parents, who settled in 
Waterloo County, Ontario. Raised on the farm, and educated 
in the common school. 

Ccmverted at the age of thirty- three; entered the ministry 
in 1884, and was ordained in 1885 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Phoebe Haeberle on December 13, 1867. Seven 
children: Sarah Ann, Matilda, Mary Ann, Simon, Lydia, Ella, 
and Andrew. 

Held pastorates at Brown City, Lamotte, and Amadore 
Mich, and at Bethel and New Dundee, Ontario. 

Kreutsiger; Simon H. — ^Bom in Peel Township, Ontario, April 15, 
1880. Parents were Bemhard and Phoebe (Haeberle) Kreut- 
ziger. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight; entered the min- 
istry in 1909, and was ordained in 1915 by the Michigan Con- 

Married to Lizzie D. Jacobs on December 13, 1900. 
Seven children: Irma Elizabeth, Alfred C, Phoebe A., Orville 
R., Mary F., Beulah, and Dorothy A. 

Held pastorates at Elmer, Wheatland, Williamsburg, and 
Port Huron, in the Michigan Conference. 

*KrupPi John — Bom in Pennsylvania, August 7, 1840. Parents 
were Joseph and Mary Krupp. When young moved with his 
parents to Elkhart County, Indiana. Raised on the farm and 
educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight years when a min- 
ister in the Old Church, and, along with Daniel Brenneman, 
was one of the leaders of the Reformed Mennonites who later 
became the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 

Married to Eliza Ann Waterman on January 1, 1862. 
Nine children: Mary Ann, Hannah, Daniel, Rhoda, Emaline, 
Eliza, Katy Maude, Smith Frederick, and Joseph. 



Held pastorates and did a great deal of itinerary preach- 
ing in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and Arkansas. 
Also served as Presiding Elder and Evangelist. 
Died on August 9, 1911, of heart failure. 

Kublic, Emmanuel Edward— Bom in Germany, September 8, 
1878. Parents were Julius and Augustina Kublic. Came to 
Pennsylvania when very young, attended the common schools. 

Converted at the age of eighteen; entered the ministry in 
1899, and was ordained in 1907. 

Married to Katie E. Moyer on January 14, 1907, and after 
her death to Clara Curry on October 12, 1915. Two children 
Ferol A. and Shimer E^ 

Held pastorates at Stroudsburg, Pa., and worked in the 
Gospel Herald Society at Emaus, Macimgie and Lehighton. 

Lambert, David U. — Bom in Northampton county, Pa., October 
19, 1851. Parents were D. C. and Catherine Lambert. Raised 
on the farm, and educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of fourteen, and entered the ministry 
in 1869. 

Married to Isabella Himsperger in 1874. Eight children: 
Emma C. Barnes, Cora M. Gumty, William H., David Elmer, 
Clara B. Dooley, Mabel Dilley, Jessie Switzer, Edith Rand. 

Held pastorates in Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference, 1882-1883. 

Died May 19, 1896. 

Lambert, Qeorge — Bom in Northampton County, Pa., May 11, 
1853. Parents were D. C. and Catherine Lambert. Raised on 
the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twelve years; entered the ministry 
in 1878, and was ordained in 1881 by the Indiana and Ohio 

Married in 1872 to Amanda Gehman. Eight children: 
Ella (Mrs. John Ummel), Edward, Rose (Mrs. David Mussel- 
man), Emma (Mrs. Robert Fansher), Norah (Mrs. Oscar 
Sommer), Ira, Jessie (Mrs. Luther Fansher), Marie (Mrs. Roy 
W. (Fries). 

Held pastorates in Kent Coimty, Mich.; South West, 
Wakarusa, Bethel, and Jamestown, in the Indiana and Ohio 

Lambert, Sidenham — Bom in Northampton County, Pa., Janu- 
ary 17, i855. Parents were D. C. and Catherine Lambert. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 



Converted at the age of fifteen; entered the ministry in 
1873, and was ordained in 1876. 

Married to Emma J. Hossler in 1876, deceased in 1903; 
to Mrs. Amanda Long in 1905, deceased in 1914; after her 
death, to Mrs. Anna Flatter, in 1915. Eight children: Fannie 
(Mrs. Lawrence Ditmer), Elizabeth (Mrs. J. A. Huffman), 
Vernon, Minnie (Mrs. Noel Johnson), Anna (Mrs. Shirl Hat- 
field), Bertha, Naomi (Mrs. Roy Riffle), and Ruby (deceased). 
All children by first marriage except the last named (deceased) 
by second marriage. 

Held pastorates at Fleetwood, Pa.; Bethel, Ind.; George- 
town and PhiUipsburg, Ohio, and Beech Grove, Ohio. 

Served as Presiding Elder in the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference for a number of years; President of the General Confer- 
ence Executive Board eight years; Treasurer of the Indiana 
and Ohio Conference six years; member of the General Con- 
ference for many years and chairman in 1900. 

Lambert, William— Bom in Huntington County, Ind., in 1879. 
Parents were John Thomas and EUzabeth Jane (Morrison) 
Lambert. Raised on the farm; received a common school 
education, and later took a teacher's course in vocal music at 
Campbell College, Holton, Kan. 

Converted at the age of seven years; entered the ministry 
in the United Brethren Church in 1909, and ordained in the 
M. B. C. Church in 1914 by the Nebraska Conference. 

Married to Ina E. Overmiller on July 18, 1904. Four 
children: Lorem Emsley (deceased), Esther Pauline, John 
Wilmer, Willis James. 

Held pastorates at Logan and Narka, Kan., under the 
United Brethren Church, and at Weeping Water, Neb. ; Harper, 
Kan., and Jett, Okla., under the Nebraska Conference of the 
M. B. C. Church. 

Layne, James B.— Was bom in Philadelphia, Pa., April 2, 1894. 
Parents were William and Annie Layne. 

Was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia and 
learned the printing trade. 

Converted February 12, 1911; Entered Gospel Herald So- 
ciety work as a Home Missionary in 1913. Labored at Lebanon, 
and Sunbury, Pa. Entered the ministry in 1917, and was or- 
dained in 1919 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Was married on November 7, 1918, to Fannie E. Minnich. 

Pastorates held: Sunbury, and Easton, Pennsylvania. 



Lehman, Flavius J. — ^Bom in Markham Township, Ontario, on 
September 30, 1872. Parents were Joseph B. and Fanny Jane 
(Steckley) Lehman. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of thirteen. Entered the ministry 
in 1906 and was ordained in. 1911 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Margaret Byer on September 22, 1896. Seven 
children: Elmer R., Arthur P., Nelson E., Carl R., Ruth V., 
Cora N., Grace M. 

Held pastorates at Shrigley, Breslau, Elmwood, and Vine- 
land, Ontario. 

Lehman, Lewis J. — Bom at CuUom, Livingston County, 111., 
August 1, 1871. Parents were John K. and Susan (Alspaugh) 
Lehman. Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of nineteen; entered the ministry in 
1897 in the Old Mennonite Chiurch, and was ordained in 1899. 
Received by the M. B. C. Chiurch and ordination accepted in 

Married to Lydia C. Huber on February 9, 1905. (Second 
marriage.) Seven children: Milton S., Edna B., Amy E., 
Esther M., Luella S., Ray L., and Samuel Huber, the first four 
named being of the first marriage. 

Held pastorates at Jackson, Minn.; Cullom, 111.; Lima, 
Ohio, and Goshen, Ind. 

Served as Conference Secretary a number of years, and as 
member and secretary of the Board of Trustees of Bluffton 
College and Mennonite Seminary. 

Longenecker, Samuel — Bom at Englewood, Montgomery County, 
Ohio, March 20, 1840. Parents were David and Elizabeth 
(Razor) Longenecker. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1877, and was ordained in 1879 in the Brethren in Christ 

Married to Salome Brandenburg on October 16, 1870. 
Two children: Edgar (deceased) and Vianna. 

Held pastorates at Calvary, Ft. JefiPerson, LightsviUe, 
Beech Grove, Georgetown and PhiUipsburg, Swanktown and 
Englewood, Union Chapel and Stringtown, Morrow, Oregonia, 
and Blanchester, Fairview, Springfield and Pleasant Grove, 
Ohio; Western Pennsylvania; Caledonia, Zion, and Pleasant 
Hill, Mich.; Wakarusa, South West and Nappanee, Ind. 



llMty Klmer David — Bom in Lagrange County, Ind., December 
18, 1880. Parents were Jacob and Ellen R. (Plank) Mast. 
Raised on the farm and received a common school education. 
Attended one year high school and one year at E^lkhart Insti- 
tute (Goshen College). 

