Geiser, Abraham (1857-1928)
Abraham Geiser, elder of the Mennonite congregation in Chaux d'Abel in the Bernese Jura of Switzerland, was born on 13 April 1857 at Mont Cortebert, and grew up on Mont-Soleil near St. Imier, one of 12 children. Since his parents were pioneers in this remote settlement his education was limited to just a few weeks. At the age of 18 he was converted, and, feeling an urge to preach the Gospel, attended the Bible Training School of St. Chrischona for two winter terms. In the autumn of 1879 he married Katharina Gerber; they had four children. For 22 years he lived on a farm near Les-Bois, farming as well as preaching. In 1890 he was ordained as elder. He was one of the most influential Mennonite preachers of his time in Switzerland and was for several years president of the Conference of the Swiss Mennonite churches. In 1918 he sold his farm and with his oldest son and the son's family settled in Pays de Gex, 10 miles (16 km) from Geneva, in France. Here, in St. Genis, there was a small congregation of Protestants, which was on the point of dissolution. It was soon arranged that this group would meet in Abraham Geiser's house. Several other Mennonite families from the Jura moved into the area, thus forming the nucleus of the present Pays de Gex Mennonite congregation. Later this congregation was in the care of his youngest son. After the close of World War I Abraham Geiser received an invitation from the Conference of Mennonites in Alsace to settle in Alsace, whereupon he and his oldest son Japhet leased a large farm near Colmar and settled there in 1924. In the spring of 1928 he died. He was buried in a cemetery in the Pays de Gex community.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 445. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Geiser, Samuel. "Geiser, Abraham (1857-1928)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G4449.html.
APA style: Geiser, Samuel. (1956). Geiser, Abraham (1857-1928). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G4449.html.