Beare, George Henry (1898-1973), and Beare, Ida May Swartzendruber (1899-1988)
George H. Beare, minister, and missionary to India under the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church), was born 25 November 1898, in North Platte, Nebraska, the youngest of four sons born to Robert and Ellen (Jay) Beare. He died 10 May 1973.
While still very young, George moved with his parents to Modesto, California, where the family related to the Free Methodist Church. George did not complete high school, but was an avid reader and Bible student. In 1933 he studied as a Bible student at Hesston College. In 1920 he was baptized and became a member of the Los Angeles Mennonite Church. On 20 July 1920 he married Ida May Swartzendruber, daughter of Benjamin P. and Mary (Zimmerman) Swartzendruber of Upland, California, who operated a citrus farm. Ida was born 22 October 1899; she died at the Mennonite Home, Albany, Oregon 28 January 1988. George and Ida had two daughters: Allene (b. 1921) and Evelyn (b. 1924).
The Beares served as missionaries in India from 1926 to 1951. At Balodgahan George served as malguzzar (administrator of the mission-owned village). Ida was in charge of the widows' home and baby-fold. George also served as field secretary of the American Mennonite Mission for several terms, was a regular member of the mission 's Managing Committee, and directed the evangelistic work of Balodgahan station. In 1932 he served as pastor of the Bethel Mennonite congregation at Balodgahan. In 1944 he was sent by the mission board to assist Mennonite Central Committee on a special four-month relief assignment in Calcutta.
From 1955 to 1956 George served as field representative for Hesston College. He was then pastor of Seventh Street Mennonite Church, Upland, California (1956-1964). He was also interim pastor at Faith Mennonite Church, Downey, California, and Plainview Mennonite Church, Shedd, Oregon. In 1973 the Beares moved to Albany Retirement Village, Albany, Oregon where they remained until death.
As an administrator George was forthright and utterly frank, and at times was misunderstood, especially by the Asian mind. As a minister of the good news he believed with intensity in the transforming power of the gospel of Christ for all people and sought to see the simplest person become a responsible creature in Jesus Christ.
Swartzendruber, Magdalene and Brenneman, Keith and Mary. Family Record of Peter Swartzendruber and Barbara Hochstetler and their Descendants. Wellman, Iowa, 1977.
Obituary of Ida Beare in the Albany [OR] Democratic Herald (28 January 1988).
Graber, Esther Rose. "MBM Missionary Directory" (1984).
Annual AMM Misson Report (1932): 139.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 62. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Friesen, John A. "Beare, George Henry (1898-1973), and Beare, Ida May Swartzendruber (1899-1988)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1988. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4363.html.
APA style: Friesen, John A. (1988). Beare, George Henry (1898-1973), and Beare, Ida May Swartzendruber (1899-1988). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4363.html.