Converted at the age of twenty-two; entered the ministry 
in 1910, and was ordained in 1915. 

Married to Alice Plank on December 24, 1901, and after 
her death to Ruth H. Lutz, on January 1, 1915. One child : 
Naomi Ellen. 

Held pastorates at Chapel Hill, Mich.; Mishawaka, Elk- 
hart, and Bethel, Ind.; New Carlisle and West Charleston, 
Ohio; Georgetown and Phillipsburg, Ohio. 

Served as Vice-Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio 
Conference (1918-20,) and was a member of the Ninth and 
Tenth (jreneral Conferences. 

MoDannel, Slias— Bom in Stark County, Ohio, May 2, 1826. 
Parents were David and Saloma (Shook) McDannel. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1877 in the United Brethren Church, and was ordained 
in 1880. United with the M. B. C. Church in 1890. 

Married to Sara Rupp on May 25, 1847, and after her 
death, to Amanda Cassel on August 21, 1889. Ten children: 
Mary, Kate (deceased), Albina, Josephine (deceased), Helen, 
Lilly, Clara, Ida, Nora, Muriel, all except the last named being 
of the first marriage. 

Held pastorates at Wakarusa, Zion, North Union, West 
Union, Western Pennsylvania circuit. 

Died December 18, 1902. 

MeNaUy, John— Bom in Berks County, Pa., on March 7, 1822. 
Parents were William Henry and SariUi (Kinsel) McNally. 

The date of his conversion is not known, but he was 
appointed a minister in the New Mennonite Chiurch in 1852. 
He soon became prominent, and was a representative at the 
union conference in 1875. 

Married to Mary Ann Shoemaker in 1844. Eleven chil- 
dren: Angus, Jacob, Gertrude, Isaac, William, Sarah, Elisa- 
beth, John, Ftiscilla, Elmina, and Minnie. 

Held pastorates at Blair, Hespeler, Breslau, Bloomingdale, 
West Montrose, Conestoga, St. Jacobs, Kitchener, Roseville, 
Bright, and Bethel, Ontario. 

Died July 11, 1913. 



Hetcilf , Edwin Homer— Bom in Smith County, Kansas, in 1888. 
Parents were John £. and Cyntha Metcilf . Raised on the farm 
and attended the common school; also two terms of Bible School 
at Bellingham, Wash. 

Converted at the age of eleven; entered the ministry in 
1915, and was ordained in 1919 by the Pacific Conference. 

Married to Pearl Lowry on March 10, 1915. One child: 
Grace Erma. 

Held pastorates at Birch Bay, Wenas, Wash, and Culver, 

Metzger, Etarvey M. — Bom at New Carlisle, Ohio, March 15, 
1879. Parents were Andrew and Mary Metzger. Raised on the 
farm and educated in the common and high schools. 

Converted at the age of twenty; entered the ministry in 
1902, and was ordained in 1905. 

Married to Anna R. McAfee on May 25, 1902. Eight 
children: Glenna Mae, Walter Kenneth, Ora Maxwell, Daisy 
^ Marie, Ray Owen, Bemice LaVeme, Harvey Monroe jr., 
Mary Jane. 

5eld pastorates at Harriet, Beech Grove, Ohio; Western 
Pennsylvania; Pleasant Hill, Mich.; Elkhart, Bethel, Ind.; 
Springfield and Pleasant Grove, Ohio. 

Served as Superintendent of Chiu*ch Extension work and 
Conference Secretary. 

Miller, A. A.— Bom in Falls Mills, Ohio, February 27, 1850. 
Parents were Abraham A. and Ruth Ann (Nelson) Miller. 
Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-three years; entered the 
ministry in 1874, and was ordained in 1876 by the Brethren in 

Married to Lydia Beery in 1871, and after her death to 
Katie Hygema, on July 5, 1895. Five childr^: Ella, Earl, Birt, 
Sadie, and Ruth May, the last named being by the second 

Held pastorates at Shambaugh and Newmarket, Iowa. 

Served as Evangelist for several years, and as Presiding 
Elder in the Nebraska Conference one year. 

Moore, Clarence Tiflen — Bom near Decatiur, Ind., Febmary 18, 
1887. Parents were Marion John and Emily (Howard) Moore. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school; later 
spent six months at Goshen College. 

Converted at the age of twenty-three; entered the min- 
istry in 1906, and was ordained in 1912. 



Married to Jennie R. Koofer on May 31, 1911. Four 
children: Lawrence Augustes, Marion Emerson (deceased), 
Norman Lowell, and Esther Marie. 

Held pastorates at Oregonia and Blanchester, Beech and 
Greenville, New Carlisle, Ohio, in the Indiana and Ohio Con- 

Moore, Isaac P. — Bom near Bremen, Fairfield Comity, Ohio, 
November 11, 1875. Parents were M. J. and Emily (Howard) 
Moore. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of fifteen; entered the ministry in 
1899, and was ordained in 1900. 

Married to Jessie E. Rinehart on August 19, 1900. Four 
children: Gregg R., Arthur F., Glenn L., Mary Opal. 

Held pastorates at Nappanee, Wakarusa, and Elkhart, Ind. 

Served as Superintendent of church extension work, evan- 
gelist, city mission superintendent. 


Moore, Jeue Irvin— Bom near Lima, Ohio, January 17, 1883. 
Parents were M. J. and Emily (Howard) Moore. Raised on 
the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twelve years; entered the min- 
istry, and was ordained in 1912. 

Married to Mattie D. Spade on April 8, 1904. Nine chil- 
dren: Ruth Jeanette, Elizabeth Helen, Marion Leonard, Doris 
Marie, Robert Kenneth, Jesse Carlan, Pauline Emily, Dale 
Bennet, and Ray Howard. 

Held pastorates at Nappanee and Oak Grove, Ind.; Pots- 
dam and Phillipsbiu*g, Ohio; and Pleasant Hill, Mich., in the 
Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Moore, William Harvey — ^Bom near Logan, Hocking County, 
Ohio. Parents were M. J. and Emily (Howard) Moojre. Raised 
on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of fifteen years; entered the ministry 
in 1900, and was ordained in 1901 in the Brethren in Christ 
Church (Wenger). United with the M. B. C. Church in 1902. 

Married to Wealthy E. Good on November 11, 1896. 
Two children: Alpha Beryl (deceased) and Clarence Cecil. 

Held pastorates at West Union, Goshen, and Wakarusa, 
Ind.; New Carlisle and Georgetown, Ohio; and Bronson, Mich., 
under the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference since 1917. 



Morgan, John W. — Bom in Green County, Iowa, February 28, 
1867. His parents died when he was but four years of age; at- 
tended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-seven; entered the ministry 
in 1896, being ordained soon after by the Nebraska Conference. 

Married to Rose Cathrop in 1888. Two children: Ger- 
trude E. and Noah W. 

Held pastorates at five different places in Nebraska, during 
a period of fourteen years, moving then to California where he 
was instrumental in building two churches. 

Also served as Presiding Elder for four years. 

Died suddenly on September 7, 1920, at Lancaster, Calif. 

Morgan, Raymond G. — ^Bom near Bancroft, Shiawassee County, 
Mich., May 6, 1891. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school; later took a commercial course at Ferris In- 
stitute, Big Rapids, Mich. 

Converted at the age of twelve years; entered the ministry 
in 1915, and was ordained in 1920. 

Married to Emma Jausi on Jime 6, 1917. Two children: 
Athelene Verdella and Veriin Raymond. 

Held pastorates at Bad Axe and Williamsbiu*g, Mich. 

Moyer, Elmer — ^Bom at Vineland, Lincoln Coimty, Ontario, Jime 
9, 1889. Father was Christian G. Moyer. Received a common 
school education, and later took a commercial course in Toronto 
Business College and attended the Toronto Bible College. 

Converted at the age of sixteen; entered the ministry in 
1917. Was ordained in 1920. 

Married to Mary Elizabeth Learn on September 15, 1915. 
One child: Harold Elmer. 

Held pastorate at Aylmer, Ontario. 

Musselman, Baird Bryan— Was bom at Allentown, Pa., October, 
1890. Parents were H. B. and Annie (Bans) Musselman. 

