Bethausstreit (controversy concerning a meeting house). Johannes Neufeld of Neu-Halbstadt, Molotschna settlement, Russia, a member of the Mennonite congregation of Ohrloff-Petershagen, built a large church in Neu-Halbstadt in the 1850s almost entirely with his own funds. Afterwards because of the "barley dispute" (Gerstenstreit) and other difficulties in the congregation, Neufeld was one of a group which left the congregation. His demand that the newly built church be ceded to his own group led to unedifying dissension. By decision of the board in 1862 the church remained in the possession of the congregation of Ohrloff-Halbstadt (its name after 1848), and two thirds of the building costs were repaid to Neufeld.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 210.
Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 90, notes 204, 221, and 304.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 304. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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