Goerz, Martha Krehbiel (1876-1947)
Martha Krehbiel Goerz, was born 18 April 1876 in Summerfield, IL to Christian and Susanna Ruth Krehbiel. The family moved to Kansas where Christian was involved in Kansas district and General Conference affairs. Surrounded by conference workers and guests, Martha developed a keen interest in the church.
She married Rudolph Goerz on 30 December 1900. Their children were Harold, (b. 1902), and Frances (by adoption, b. 1911). The Goerz family had been influential in founding Bethel College and the Bethel Deaconess Hospital and Home in Newton, Kansas. Rudolph and Martha retained an active lifelong interest in these institutions.
Martha's contribution to the General Conference Mennonite Church was her strong effort to establish the Women's Missionary Association (Women in Mission). Elected to the first executive committee in 1917, she served as treasurer, Western District sewing supervisor (relief supplies), secretary, vice-president, counselor, and editor of Missionary News and Notes in an almost unbroken span of 28 years.
She was an efficient organizer, tireless in her efforts to obtain official recognition for the association. She was determined to show that women could care for their families and homes and contribute to other projects as well. Her peers saw her as a courageous pioneer for women's work in missions. Martha was acknowledged as a cultured woman whose influence was felt in activities involving church, education and humanitarian service.Martha Krehbiel Goerz died 29 January 1947.
Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College (North Newton, Kansas, USA): Women's Missionary Association files.
Goering, Gladys. Women in Search of Mission. Newton, KS: Faith & Life Press, 1980.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 348-349. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Goering, Gladys. "Goerz, Martha Krehbiel (1876-1947)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G66135.html.
APA style: Goering, Gladys. (1987). Goerz, Martha Krehbiel (1876-1947). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G66135.html.