Was educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania, in- 
cluding high school. 

Converted in 1896; entered the ministry in 1913, and was 
ordained in 1916 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Was married to Cora B. Rothermel on December 7, 1911. 
One child: Oliva Pauline. 

Pastorates: Fleetwood, Blandon and Terra Hill circuit, 
Reading, and Allentown, in the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Musselman, Harvey B. — Bom at Dillinger, Lehigh Coimty, Pa., 
February 11, 1868. Parents were Eld. Jonas and Lucy (Brun- 

17 257 


ner) Muaselman. Raised on the fann and wcnrked at the print- 
ing trade for nine yeans. 

Converted at the age of fourteen; entered the ministry in 

1890, and was ordained in 1893 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 
Married to Annie M. Bans on April 23, 1888. Three chil- 
dren: B. Bryan, Clarence E., and Jansen H. 

Held pastorates at Royersford, Spring City, Lehighton, 
Weissport, Bethlehem, Mt. Carmel, Pa. 

Served as Presiding Elder for eighteen years, also as Presi- 
dent of the Orphanage and Home Board, and of the Foreign 
Mission and Executive Boards. 

Mu8S6linAn« William Brunner^-Was born near Vera Cruz, Le- 
high County, Pa., October 3, 1860. Parents were Jonas and 
Lucy Musselman. Was raised on the farm and was educated 
in the common school. 

Was converted in the winter of 1876; began preaching in 
1883, and was ordained in 1886 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Was married in April of 1879 to Mary A. Oberhdtser. 
There were ten children — five boys: P. J., T. T., J. W., W. D., 
E. H.; and five girls: L. M., M. L., S. E., J. N., and M. E. 

Held pastorates at Reading, Bethlehem, and Allentown, Pa. 

Was Presiding Elder, member of Executive Board, F^:esi- 
dent of the Gospel Worker Society, and member of all the 
General Conferences since 1888. 

Myers, Joseph Kent — Bom near Kensington, Kan., August 25, 

1891. Parents were O. A. and Elida Myers. Raised on the 
farm and attended the common school; later spent one year 
at the Holiness Bible School, Hutchinson, Kan. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1912, and was ordained in 1916. 

Married to Nanny Patton on August 28, 1912. One child: 
Lois Almeda. 

Held pastorates at Osborne, Kan.; Bloomington, Neb.; 
and Flagler, Colo. 

Orerholty Timothy James — ^Bom at Elkhart, Ind., October 4, 
1878. Parents were Enos and Matilda Overholt. Raised on 
the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1912, and was ordained in 1916. 

Married to Lulu Beery on September 25, 1911. 

Held pastorates at Harper, Kan.; Cambridge and Bloom- 
ington, Neb. 



Pannabecker , Jacob Nelson— Bom in Wellington County, Ontario, 
November 6, 1866. Parents were Samuel and Martha (Cober) 
Pannabecker. Raised on the farm and attended the common 
school; later attended the Owen Sound Collegiate Institute. 

Converted at the age of ten years; entered the ministry in 
1905, and was ordained in 1908. 

Married to Luna May Plowman on October 12, 1892. 
Five children: Charles Lloyd, Samuel Floyd, Kail P., Ceorge 
P. (deceased), and Ray P. 

Held pastorates at Clearwater, Brown City, Elkton, and 
Colfax, Mich. 

Served as Conference Secretary for twelve years; Confer- 
ence Treasurer, Vice-Presiding Elder, Secretary-Treasurer of 
Foreign Mission Board, Secretary-Treasurer of City Mission 
Board, representative of Michigan Conference on General 
Board, member of Board of Trustees, Bluffton College (1914- 
17), member of two General Conferences. 

Payne, Hezekiah Newell— Bom in Cowall County, Va., May 14, 
1880. Parents were Noah and Augusta Payne. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four; entered the ministry 
in 1907, and was ordained in 1910. 

Married to Annie L. Turner on September 23, 1906. Two 
children: Naomi Dorcas and Anna Ruth. 

Held pastorates at Everett, Outlook and Granger, Wash.; 
Culver, Oregon; and Fruitland and Payette, Idaho. 

Also served as Conference Evangelist and Vice Presiding 

*Peffle7, Aaron — Bom in Harrison Township, Montgomery Coimty, 
Ohio, Jime 8, 1840. Parents were Jacob and Mary (Hoch) 
Peffley. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one years; entered the 
ministry in 1871, and was ordained in 1873 in the Brethren in 
Christ Church. 

Married to Frances Swank on August 31, 1860, and after 
her death, to Verina Jenkinson on April 2, 1890. Ten children: 
Josephus, Laura, Noah, Keturah, Saloma, Lydia, Talmage, 
DeWitt, Dwight Moody, Stanley, and Paul, the four latter being 
of the second marriage. 

Held pastorates at Georgetown, Pleasant Grove and Harsh- 
man, Harrisburg and Swanktown, New Carlisle, Adams County, 
Fairfield County, and Darke County, in the Indiana and Ohio 

Served also as Evangelist. 



Penally Joseph Allen — Bom in Boone County, Ind., April 2, 1861. 
Parents were William D. and Mary J. (Doddson) Persell. 
Raised on the farm and educated in the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-six; entered the ministry 
in 1897, and was ordained in 1900. 

Married to Hannah J. Wilson on November 29, 1901. 
Four childr^i: Naomi, Orpha, Ruth, Rhoda. 

Held pastorates for six years; served as evangelist, and as 
overseer of the Pacific Conference for one year before its organ- 

Pontius» Homer J. — Bom in Elkhart County, Ind., January 10, 
1868. Parents were Henry and Mary C. M. (Bly) Pontius. 
Raised on the farm and educated in the common schools. 

Converted at the age of thirteen, entered the ministry in 
in 1893, and was ordained in 1896 by the Indiana and Ohio 

Married to Lodie Scott on February 13, 1892. Nine chil- 
dr^i: Myrtle, Orville (deceased), Ella, Esther, Naomi, Mary, 
Ruth, Lola, and Celeste. 

Held pastorates at Frontier County and Moline, Neb.; 
Shambaugh and New Market, Iowa; Reamsville and Harper, 
Kan.; Mt. View, Femdale, and Yakima, Wash.; and Culver, 

Served as Evangelist ten years and Presiding Elder for 
four years in the Pacific Conference. 

Pontius, Silas Henry— Bom near Elkhart, Ind., May 4, 1865. 
Parents were Henry and Mary C. M. (Bly) Pontius. Raised 
on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years. Entered the min- 
istry in 1889 and ordained in 1891. 

Married to Anna R. Pierson on September 1, 1894. Five 
children: Marvin H., Loveme I., Orval W., Hewlette A., and 
Ruth E. 

Held various pastorates with the Evangelical Association 
for five years; transferred to the Indiana and Ohio Conference 
of the M. B. C. Chiu*ch, serving at Pleasant Hill, Mich.; West 
Union, Ind.; Peabody and Hesston, and Reamsville, Kan. 

Also served as Evangelist for one year. 

Raymer, Abraham — ^Bom in Markham Township, York County, 
Ontario, September 14, 1814. Parents were John and Esther 
(Hoover) Raymer. Raised on the farm and attended the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of thirty-one. 



Married to Elizabeth Byer on March 17, 1840. Nine 
children: Nancy, Susan, Francis, Simeon, Daniel, Esther, Anna, 
Elizabeth, Abram. 

Preached locally, and traveled through western Ontario 
for about thirty years. 

Died February 13, 1891. 

Bayxner, Christian — Bom near Dixon's Hill, Markham Township, 
Ontario, November 1, 1853. Parents were Peter and Mary 
(Hoover) Raymer. Raised on the farm and attended the com- 
mon school. 

Converted at the age of eighte^i years. Entered the min- 
istry in 1880, and was ordained in 1891 by the Ontario Confer- 

Married to Christina Stouffer on February 24, 1885. Four 
children: Three daughters — Ruth, Elmina, and Bertie, and 
one son (deceased). 

Held pastorates at Scott, Sunnidale, Vineland, Kitchener, 
Stayner, Bethel, Maryboro, Hespeler, Toronto, and Aylmer. 

Raymer, Joseph — Bom in Markham, Ontario, April 6, 1833. 
Parents were John and Esther Raymer. Received a common 
school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four. Entered the min- 
istry in 1858, and was ordained in 1878. 

Married to Mary Wideman on December 7, 1858. Five 
children: Daniel W., Elizabeth W., Emma W., Sara W., Wes- 
ley W. 

