Bertsche, Harry (1897-1971)
Harry Bertsche was born 23 May 1897 near Flanagan, Illinois, but spent his childhood on a farm near Centralia, Missouri, where his parents had joined other Mennonite families from Illinois. He was a good student, but was not allowed to attend high school because this entailed boarding away from home. A sympathetic elementary teacher gave him an extra year of instruction at his country school. Crop failures in Missouri prompted a move by the family to a farm one mile east of Bluffton, Ohio, where they joined the local Evangelical Mennonite Church. Here Harry met Emma Steiner (20 December 1897-29 March 1980), to whom he was married on 20 June 1920. Harry pursued further formal education at Marion Academy and College, Marion, Indiana, but had to return to the family farm after two years because of the death of his father.
After renting out the farm, Harry began serving in 1933 as pastor at Salem Evangelical Mennonite Church near Gridley, Illinois. He continued in pastoral work in the Evangelical Mennonite Conference into the mid-1960s. He served at various times as conference president, editor of the conference periodical, and as a member of a variety of conference boards. In 1928 he was named a representative of the Evangelical Mennonite Church to the board of the Congo Inland Mission (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission), a position he held without interruption until his death on 14 June 1971. The Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission is greatly indebted to the service of time, resources, and prayers of Harry Bertsche.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 71-72. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bertsche, James E. "Bertsche, Harry (1897-1971) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1988. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4797.html.
APA style: Bertsche, James E. (1988). Bertsche, Harry (1897-1971) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4797.html.