Kroeker, Abraham Jakob (1863-1944)
Abraham Jakob Kroeker: minister and writer of the Mennonite Brethren Church; born 11 December 1863 in Rosenort, Halbstadt District, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, South Russia, the son of Jakob and Sarah (Wiens) Kröker. He received some secondary education by private instruction, and at 17 began his teaching service in Mennonite village schools, 1881-88. He was converted at 19 and joined the Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1891 he went to Rumania for three years as a missionary. He married Agatha Langemann on 10 September 1892 in Spat, Crimea. To them nine children were born. In 1894 he established his home at Spat, Crimea. Here his chief occupation for ten years was farming. He moved to Halbstadt in 1904.
In 1897 Kroeker entered publication work, in part with his cousin, Jakob Kroeker. From 1897 to 1918 he published the Christlicher Familien-Kalender, 1900-1905 the Christliches Jahrbuch, and 1899-1917 the Christlicher Abreisskalender, all of which were widely circulated among Mennonites in Russia as well as in America. From 1903 to 1920 Kroeker edited and published the Friedensstimme, the organ of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, which had, however, a much wider circle of readers. In 1904 he was one of the founders of Raduga, a publishing house at Halbstadt, Molotschna, of which he was manager until 1920.
Kroeker left Russia in 1921, came to America in April 1922, by way of Constantinople, lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba a year; then moved to Mountain Lake, Minnesota, his family following in 1924. Here he established and operated a bookstore a number of years and also for some time was joint editor of Der Mithelfer with N. N. Hiebert.
He wrote the following books: Für freie Stunden (Odessa, 1902); Pfarrer Eduard Wüst (Hillsboro, 1903); Meine Flucht (1922), enlarged as Jehova Hilft (Mt. Lake, ca. 1925), English as My Flight from Russia (Scottdale, PA, 1932); Bilder aus Soviet Russland (Hillsboro, ca. 1922) ; Unsere Brüder in Not (Striegau, 1930); Auf dunklen Pfaden (Striegau, 1933, in collaboration with a fellow minister) ; Als die Sterbenden (in collaboration with his daughter Margaret). Meine Flucht and Bilder went through numerous editions. He also compiled and published a revised (1927?) edition of the songbook Heimatklänge, first published in 1889 at Halbstadt, Russia, compiled by Isaak Born.
Kroeker died at Mountain Lake on 22 November 1944, and was buried there.
"Abraham J. Kroeker-Writer and Publisher." Mennonite Life 7 (1952): 165.
Friesen, P. M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia, 1789-1910. Fresno, CA : Board of Christian Literature, General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1980.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. 2, 575.
Kroeker, M. Ein reiches Leben. Wüstenrot, 1940.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 245-246. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Lohrenz, John H. "Kroeker, Abraham Jakob (1863-1944)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K7645.html.
APA style: Lohrenz, John H. (1955). Kroeker, Abraham Jakob (1863-1944). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K7645.html.