Held pastorate at Markham, Ontario. 

Died July 29, 1879. 

Raymer, Lewis Peter — ^Bom in Markham Township, York County, 
Ontario, March 12, 1877. Parents were Isaac Peter and Sarah 
Ellen (McKay) Raymer. Attended the common school and 
high school. 

Converted at the age of fourteen years; entered the ministry 
in 1906, being ordained in 1910 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to NeUie May Robson, December 25, 1902. Three 
childr^i: Pearl Irene, Percy Isaac, and Effie Agnes. 

Held pastorates at Scott, Vineland, Elmwood, Breslau and 
Aylmer, Ont. 

Also served as Conference Evangelist and Secretary. 

*Reck, David — Bom in Alsace, Germany, 1869. Parents were 
David and Mary (Schlaubauch) Reck. Raised on the farm 
and educated in the common school. 



Converted when a young man and entered the ministry 
in 1898; was ordained in 1901. 

Married to Cordelia Bukler. Seven children: Lorena, 
M3rrtle) Mahlon, David^ Lena, Clarence, Ruth. 

Held pastorate at Giltner, Neb. 

United with Free Methodist Church in 1902. 

Bedfem, Joseph Wilmer— Bom in Christian County, 111., August 
10, 1858. Raised on a cattle ranch; received a common school 

Converted at the age of twenty-nine years; entered the 
ministry in 1905, and was ordained in 1908. 

Married to Nancy Easton on December 21, 1885. Two 
childr^i: Milton O. and Daniel O. 

Held pastorates at Osborne, Kan., and Hinton, Okla. 

Served as Evangelist. 

Died July 6, 1919. 

Reinhart, V. H.— Was bom in Philadelphia, Pa., August 10, 1885. 
Parents were William and Elizabeth Reinhart. 

Was educated in the common school. 

Was converted in September, 1903; entered the ministry 
in 1904, at Washington, N. J. Was ordained in 1909 by the 
Pennsylvania Conference. 

Married Mary A. Fehnel on December 31, 1908. Four 
children : Luella M., Iva F., Wilbur H., Lester H. 

Labored under the Gospel Herald Society at Northampton 
and Walnutport; also pastor at Sunbury, Pa. 

Rich, Nicholas W. — Bom at Wayland, Henry County, Iowa, 
September 18, 1867. Parents were Joseph and Mary (Wenger) 
Rich. Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-six; entered the ministry 
in 1897 and was ordained in 1900 by the Nebraska Conference. 

Married to Ada A. McConnell on September 27, 1891. 
Six children: Ross A., Hazel G., Ray W., Helen A., Ruth M., 
and Kenneth F. (deceased). 

Held pastorates at ReamsviUe, Kan.; La Junta, Colo.; 
Bloomington, Milford, Weeping Water, Neb. 

Served as Presiding Elder for seven years, and Conference 
Evangelist for four years. 

Both, John G. — ^Bom at Leesport, Berks Coimty, Pa., July 14, 
1876. Parents were Marcellus and Helen S. Roth. Attended 
the common school. 



Converted when a young boy; entered the ministry in 1900, 
and was ordained in 1903 by the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Married to Mary Esther Gamier on March 5, 1896. Two 
children: OUve Clair and Erma Myrtle. 

Held pastorates at Hatfield and Quakertown, Allentown, 
Reading, Bethlehem, Spring City and Royersford, Lehighton, 
Emails and Macimgie, Pa. 

*Rudy, Frederick Calvin— Bom near Greenville, Ohio, August 9i 
1873. Parents were John and Mary (Seman) Rudy. Received 
a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1896, and was ordained in 1899. 

Married to Rosa May Hart. Nine children: Lloyd C, 
Roy L., Paul H., Mary E., Melvin E., Mark D., Ray W., Glen 
D., and Wane E. 

Held pastorates at Frontier County, Neb.; Greenville, 
Ohio; Elkhart, Nappanee, Ind.; Berlamont, Carverville, Bad 
Axe, Mich.; Holbrook, Colo. 

Schroeder, William— Bom in Brant Township, Bruce County, 
Ontario, August 21, 1859. Parents were Gotlab and Louise 
Schroeder. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of twelve years; entered the ministry 
in 1885, and was ordained in 1889. 

Married to Mrs. Catherine Leaske in 1881. Six children: 
Herman, Lucile, Moses, Miriam, Frank, and Anna. 

Held pastorates at Manitoulin Island, Scott, Ontario; Cass 
River, Petoskey, Epsilon, Coleman, Mich., in the Ontario and 
Michigan Conferences. 

Served as Evangelist for several years. 

Schultz, Daniel—Bom in Wilmot Township, Waterloo County, 
Ontario, in 1871. Parents were Joseph and Veronica (Litt- 
willer) Schultz. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1894 in the Ontario Conference; ordained in 1897 and 
transferred to the Michigan Conference. 

Married to Ly^iann Hallman on October 10, 1893. Four 
children: Harvey Abram, Wesley Earl, Stanley Joseph, and 

Held pastorates at Wetzell, Caledonia, Huron Coimty, 
Brown City, Port Huron, Greenwood, Beulah, and Shiloh. 

Served as Conference Evangelist for twelve years. 



Schwalxn, Nicholas Hilton— Bom in Bruce County, Ontario, at 
Chippewa Hill, July 28, 1878. Parents were George and Mary 
(Spurrell) Schwalm. Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twentynsix; entered the ministry 
in 1906; and was ordained in 1912. 

Married to Flora Belle Gilders on November 29, 1905. Four 
children: Flora Irene, George Emerson, Mansell Hilton, and 
Cannon Thorold. 

Held pastorates at Port Elgin, Shrigley, and Bethel, 

*Scofiold, Volla A. — Bom near Stevensville, Mich., September 15, 
1872. Parents were J. H. and Nellie Scofield. Raised on the 
farm and attended the conmion school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one years; entered the 
ministry in the M. B. C. Church in 1905, having worked with 
the Salvation Army for eleven years previous; ordained in 1908. 

Married to Anna A. Moyer on September 16, 1897. Three 
children living: Orval V., Helen M., and Alice. 

Held pastorates at Trenton, Iowa; Reamsville, Kan.; 
Cambridge, Bloomington, Weeping Water, and Milford, Neb. 

Served also as Evangelist. 

Scott, Clifford I. — Bom at Emporia, Kan., October 19, 1871. 
Parents were Isaiah and Harriet M. Scott. Raised on the 
farm; attended the conmion school and the State Normal at 
Emporia, Kan. 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the min- 
istry in 1897, and was ordained in 1901 in the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference. Transferred to the Nebraska Conference in 

Married to Olive B. Shelly on November 10, 1896. Nine 
children: Phoebe, John, Paul, Joseph, Seth, Mary, Philip, 
Jesse, Mark; Paul and Mark being deceased. 

Held pastorates at South Bend Mission, LaFayette Mis- 
sion, Nappanee, Elkhart, Wakarusa, Ind.; Da3rton Mission, 
Georgetown, Ohio; Holbrook, Colo.; Shambaugh, Iowa; and 
Milford, Neb. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference two years, and of the Nebraska Conference five years; 
member of General Conference in 1912 and 1916, and chairman 
in 1916; Secretary of Indiana and Ohio Conference and of Ne- 
braska Conference. 

Shantz, David Stauflor — Bom in Haysville, Waterloo County, 
Ontario, May 13, 1854. Parents were Joseph Y. and Elizabeth 



(Staufifer) Shantz. Raised on the farm and educated in the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of thirty years; entered the ministry 
in 1887, and was ordained in 1890. 

Married to Susannah Elizabeth Erb on September 25, 
1877. Nine children: Melancthon, Louisa Sybilla, Hannah 
Genevieve, Lewellyn, Phoebe May, Ida Elizabeth, Ross, Wil- 
fred, and Lulu Verdella. 

Held pastorates at Vineland, Sta3nier, Markham, Ontario; 
and Caledonia and Grand Rapids, Mich.; also served as an 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Canadian Northwest 
Conference two years; delegate to the General Conference in 

Shantz, Sidney Shupe — ^Bom near New Dundee, Ont., on Sep- 
tember 23, 1884. Parents were Christian and Magdalena 
(Shupe) Shantz. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of seven years; entered the ministry 
in 1907, and was ordained in 1911 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married to Susan Weber on December 28, 1910. One child : 
Roes Wilton (deceased). 

