Cressman, Amos S. (1834-1909)
Amos Schneider Cressman: bishop; born 4 September 1834 in Strasburg (now part of Kitchener), Ontario to Abraham and Mary (Schneider) Cressman. He was the youngest son of a family of eight sons and four daughters. On 25 March 1856 he married Anna Martin (12 March 1836-8 February 1914). They had four sons and four daughters. Amos died 17 January 1909 after a period of declining health.
By vocation Amos Cressman was a farmer; most of his life on a farm south of New Hamburg, ON. Although little is known of his education; it most certainly was confined to the primary schools of the day. On 19 June 1864, Amos Cressman was ordained as the deacon at the Blenheim meetinghouse by Bishop Henry Shantz. On 30 June 1867 he was ordained to the ministry at the Shantz meetinghouse, again by Bishop Henry Shantz. On 24 January 1875, he was ordained as a bishop by Henry Shantz for the Wilmot District, and held this position to his death. Cressman's home congregation was Geiger (later merged with Biehn to form Nith Valley).
Amos Cressman was one of the more conservative leaders in the Ontario conference, and the brother-in-law of Abraham Martin who was the "father" of the Old Order Mennonite portion of the division that occurred in 1889. Despite his conservative leaning and close relationship to Martin, Cressman chose to stay with the majority of the conference. His decision may have been influenced by the more progressive nature of the congregations under his care. Amos Cressman retained, to an extent, the respect of the Old Order Mennonites, although they were disappointed with decisions he made, for example supporting the taking over of the Conestogo meetinghouse by the minority of that congregation's members who were not sympathetic to the Old Order movement.
Amos Cressman was not a leader who circulated widely in the denomination, although he traveled in the Pennsylvania churches and into Michigan on occasion. He served faithfully and managed to avoid significant division in the congregations for which he was primarily responsible.
Burkholder, L. J. A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario. Kitchener, Ont.: Mennonite Conference of Ontario, 1935: 150, 283-284
"Cressman." Gospel Herald (6 February 1909): 719.
"Cressman." Gospel Herald (12 March 1914): 780.
Eby, Ezra E. A Biographical History of Early Settlers and Their Descendants in Waterloo Township, with additional information by Eldon D. Weber. Kitchener, ON: E.D. Weber, 1971: 124.
Good, E. Reginald. Detweiler: Detweiler's Meetinghouse: a History of Mennonites Near Roseville, Ontario. Roseville, ON: Detweiler Meetinghouse, Inc., 1999: 34ff.
Horst, Isaac R. Close Ups of the Great Awakening. Mt. Forest, ON: I.R. Horst, 1985: 292, as well as other passing references to Cressman.
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MLA style: Steiner, Sam. "Cressman, Amos S. (1834-1909)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2002. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C7471.html.
APA style: Steiner, Sam. (January 2002). Cressman, Amos S. (1834-1909). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/C7471.html.