Pavlodar Mennonite Church (Pavlodar Mennonite Settlement, Kazakhstan)
Pavlodar Mennonite Church originated in the Pavlodar Mennonite Settlement of the Semipalatinsk Region, now Kazakhstan. Very little information is available on the organization, development, membership, and religious life of this church and settlement. In 1925 the total population of the settlement was 2,736. D. H. Epp's Adressbüchlein of 1913 names Jakob G. Wiens as the elder of this church in 1913; Wiens kept the church records of all of the main churches of the area. The following affiliated churches or districts and ministers are listed: (1) Rayevka with Abram A. Unruh, (2) Nadarovka with Abraham D. Pötkau, (3) Rovnopol with Jakob F. Kröker, (4) Borissovka with Johann J. Epp.
In addition to this church with its branches, Epp lists two more Pavlodar Mennonite churches: Sabarovka with Johann J. Wiens as minister, and Steinfeld at an earlier date with Johann F. Kröker as minister. Kröker was graduated from the Bethel College Academy at Newton, Kansas, in 1899, attended the St. Chrischona Bible School near Basel, Switzerland, and went to India as a missionary (General Conference Mennonite) in 1900. Because of ill health he returned to Russia in 1909, where he served as Reiseprediger including the Pavlodar Mennonite Church. Gerhard Fast (p. 151) lists the following ministers: Peter Wiens, Sabarovka; Harder, Sofiyevka; Johann F. Kröker, Rebrovka.
Unser Blatt reports that a baptismal service was held in the church of Halbstadt in the Tas-Kuduk district by the elder, Johann F. Kröker, in 1926. Choirs of two churches participated, after which the Lord's Supper was observed. During the second holiday a song festival took place in a shed of Jakob Janzen, the leading minister of the Olgino Mennonite Church, in which seven choirs - three of the Olgino Mennonite Church, two of the Konstantinovka Mennonite Church, one of the Borissovka Mennonite Brethren Church, and one of the Rovnopol Mennonite Brethren Church - participated. A similar report was given by Susi Kröker for 1927 (Unser Blatt, III, 92). The ministers assisting Kröker on these occasions were Jakob Jansen, Schartner, Bergen, J. Wiens, and Decker. Places of worship are listed on these occasions at Halbstadt, Gnadental, and Olgino.
Judging by general developments, this was no doubt one of the last organized religious activities in the community. The fate of the ministers was not known in the late 1950s. Little information is available as to the resumption of worship services and religious activities.
Der praktische Landwirt, 1925-27.
Fast, Gerhard. In den Steppen Sibiriens. Rosthern 1957.
Unser Blatt I (1925): 314; II, 24; III, 11, 92.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 127-128. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Krahn, Cornelius. "Pavlodar Mennonite Church (Pavlodar Mennonite Settlement, Kazakhstan)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P3956.html.
APA style: Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Pavlodar Mennonite Church (Pavlodar Mennonite Settlement, Kazakhstan). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P3956.html.