Held pastorates at Scott, Sta3nier, Sunnidale and Owen 
Sound, Ont. 

Took up Foreign Mission work in 1915, being stationed at 
Jebba, North Nigeria, West Africa. In 1919 opened a new 
station at Share. 

Shantz, William Albertr—Bom in Mannheim, Waterloo Coimty, 
Ont., July 8, 1866. Parents were Enoch D. and Catherine 
(Ruthig) Shantz. Received a conmion school education and 
spent a year in Business College, later attended the C. M. A. 
Training iMstitute in Nyack, New York, for three years. 

Converted at the age of fourteen years, and accepted as 
a candidate for the foreign mission field by the Christian and 
Missionary Alliance in 1895. Financial support was pledged 
by the Ontario Conference, making him the first missionary 
officially recognized by the church. Ordained in 1906 by the 
Ontario Conference. 

Married to Mary D. Davidson on December 24, 1901, at 
Wuhu, China. Four children: Elva May, Howard Davidson, 
Ruth Althea (deceased), and Mary Katherine. 

Worked on the following mission fields in China, Fao Chow 
on the Tibetan border, Kan Suh province; Siang Fan, Himan 
province; Wuchang, Hupeh province; Wuhu, and Tatong in 
Anhwei province. 265 


8h«riCt Benjamin Andrew— Bom in Caledonia, Kent County, 
Mich.| February 4, 1878. Parents were Aaron 0. and Magda- 
kna (Keller) Sherk. Raised on the farm and attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of seventeen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1899, and was ordained in 1902. 

Married to Olive Sherk on April 10, 1901. Four children: 
Hubert Calvin, John Lawrence, Catherine Ruth, and Helene 

Held pastorates at Bliss, Elkton, Greenwood, Petoskey, 
Cass River, Mich. 

Served as Vice-Presiding Elder, Secretary of Michigan 
Conference, member of Foreign Mission Board, member of 
O^eral Conference, member of Board of Trustees of Blufifton 
College, and Associate Editcnr of the Grospel Banner. Presiding 
Elder 1920- 

8herk» Ira W. — Bom at Labarge, Kent County, Mich., January 
22, 1886. Parents were Aaron G. and Magdalene (Keller) 
Sherk. Received a common school education, and later spent 
a year at Livingstone College in London, England, taking a 
special medical coimse for missionaries. 

Converted at the age of seventeen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1906, and was ordained in 1917. 

Married to Edith M. Evans on January 8, 1918. 

Went to Africa as a missionary in 1907, and was placed 
in charge of mission stations at Shonga, Mokwa, and Shar^, 

8herk» Samuel — ^Bom near Breslau, Waterloo County, Ontario, 
November 3, 1822. Parents were Samuel and Magdalene 
Sherk. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirty years; entered the ministry 
in 1860, and was ordained in 1870 by the New Mennonites. 

Married to Sarah Ann Schiedel on February 29, 1848. 
Five ehildren: Menno S., John S., Noah, Lydia Ami, and 
Samuel Wesley. 

In 1860 he emigrated to Michigan. In 1874 he united 
with the Indiana Conference of the Reformed Mennonites 
(later M. B. C), of which he remained a member till 1896, 
when Michigan became a separate Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder of the Indiana Conference for 
six terms, and traveled in a number of states in connection 
with his work. 

Died January 16, 1900. 



Shinn, Qeorge Hilton — Bom in Lake Township, Berrien County, 
Mich., April 13, 1882. Parents were Oliver and Ara M. Shinn. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school; later 
attended one term of Bible school at Elkhart, Ind. 

Converted at the age of fourteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1905, and was ordained in 1909. 

Married to Eva Williams on March 29, 1910. Three chil- 
dren: Wilber, Edith, and Charles. 

Held pastorates at Wheatland, Epsilon, Cass River, and 
Wetzell, Mich. 

Shireman, J. G. — ^Was bom at Saylorsburg, Monroe County, 
Pa., February 20, 1870. Parents were Dr. H. L. and Ellen L. 
(Jones) Shireman. 

Educated in the public schools of Nazareth, Pa., and* Mil- 
grove Academy, also studied medicine three years. Was con- 
verted in November, 1894, and was called to the ministry. 
Was licensed to preach in 1898, and was ordained to the min- 
istry in 1901 by the Pennsylvaina Conference. 

Was married on May 12, 1888, to Sarah L. Edmonds. Six 
children: Eva, Helen, J. G. Jr., Paul H., Marion A., and William 
F. The third and last named are deceased. Mrs. Shireman 
died October 13, 1918. 

Pastorates held: Reading, Blandon, ZionsviUe, Macungie, 
Fleetwood and Blandon, Royersford and Spring City, Mt. 
Carmel, Philadelphia, Easton, Stroudsburg and Nazareth, 
in the Pennsylvania Conference. 

Sider, John A. — Bom in Humberton Township, Welland County, 
Ontario, September 16, 1857. Parents were Abraham and 
Anna Sider. Raised on the farm and attended the common 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1884, and was ordained in 1888. 

Married to J. Louisa Sherk on September 24, 1878. Six 
children: Cora M., Wilmer, Robert, Frank, Grant, and Myrtle 

Held pastorates at Sta3nier, Sherkston, Maryboro, Shrig- 
ley, Toronto, CoUingwood, Bethel, Scott, Aylmer, and Sta3nier, 

Sievenpiper, Ephraixn — Bom in Dimn Township, Haldimand 
County, Ontario, January 29, 1870. Parents were Jacob and 
Margarette Sievenpiper. Raised on the farm and educated in 
the conunon school. 



Converted at the age of twenty-two; entered the ministry 
in 1895, and was ordained in 1899. 

Married to Sylvina Honsberger on August 31, 1892. Ten 
children, eight of whom are living: Frank, Stanley, Ruth Mae, 
Harley, Roy Fletcher, Ira Regonald, Florence Eveline, and 

Held pastorates at Kilsyth, Breslau, EHmwood, Maryboro, 
Bethel, Markham, StoufifviUe, and Toronto, Ontario. 

Served as Conference Evangelist and Presiding Elder in 
the Ontario Conference. 

Sinden, Charles Isaao— Bom in South Norwich Township, Oxford 
County, Ontario, November 11, 1876. Parents were Albert 
and Philadelphia (Aides) Sinden. Raised on the farm and 
attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty years. Entered the min- 
istry in 1903, and was ordained in 1908 by the Ontario Con- 

Married to Ldna Beatrice Brothers on September 10, 1913. 
Two children: Annie Marie Adelphia and Muriel Iveme. 

Held pastorates at Maryboro and Wallace, Sta3nier, 
Bethel, Shrigley, and Bruce Peninsula, Ontario. 

Snyder, Oliver B.— Bom in Kitchener, Ontario, April 12, 1863. 
Parents were David B. and Elizabeth (Bricker) Schneider. 
Raised on the farm; attended common school, high school, and 
business college at Naperville, 111., and Valparaiso, Ind. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two years; entered the 
ministry in 1888 in the Ontario Conference and was ordained 
in 1891; later transferred to the Michigan Conference. 

Married to Mary Meyer on August 9, 1890, and after her 
death to Ametta Erb on August 12, 1918. Three children: 
Ruth, Amos (deceased), Esther. 

Held pastorates at Scott, Ontario; Greenwood, Wetzell, 
Brown City, Elkton, Port Huron, and Pontiac, Mich. 

Served as Presiding Elder for fourteen years; member of 
the Executive Committee, member of the United Orphanage 
and Mission Board, and of the Foreign Mission Board of the 
Michigan Conference. 

Starkey, James Bluf ord— Bom in Smith County, Kansas, July 
15, 1886. Parents were J. B. and N. D. Starkey. Attended the 
common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two years; entered the 
ministry in 1913, and was ordained in 1920 by the Nebraska 



Married on December 10, 1905, to Miss Anna A. Schulke. 
Four children: Clarence C, Ethel L., Roy T., and Milton P. 

Held pastorates at Mt. Hope, Colo.; Lamont, and Best, 

StaufFer, Samuel S. — Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, May 19, 
1857. Parents were David H. and Mariah (Shelley) Stauffer. 
Raised on the farm and attended the conunon school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-one. Entered the ministry 
in 1889, and ordained in 1892 by the Ontario Conference. 

Married on January 23, 1881, to Lucy Lackner. Nine 
children: David, Leander, Victor, Pearl, Stanley, Hattie, 
William, Clyde, and Melven. 

