Fretz, Allen M. (1853-1943)
Allen M. Fretz, a Mennonite (General Conference Mennonite) minister of Pennsylvania, was born 12 December 1853 in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the oldest of the eight children of Ely and Mary Meyers Fretz, and the sixth generation from the immigrant John Fretz, who settled in Bedminster Township about 1720. He grew up on the old Fretz homestead at Bedminster, and early showed an intense interest in books besides the work on the farm. His father therefore sent him to the new Mennonite school at Wadsworth, Ohio, when he reached the age of 16. In 1871 he attended normal schools in Pennsylvania, and at the age of 19 began his career of teaching. In 1880 he married Sarah Leatherman, who died in 1882. In 1885 he married Anna Rittenhouse of Campden, Ontario. They were the parents of six children, two of whom are deacons—Jacob R. Fretz at the Lansdale Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite), and Ely R. Fretz at the Deep Run Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite). Anna died in 1923, and in 1925 Allen M. Fretz married Amanda Fretz. On 13 October 1883 Fretz was ordained to the ministry, in which office he served for nearly 60 years. In addition to his home congregation he served as follows: Souderton 1893-1910, Allentown 1910-1912, Pottstown 1909-1910, Bowmansville 1917-1927, Springfield 1913-1938, Perkasie 1918-1942, and Lansdale 1928-1929. He was secretary of the Eastern District Conference 1913-27, and one of the founders of the Mennonite, and was active on various Eastern District and General Conference committees. He died on 26 April 1943. "He was the embodiment of Christian humility, the personification of love in action. Throughout his life he demonstrated the beauty of simplicity in word, in deed, and in thought. Many lives were enriched, many hearts warmed by his gracious teaching and preaching ministry" (J. Winfield Fretz).
"Allen M. Fretz." Yearbook of the General Conference (Berne, 1938).
Fretz, J. W. "A Memorial." Yearbook of the General Conference (Newton, 1944).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 396. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Fretz, J. Herbert. "Fretz, Allen M. (1853-1943)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fretz_allen_m._1853_1943.
APA style: Fretz, J. Herbert. (1956). Fretz, Allen M. (1853-1943). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fretz_allen_m._1853_1943.