Johns, Daniel J. (1850-1942)
Daniel J. "D. J." Johns was one of the outstanding leaders in the Indiana-Michigan Amish Mennonite Conference and later of the entire (Old) Mennonite Church. He was a great-grandson of Joseph Schantz, a Swiss Amish immigrant to America of about 1765, who first located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, but later removed to Somerset County, Pennsylvania, where he laid out building lots for the city of Johnstown, which was named in his honor. Daniel J. Johns was born in Somerset County on 8 September 1850, the son of John Johns. In 1865 John Johns removed to Lagrange County, Indiana, with his family, partly because he had been elected constable of Conemaugh Township, an office which he could not accept because of his faith—although he felt that his brethren in the faith had helped elect him. Daniel taught school successfully for seven years. He married Nancy Yoder in 1875. Two of their six children were Bishop O. N. Johns of Louisville, Ohio and Ira S. Johns (d. 1956) of Goshen, Indiana. D. J. Johns united with the Amish Mennonite Church in 1876, and six years later was ordained preacher on the basis of a congregational vote, by the visiting bishop, Joseph Stuckey of Illinois. In 1887 Isaac Schmucker, who was the first Amish Mennonite bishop in Indiana, ordained D.J. Johns to the office of bishop. He was a vigorous and progressive leader. He helped organize the Indiana-Michigan Amish Mennonite Conference in 1888 and served for more than 25 years in the united conference after it merged with the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference in 1916. He helped arrange for the first Sunday-school conference for the (Old) Mennonite Church in 1892, helped organize the Elkhart Institute Association in 1895, helped arrange for the first session of the Mennonite General Conference in 1898, and helped organize the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities in 1906. As a bishop he was rather mild in his discipline as a middle-aged leader, but became stricter in his later years. He died 22 May 1942, about 60 years after his ordination as preacher.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 115-116. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Wenger, John C. "Johns, Daniel J. (1850-1942)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J6460.html.
APA style: Wenger, John C. (1957). Johns, Daniel J. (1850-1942). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J6460.html.