Held pastorates at Greenwood, Brown City, Lamotte, 
Mich.; Breslau, Bethel, Ontario; and Didsbury, Alta. 

Steckley, John — Bom at Bethesda, Ontario, February 12, 1826. 
Parents were Christian and Fannie (Hoover) Steckley. Raised 
on the farm and attended the common sdhool. 

Converted at about the age of thirty years. Entered the 
ministry about 1861 in Ontario. 

Married to Sara Burkholder on November 12, 1850. Eight 
children: Henry, Susan, Abram, Mary, Martha, Sara, Jose- 
phine, and Anna. 

Held pastorates at Stayner, Vineland, and Kitchener, 

Died on May 17, 1904. 

Storms, Dorwin Jonathan — ^Bom in Jordon, Lincoln County, 
Ontario, June 7, 1883. Parents were Richard and Fanny 
Gertrude (Johnson) Storms. Educated in the common schools 
and later attended high school; also took a commercial course 
in the British-American Business College of Toronto, and com- 
pleted the three-year course of the Toronto Bible Training 

Converted at the age of eighteen, entered the ministry in 

Married to Anna Good on April 24, 1912. Two children: 
Everek Richard and Paul Leonard. 

Spent two years as a missionary in Turkey, until com- 
pelled to leave the country, due to war conditions. Since then 
served as pastor at Stayner, Shelbume, and Hespeler, In the 
Ontario Conference. 

*8wank, Jabes — Bom at Salem, Montgomery Coimty, Ohio, in 
1845. Parents were Eld. John and Barbara Swank. Educated 



in the public school, and later spent one year in training at 
Bonebrake Theological Seminary. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years; entered the min- 
istry about 1870, and was ordained soon after by the Brethren 
in Christ Church. 

Held pastorate at Englewood, 0., and assisted on other fields. 

Taylor, Albert— Bom at Elida, Allen County, Ohio, September 
27, 1883. Parents were Alexander and Malinda Taylor. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1905, and was ordained in 1915. 

Married to Mary Klae Gaberdiel on October 17, 1907. 
Two children: Adrian Paul and Stanley Maurice. 

Held pastorates at Spencerville, Ohio; Goshen, Nappanee, 
and Oak Grove, Ind.; and Chapel Hill, Mich. 

Served as Conference Steward and Vice-Presiding Elder. 

Traub, Alvin— Bom near Elmwood, Ontario, November 18, 1883. 
Parents were David and Hannah (Gehman) Traub. Early life 
was spent on the farm; attended the common school, and later 
attended the Bible School at Cincinnati, Ohio, for two years. 

Converted at the age of twelve years; entered the ministry 
in 1906 in Ohio, and was later transferred to the Canadian 
Northwest Conference. 

Married to Mary Good on December 16, 1908. Seven 
children: Ernest Merland, Harley Alvin, Ozro Lavem, Velma 
Millicent, Ruby Fern, Mervin Good (deceased) and Phylis 
Marie (deceased). 

Held pastorates at Markham, Castor, Alberta; and Alsask, 

Served as Vice-Presiding Elder, and Presiding Elder of the 
Canadian Northwest Conference, 1919-. 

Truez, Williard Benjamin— Bom in Elkhart County, Indiana, 

December 28, 1863. Son of Tmex and Mary Elizabeth 

Tmex. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years; entered the 
ministry in 1897, and was ordained in 1901. 

Married to Mary Eleary Beck on October 13, 1888. Nine 
children: Grace (deceased), Noble, Goldie, Francis, Ruth, 
Esther, Arthur, Lawrence, and Jesse. 

Held pastorate at Pleasant Hill, Mich., in the Indiana 
and Ohio Conference, and supplied for other ministers. 

Died June 29, 1907. 



Utter, A. Prior— Bom at Thornton, Ihd., August 29, 1870. Parents 
were Thomas L. and Martha J. Utter. Raised on the farm and 
attended the common school; later took a business course. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four years; entered the 
ministry, and was ordained in 1903. 

Married to Addie M. Musick on April 30, 1901. Three 
children: Roscae Vivian, Ralph Waldo, and James Russel. 

Held pastorates at Jett, Okla.; Shambaugh, New Market, 
Trenton, Iowa; Bloomington, Neb.; and Oswego, Kan. 

Served as Vice-Presiding Elder and Evangelist. 

Waitman, Qeorge D.— Bom in Montgomery County, Ohio, Feb- 
ruary 2, 1829. Parents were William H. and Nancy Waitman. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-five years; entered the 
ministry in 1859, and was ordained in 1864 by the Brethren in 
Christ Church. 

Married to Elizabeth Swank on January 11, 1852. Seven 
children: Augustus, Alvin, Newton, Theodore, Valeira, Sarah, 
and Rosella. 

Held pastorates at Georgetown, Beech, LightsviUe, West 
Charleston, New Carlisle, and Englewood, in the Indiana and 
Ohio Conference. 

Died February 18, 1912. 

*Waitman» Newton S. — Bom in Montgomery County, Ohio, 
August 17, 1858. Parents were George D. and Elizabeth Wait- 
man. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1879, and was ordained in 1880 by the Brethren in 
Christ Church. 

Married to Martha J. Shank on January 21, 1890. 

Held pastorates at Pleasant Grove, Dayton, and Fairview, 

Walker, Thomas D. — Bom in Menard County, 111., November 4, 
1869. Parents were W. D. and Margaret Walker. Received a 
conunon school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty-seven years; entered the 
ministry in 1902, and was ordained in 1916. 

Married to Eva L.Miller in 1901. Three children: Roy T., 
Earl E., and Daniel Wayne. 

Held pastorates at Reamsville and Harper, Kan.; Seward 
County, Neb. Moved to Colorado in 1910, preaching occa- 
sionally, and to Buhl, Idaho, in 1918, transferring to the 
Pacific Conference. 



Warder, Alfred Gtoorge— Bom in Reach Township, Ontario 
County, Ontario, September 11, 1876. Parents were Eli and 
Emma (Kivell) Warder. Raised on the farm; attended com- 
mon school and one year at high school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-eight; entered the ministry 
in 1909, and was ordained in 1912. 

Married to Mary Maude Detwiler on Jime 25, 1902. Four 
children: Clara Maude (deceased), Theodore Alfred Eli, Laura 
Evangeline, and Hannah Elvera. 

Held pastorates at Shrigley, Vineland, Collingwood, and 
Kitchener, in the Ontario Conference. 

Statistical Secretary of Ontario Conference, and examiner 
on Reading Course. 

Weber, Moses — Bom in Woolwich Township, Waterloo County, 
Ontario, July 11, 1844. Parents were John C. and Mary 

Converted at the age of twenty-six. Entered the ministry 
in 1875 and was ordained in 1878 by the United Mennonites. 

Married to Catherine Funk on September 15, 1868, and 
after her death, to Christina Sherk, on April 8, 1902. 

During a period of twenty years held pastorates at Kitch- 
ener, Blenheim, Maryboro, Breslau, Eknwood, and Toronto. 

Died August 13, 1920. 

Weldy, Levi — Bom in Locke Township, Elkhart County, Ind., 
May 12, 1868. Parents were Abraham and Anna Weldy. 
Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-three; entered the ministry 
in 1910, and ordained in 1917. 

Married to Alice Madlem on August 8, 1891. Seven chil- 
dren: Orin J., Orville Ray, Aden M. (deceased), Allen, Nellie V., 
Elsie E., Edna May. 

Held pastorates at West Union and Oak Grove, Ind.; 
Berlamont, Mich. 

Whitcoznb, LarUn D. — Bom in Himiboldt, Neb., December 21, 
1861. Parents were Olney M. and Margaret C. Whitcomb. 
Received a common school education. 

Converted at the age of thirty-one; entered the ministry 
in 1895, and was ordained in 1905. 

Married to Grace E. Carmichael in August, 1887. Three 
children: Effie E., Ida Margaret, Ada Catherine. 

Held pastorates at Harper, Kan., and Shambaugh, Iowa. 

Served as Evangelist for three years. 

Died at Orange, Calif., September, 1913. 



Wilder, Ernest Wesley— Bom near Bad Axe, Michigan, March 3, 
1883. Parents were Charles and Ida (Pitman) Wilder. At 
four years of age his parents moved to Washington. Received 
a common school education. 

