Hunsberger, Noah S. (1877-1958)
Noah Sherk Hunsberger: pastor and rural mission worker; born 14 December 1877 in Baden, ON to Abraham and Elizabeth (Sherk) Hunsberger. He was the ninth child in a family of twelve. On 1 March 1905 he married Mary Ann (Steiner) Shantz (17 October 1881-6 February 1925). They had three children. After Mary Ann's death, he married Minnie A. (Cober) Witmer (20 June 1887-25 December 1987) on 8 September 1926. Noah and Minnie had two children. Noah died 14 March 1958, and was buried in the Erb Street Mennonite Church cemetery.
On 15 May 1900 Noah Hunsberger, after being chosen by lot, was ordained as a minister for the David Eby (later Waterloo, then Erb St.) congregation in Waterloo, ON. Later in life he said he had been ordained to preach in the English language at a time when the change from German to English was underway in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario. Hunsberger served as a minister at the Waterloo congregation from 1900-1920 and again from 1923-1929. From 1920-1923 he served at the Sherkston, ON congregation, and continued to serve the Rural Mission Board in a variety of locations after 1930 (e.g., Zurich, Bothwell and Baden -- in the late 1930s). He was actively engaged in pastoral work for forty years. Hunsberger also had in interest in the early work of the House of Friendship during the 1940s. By vocation he had a woodworking shop for some years and also was a beekeeper. During most of his ministry he lived in Waterloo; in later years he lived near Baden and in St. Jacobs.
Noah Hunsberger had only a grade eight education. He received limited theological training by taking some correspondence courses from the Elkhart Institute (later Goshen College) in Indiana. His lack of education likely influenced his decision to retire in his early 50s as minister of the more urban Waterloo Mennonite Church when younger leaders with more education began to be available. He was described as an "earnest and genuine" preacher, who was often moved to tears while speaking. In his last years he carried on a ministry of hospital visitation. Noah Hunsberger provided quiet leadership, often filling the pulpit in smaller rural congregations, and responding to the call of the conference to serve as an itinerant minister as needed.
Kessler, Karl. Path of a People: Erb Street Mennonite Church, 1851-2001 (Waterloo, ON: Erb St. Mennonite Church, 2001)
"Memorial." Ontario Mennonite Evangel 3 (April 1958): 8.
"Hunsberger, Noah S." Gospel Herald 51 (1 April 1958): 314.
"Hunsberger, Minnie Amelia Witmer." Gospel Herald 81 (2 February 1988): 86.
"Hunsberger." Gospel Herald 17 (26 February 1925): 943.
The Huntsberger/Hunsberger Family Association. The Hunsbergers, v. II (Baltimore, MD : Gateway Press, 1995): 1210-1211.
Manuscript collection at Mennonite Archives of Ontario
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
MLA style: Steiner, Sam. "Hunsberger, Noah S. (1877-1958)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2001. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/H8555.html.
APA style: Steiner, Sam. (July 2001). Hunsberger, Noah S. (1877-1958). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/H8555.html.