West China Mennonite Brethren Mission
Henry Cornelius (H. C.) and Nellie Bartel, members of the Krimmer Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church and founders of the China Mennonite Mission in Shantung and Honan provinces, left this field in 1941 and went to West China. Here they began to do mission work in the rugged and mountainous area of Shensi and Kansu provinces. Some time later Paulina Foote, who had formerly worked with the Bartels, escaped from the Japanese occupied area in China and joined them. Through these events many in the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church became interested in this part of China, sent contributions for these workers, and created a sentiment to begin an MB Mission in West China.
Through co-operating with H. C. Bartel the MB Board of Foreign Missions found a way to begin a mission in West China and presented a plan to the 1945 MB General Conference. With the approval of the Conference a field lying partly in Shensi Province and partly in Kansu Province was taken over. Provision was also made for collaboration with the Krimmer MB Church, so that each church would work a part of the field.
To this field the MB Board of Foreign Missions sent the following missionaries: Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Kiehn, Bena and Emma Bartel in 1946; Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Baltzer and Mr. and Mrs. Harold Baltzer in 1947. These workers occupied the field with headquarters at Shuang Shih Pu and a second station at Huei Hsien. Several Chinese were converted and baptized and an indigenous church was organized.
Due to ill health the P. D. Kiehns returned to America in 1948. The two Baltzer families returned in the summer of 1949 when the onslaught of Communism began to threaten this area, and the others followed when the work had to be closed.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 919. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Lohrenz, J. H. "West China Mennonite Brethren Mission." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W4709.html.
APA style: Lohrenz, J. H. (1959). West China Mennonite Brethren Mission. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W4709.html.