Converted at the age of twenty years; entered the ministry 
soon after, and was ordained in 1908 by the Pacific Conference. 

Married to Laura Morgan on May 17, 1906. Five children: 
Philip, Milton, Arcie, Beulah, and Argath. 

Held pastorates at Culver and Madras, Ore.; Leber, Pleas- 
ant Valley, Birch Bay, Granger, Outlook, Yakima, Wapata, 
and Beutson, Wash.; and Filer, Idaho. 

Also served as Conference Secretary, and Vice Presiding 
Elder in the Pacific Conference. 

Wolf, Norman Henry— Bom in Philadelphia, Pa., October 26, 
1895. Parents were Daniel C. and Theresa Elizabeth Wolf. 
Attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of nine years; entered the ministry 
in 1916, and was ordained in 1920 by the Pennsylvania Confer- 

Married on November 11, 1919, to Mrs. Esther D. Kauff- 
man. One child: Beatrice Arlene. 

Held pastorates at Lehighton and Weissport, Pa. 

Wood, James Smith— Bom at Embro, Ontario, April 5, 1883. 
Parents were Wesley J. and Catherine G. (Mitchell) Wood. 
Raised on the farm and -attended the common school; later 
took up branches necessary for second and third-grade teacher's 
certificate. In 1903 attended the Bible School at Elkhart, Ind. 

Converted at the age of sixteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1901, and was ordained in 1906. 

Married to Ellen S. Sherk on November 15, 1904. Five 
children: Wesley J., Gordon A., Ira L., Lenora A., and 
Orpha L. 

Held pastorates at North Fremont, Clearwater, Wetzell, 
Bliss, Greenwood, Brown City, and Port Huron in the Michigan 

Examiner on Reading Course for nine years; member of 
Home Mission, City Mission; Conference Steward, Vice-Pre- 
siding Elder. 

Woodring, A. G.— Bom in Carbon Coimty, Pa., July 10, 1893. 
Parents were Eld. R. L. and Clara (Ziegenfuss) Woodring. At- 
tended the common school. 

Converted at the age of thirteen; entered the ministry in 

^» 273 


1917, and was ordained in 1920 by the Pennsylvania Con- 

Married on October 8, 1915, to Hilda M. Moyer. 

Held pastorates at Ncarthampton and Walnutport, Pa. 

Woodring, Eiohard Lewis— Was bom near Schnecksville, Pa., 
December 7, 1873. Parents were Lewis and Violetta O^em- 
merer) Woodring. 

Was educated in the pubUc schools. 

Converted in December, 1893; entered the ministry in 
1898, and was ordained in 1900. 

Was married to Clara S. Ziegenfuss, on December 10, 1892. 
Two children: Allen George, and Dora Naomi. 

Pastorates held: Bethlehem, Mt. Carmel, Graterford and 
Harles^Bville, Quakertown and Hatfield, South Allentown, 
Ektston, Coopersburg and Springtown. 

Tates, William H.— Bom at Southampton, England, April 21, 
1886. Parents were William and Mary Ann (Pollard) Yates. 
Received a public school education in England, and came to 
Canada at the age of sixteen years. Attended business college 
and the Toronto Bible College, graduating from the latter in 

Converted at the age of nineteen years; entered the min- 
istry in 1908, and was ordained in 1912. 

Married to Menanda Hunsberger, and after her death, to 
Muriel Wetzel, on March 22, 1916. Two children: Pearl 
Arline and Verdon Wilfred. 

Held pastorates at Dornoch, Bruce Peninsula, Maryboro, 
and Manitoulin Island, in the Ontario Conference. 

Toder, Abraham B.~Bom in Olive Township, Elkhart County, 
Ind., December 24, 1867. Parents were Henry B. and Eliza- 
beth (Bixler) Yoder. Raised on the farm, and attended the 
common school and high school; taught school for sixteen 

Converted at the age of twenty-three; entered the ministry 
in 1896, and was ordained in 1899. 

Married to Mary M. Myers on August 31, 1889. One 
child: RayO. 

Held pastorates at Shambaugh and New Market, Iowa; 
Elkhart and Bethel, Wakarusa and South West, Ind.; and 
Pleasant Hill, Mich., in the Indiana and Ohio Conference. 

Served as Presiding Elder in the Indiana and Ohio Con- 
ference for twelve years; delegate *to four General Conferences 



and Secretary of three; member of the Board of Trustees of 
Bluffton College, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Orphanage 
and Mission Board, and member of the Executive Committee 
of the Church. Chairman of General Conference in 1920. 

Tost, Qeorge Franklin— Bom in York County, Pa., November 
23, 1876. Parents were Jacob R, and Sarah A. Yost. 

Converted at the age of twenty-seven; entered the min- 
istiy in 1905, and was ordained in 1913. 

Married to Emma Ray on October 31, 1913. One child: 
Clarence George. 

Held pastorates at Sunbury, Shamokin, Mt. Carmel, Naz- 
areth, Fleetwood, Blandon, and Terre Hill, Pa. 

Toung, Ernest Delbart—Bom in New Market, Iowa, August 14, 
1890. Parents were T. R. and Eva C. Young. Received a 
common school education and some high school work, and 
later attended Amity College at College Springs, Iowa, and 
Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa. 

Converted at the age of twenty-four; entered the min- 
istry in 1916, and was ordained in 1920. 

Married to Delia Edmonds on June 18, 1913. Two chil- 
dren: Lisle v., and Nellie M. 

Held pastorate at Harper, Kansas. 

The followinfft though not miniiten, hare lenrcd In an Editorial ca p a dt j, 
becaoM of which thoy are Incladed hero. 

Bingeman, Joseph— Bom November 9, 1847. 

Converted at the age of eighteen years, and united with 
the Church in the same year. 

Taught school for twelve years. 

Was Editor of the Gospel Banner from April 1, 1886, to 
1886, filling the unexpired term of T. H. Brenneman. 

Engaged in the book business in Berlin, Ontario, and later 
in other commercial lines. 

Died on April 1, 1907. 

Bowman, Benjamin B. — ^Bom in Waterloo County, Ontario, 
September 14, 1846. Parents were Christian M. and Susanna 
Bowman. Raised on the farm and attended the common school. 

Converted at the age of twenty-two. 

Married to Mary Ann Beeshy in October, 1867, and after 
her death, to Katherine Stover. Nine children: Martha, 
Albert, Ira, Lydia, Lyman, Dorinda, Odie, Normal, and Karl, 
the last three being by the second marriage. 



Served as Annual Conference Secretary for several years; 
member of committee appointed to arrange for a church organ 
which was named the Gospel Banner and Evangeliums Panier; 
member of committee to compile the first h3rmnal, published 
in English and German; member of the committee to frame the 
first discipline, and translator of the discipline from German into 
English. Edited the "EvangeHums Panier" for sixteen months, 
beginning January, 1880. 

At pres^it a jeweler in Petoskey, Mich. 

Brenneman, Timothy H. — ^Bom September 20, 1860. Parents 
were Daniel and Susannah (Keagy) Brenneman. Received a 
common school education. Became an apprentice in the 
Times ofice at Goshen, Ind., and was later employed as a 
printer in the Gospel Banner office. 

Converted at the age of sixteen, and joined the church 
the same year. 

Married to Laura E. Dalrymple on September 23, 1883. 

Resided for two years (1888-1889) in Kitchener, Ont., as 
a printer in the Gospel Banner office. Editor of the Gospel 
Banner from 1882 to 1885. 

Served for five years (1912-1917) as secretary and treas- 
urer of the Indiana Christian Association, a society opposed 
to secret societies. _ 

Deacon of the Goshen, Ind., class since 1895. 

Mail clerk in the Railway Mail service between Cleveland 
and Chicago since 1893. 

Nysewander, C— Bom in Clark County, Ohio, September 12, 
1855. Attended the common school, high school, and later 
took private lessons in Greek and Latin. Attended the medical 
department of the University of Maryland for two years, and 
graduated from the Starling Medical College of Columbus, 
Ohio, now the Medical Dept. of the Ohio State University. 

Converted at the age of fourteen years, and imited with 
the Brethren in Christ Church. 

Married to Sarah Good in 1878. Two daughters: Bertha, 
and Nancy Ethel. 

Served as compiler of the Brethren in Christ Hymn Book, 
and the Faith and Rules of that church. Secretary of the 
General Conference of the Brethren in Christ before the unions 
leading to the M. B. C. Editor of the "Church and Home" 
periodical, which later merged with the "Gospel Banner. 
Special contributor to the Gospel Banner, 1913-. 



i I ii 

B - g "- --si 
S 31 1": I* 

H "^l '^^ "^ 



Statistical Summary. 


