Boettger, Harold R. (b. 1917)
|Harold & Violo Boettger|
Harold R. Boettger: minister in the Mount View Mennonite Church near High River and minister and bishop in the Salem Mennonite Church near Tofield, was born at Mayton, Alberta, in 1917. He married Viola Stalter in 1939. They were the parents of eight children.
The family moved from Mayton to the Tofield area in 1919. His mother dedicated him to God's service when, at the age of four, he became critically ill. In 1939 he found work in the Mazeppa district near High River. He married Viola Stalter of Tofield later than year, and the couple spent a year in Mazeppa before returning to Tofield at the end of the harvest in 1940.
While working in the Mazeppa district, Harold Boettger must have impressed Bishop Isaac Miller, who was kept exceedingly busy discharging his many congregational, conference, community and family responsibilities. Miller needed help, and on 1 April 1945, Harold Boettger was ordained in the Salem Mennonite Church for service as an assistant to Bishop Isaac Miller, or wherever else he might be needed in the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference. Boettger had been active in several branches of church work, but preached his first sermon in an evening service following his ordination as a minister.
The Boettgers served the Mount View Mennonite Church near High River until 1952. The work became more difficult after the death of Bishop Isaac Miller in 1948. Membership and attendance declined, due mainly to the move of several families from the area. The congregation provided the Boettgers with no financial compensation and Harold found it necessary to supplement income from his modest farming operations, first near Mazeppa and then near Blackie, with work as a truck driver, a seller of farm fuels and oils, and as a finishing carpenter. He built many cabinets, cupboards and did much interior wood work in new homes. Economic distress was cited as the main reason why the family returned to Tofield in 1952. There Harold assisted Bishop J. B. Stauffer, serving for several years in special services in the nearby community of Round Hill. He was chosen by lot and ordained to the office of Bishop in April of 1962, after Bishop Stauffer's retirement, serving in that capacity until his own retirement in 1982. He was the last Bishop of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, and maintained an active interest in the work of the Salem congregation and of the conference.
Fencelines and Furrows. Calgary: Fencelines and Furrows History Book Society, 1969: 492.
Newsletter of the Northwest Conference of the Mennonite Church (March 1982).
Regehr, T. D. Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest, 1903-2003: Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 2003.
Stauffer, Ezra. History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference. Ryley, Alberta: Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, 1960.
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MLA style: Regehr, Ted D. "Boettger, Harold R. (b. 1917)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2003. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B64.html.
APA style: Regehr, Ted D. (December 2003). Boettger, Harold R. (b. 1917). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B64.html.