Just, Martin M. (1866-1919)
Martin M. Just, elder and conference leader of the Mennonite Brethren Church, was the oldest of the 12 children of William and Wilhelmine Leitke Just. The parents, of German-Lutheran background, lived in a settlement in the Don River Valley, South Russia, where Martin was born 14 July 1866. In 1873 the family joined the Mennonite Brethren Church, and in 1880 emigrated to America, settling on a farm three miles (five km) west of Aulne, Marion County, Kansas, where their children grew up. After his elementary schooling Just attended a Bible School during the winter 1885-1886 at Canada, Kansas, which J. F. Harms was conducting.
On 27 October 1887, Just married Anna Schapanski and established a farm home. After her death he married Hannah Patzkowski 22 August 1894. Of the nine children born to the family, the two sons died in infancy and the seven daughters survived him. The family moved to a homestead at Isabella, Major County, Oklahoma, in 1895 where they lived for the rest of Just's life.
In 1888 Just was converted and joined the Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church. When he settled in Oklahoma he joined the South Hoffnungsfeld Mennonite Brethren Church southeast of Fairview. He at once became active in the church, was elected deacon in 1896 and a year later to the ministry. In 1900 he was ordained as minister and in 1905 as elder. In addition to his effective ministry in the local church, which extended over a period of 22 years, he was much used in the churches of the Mennonite Brethren Conference, especially in Oklahoma.
Just rendered a remarkable service in the Mennonite Brethren General Conference. He was secretary of the Home Missions Committee, 1903-1909, and served on the Foreign Mission Board, 1909-1919. He was moderator of the Conference from 1915 until his death in 1919. In the Southern District Conference he was also very active from its beginning in 1909, serving as secretary of the Home Mission Board for ten years. The Conference elected him moderator for three consecutive one-year terms. Just also showed keen interest in the educational efforts of the Mennonite Brethren Church, serving on its educational committee for some time. After the establishment of Tabor College, he was also a member of its Board of Directors.
Elder Just died at his home at Isabella, 22 August 1919; interment was at the South Hoffnungsfeld Mennonite Brethren Cemetery.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 132-133. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Lohrenz, J. H. "Just, Martin M. (1866-1919)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J869.html.
APA style: Lohrenz, J. H. (1957). Just, Martin M. (1866-1919). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/J869.html.