Presiding Elders 11 

City Mission Presidents and Missionary Presiding 

Elders 2 

Ordained Ministers 122 

Approved Ministering Sisters 43 

Probationers 53 

Applicants for Annual Conference License. 35 

Quarterly Conference Licensed Preachers and Evan- 
gelists , 75 

Deacons 95 

Class Leaders ' 178 

Stewards 205 

Building Fund, Parsonage and Rent Collectors 56 

Total Membership — 

Pennsylvania Conference 2,099 

Ontario Conference 1,978 

Indiana and Ohio Conference 1,746 

Michigan Conference 1,139 

Nebraska Conference 754 

Pacific Conference 440 

Canadian Northwest Conference 347 


Appointments 200 

Sunday Schools 158 

Sunday School Oflftcers and Teachers 1,671 

Sunday School Scholars Enrolled 11,108 

Total Enrollment 12,779 

Total Average Attendance 8,029 

Home Department Members 2,733 

Union Sunday Schools 34 

Subscribers to The Oospel Banner 3,030 

Parsonages 80 

Janitors* Homes 3 

Valuation of Church Property $651,338 50 



OFFERINGS (1916-1920). 

pome Missions $49,613 91 

Foreign Missions 124,073 96 

For tlie Poor 6,498 97 

Cbnrdi Properties 88,521 51 

Repairing Church Properties 25,398 65 

Parsonage, Hall Rent and Building Fund 44,997 19 

Sexton and Sundry Expenses 85,490 28 

Sunday Schools 58,563 01 

Presiding Elders 55,107 46 

Mission Presiding Elders and City Mission Presi- 
dents 6,962 61 

Ministers in Cash 239,865 96 

Ministers in Other Contributions 43,080 78 

Beneficiary or Superannuation 10,414 28 

(Assistants 5,063 13 

Gospel Worker or City Missions 24,823 11 

Tabernacle, Missionary or Evangelistic Work 40,161 67 

Camp Meetings 44,524 98 

Sunday School and other Conventions 3,131 14 

Annual Conference Fund 5,545 69 

Annual Conference Delegate Fund 4,190 71 

General Conference Fund 1,013 47 

Benevolent Society and Rescue Work 6,638 86 

Church Extension Fund 2,855 67 

Subscriptions and Literature Sold 103,984 54 

General Conference Forward Movement 4,816 54 

Bluirton College 7,580 00 

India Famine Sufferers 803 47 

Red Cross, Armenian and Syrian Relief and Me- 
morial Fund 7,758 92 

Anti Saloon League •. . . 595 60 

Budget 5,372 43 

War Relief 2,134 42 

Miscellaneous and Lord's Day Alliance 1,811 85 

Presiding Elders* Rent 752 16 

Moving Expenses 273 10 

Other Purposes 7,451 52 

Total .$1,119,871 65 





Cassel, Daniel K. — Geschichte der Mennoniten. Phila., 1890. 

Eby, Benjamin. — ^Kurtzgefaszte Kirchen-Geschichte und Glaubens- 
lehre. Elkhart, 1907. 

Eshleman, H. Frank. — Historic Background and Annals of the Swiss 
and German Pioneer Settlers of Southeastern Pennsylvania. 
Lancaster, 1917. 

Funk, John F. — Mennonite Church and Her Accusers. Elkhart, 

Hartzler and KaufFman. — Mennonite Church History. Scottdale, 

Ejrehbiel, H. P. — History of the General Conference. 1898. 

Langenwalter, J. H. — Christ's Headship of the Church. 1917. 

Langenwalter, J. H. — Lnmigration of Mennonites Into North Amer- 
ica. (Manuscript.) 

Lindsay, Thomas M. — History of the Reformation. 

McGlothlin. — ^Anabaptists. Li Hastings' Cyclopedia of Religion 
and Ethics. 

Newman, A. H. — ^Antipedobaptists. Scribner's, 1914. 

Newman, A. H. — Manual of Church History. 1914. 

Simons, Menno. — Complete Works. Elkhart, 1871. 

Smith, C. H. — Mennonites of America. Groshen, 1909. 


Vedder, Henry C. — ^Balthaser Hiibmaier. Putnam, 1905. 

Verhandlung der AUgemeinen Konferenz der Mennoniten von 


Board of Foreign Missions, Mennonite Brethren in Christ, Pennsyl- 
vania Conference. Thirty-third Annual Report, 1917. 



Brenneman, D. — ^A manuscript covering the formation of the 
R^ormed Mennonites. 

Doctrine of Faith and Church Discipline of the Evangelical 
Mennonite Society of Eastern Pennsylvania. Skippack- 
ville, 1867. 

Doctrines and Discipline of the Evangelical United Men- 
nonites. Goshen, 1880. 

Doctrines and Discipline of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 
The editions of 1888, 1897, 1910 and 1916 were used. 

Edmonton Bible Institute. — Yearbook, 1917-8. Edmonton, Alta. 

Gospel Banner. — Complete files can be found as follows: 1878-83, 
T. H. Brenneman, Goshen, Ind.; 1880-4, O. R. Pannabecker, 
Toronto, Ont.; 1885-1908, H. S. Halbnan, Kitchener, Ont.; 
1909 to date, Bluffton College Library. 

M. B. in C. Seminary and Bible Training School. — Catalog for 
1903-4. Elkhart, Ind. 
Minutes of the General Conferences and special Union Con- 
ferences from 1875 to 1920. 

Moyer, Isaac. — A manuscript treating the formation of the New 
and Reformed Mennonites. 

Oberholtzer, J. H. — Aufschluse der Verfolgungen gegen Daniel Hoch 
von Canada. 1854. 

Oberholtzer, J. H. — ^Verwortung und Erlaeuterung, 1860. 

(Copies of the two above pamphlets by Oberholtzer may 
be foimd in the Ubraries of N. B. Grubb, Philadelphia, and J. F. 
Funk, Elkhart.) 

Origin, Constitution and Articles of Faith of the Brethren 
in Christ. Pittsburgh, 1866. 

Rajrmer, Mrs. Levi. — ^A manuscript treating of the formation of 
the New Mennonites. 

Letters from the following: 

J. B. Detweiler, Kitchener, Ont. M. J. Carmichael, McMinnville, 

C. I. Scott, Milford, Neb. Ore. 

S. Goudie, Stouffville, Ont. A. W. Barbezat, Filer, Idaho. 

Wm. Lambert, Jett, Okla. Mrs. William Simmons, Sand 

D. C. Eby, Didsbury, Alta. Lake, Mich. 

I. P. Moore, Elkhart, Ind. J. J. Hostetler, Dayton, Ohio. 

C. H. Brunner, AJlentown, Pa. Jacob Hygema, Milford, Neb. 
J. F. Funk, Elkhart, Ind. T. H. Brenneman, Goshen, Ind. 



Maud Cretors, Bloomington, 

H. S. Hallman, Kitchener, 'Ont. 
E. Moyer, Vineland, Ont. 
A. B. Yoder, Elkhart, Ind. 
Solomon Eby, Kitchener, Ont. 
Mrs. James Hall, Alsask, Sask. 

Dr. C. Nysewander, Des Moines, 

B. A. Sherk, Elkton, Mich. 

C. N. Grood, Kitchener, Ont. 
W. B. Musselman, Cleveland, 


Others who submitted biographical sketches. 

Private interviews with the following: 

Peter Geiger, Breslau, Ont. 

M. Weber and wife, Markham, 

J. B. Detweiler, Kitchener, Ont. 
Wm. Gehman, Upper Milford, 

Lehigh County, Pa. 
S. Lambert, New Carlisle, Ohio. 
W. B. Musselman, Cleveland, 

S. Longanecker, New Carlisle, 


S. Herr, Harrisburg, Ohio. 
Peter Cober, Moorefield, Ont. 
Mrs. H. E. Freeze, Dayton, 

Solomon Eby, Kitchener, Ont. 
John Troxel, Centerville, Ont. 
D. Brenneman, Groshen, Ind. 
A. Good, New Carlisle, Ohio. 
C. H. Brunner, AJlentown, Pa. 

A. D. Hoke, New Carlisle, Ohio. 

B. Kreutziger, Bad Axe, Mich. 











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