Wiebe, Jakob T. (1872-1965)
|Jakob T. Wiebe, Passport
photograph, circa 1950.
Jakob T. Wiebe, Holdeman Mennonite minister and writer, was born on 13 October 1872 in the village of Rosenfeld, Molotschna Colony, South Russia. He was the oldest of three children born to Heinrich Wiebe (1851-1876) and Anna Barkman Toews (1853-1935). His father taught at the school in the village of Heuboden and had also been ordained as a deacon in the Kleine Gemeinde. In 1874 when Jakob was not quite two years old his family immigrated to Canada and settled in Blumenort, Manitoba. Tragedy marked Jakob's early years in Canada. Poor crops the first two years made life very rough and then his father froze to death during a sudden winter storm in 1876. His mother remarried in 1879 and Isaac de Veer (1856-1925) became his stepfather. Shortly there after, the family moved to the village of Greenland. Jakob was baptized in the fall of 1890 and became a member of the Church of God in Christ Holdeman Mennonite. He married Anna Reimer (1871-1924) on 18 February 1894 and they had 13 children together. Unfortunately their son Isaac died accidentally in 1903 after drinking scalding hot coffee from the stove. He had not yet turned two. Jakob's first wife, Anna, died of a stoke during a communion service in 1924 and the following year he married Maria W. Toews (1877-1951).
Jakob T. Wiebe grew up in a poor family which required him to start working at the age of 15. His first job was working for a saw mill and then for local farmers as a laborer. He also found employment as a plasterer and a carpenter for a while. After marrying his first wife, Jakob purchased 240 acres of sod and later another 170 more. He had "vision and ambition" which were eventually rewarded. In addition to being a successful farmer Jakob was also a writer and active church leader. He loved to write and worked as editor for 17 years of the official German church paper called Botschafter der Wahrheit. Jakob continued to write articles for this paper years after he was no longer editor.
In the church, Jakob was first ordained as a deacon in 1904. Much to his surprise, he was called to the ministry in 1910 and ordained in the summer of that year. Throughout his ministry Jakob seemed plagued with doubts about his ability but this did not prevent him from serving faithfully. With the support of his family he traveled to locations near and far, in both Canada and the United States, preaching at revival meetings. His tall stately figure must have drawn the crowds' attention when he got up to preach. Jakob T. Wiebe, a generous helpful person of faith, well respected by his church and community, died on 6 April 1965.
Penner, Lloyd. "Jakob T. Wiebe 1872-1965." Preservings No. 9 Part I (December 1996): 50-53.
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MLA style: Brown, Sharon H. H. "Wiebe, Jakob T. (1872-1965)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2006. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W54307.html.
APA style: Brown, Sharon H. H. (May 2006). Wiebe, Jakob T. (1872-1965). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W54307.html.