Harder, Gerhard (1857-1931)
Gerhard Harder (1857-1931), evangelist and minister of the Halbstadt congregation, Molotschna, Taurida, Russia, was born in 1857 as fourth child of Bernhard Harder (1832-1884), well-known minister, teacher, and poet of Halbstadt. Gerhard was educated at the Halbstadt Zentralschule and pedagogical classes and—after teaching in an elementary school until 1883—at St. Chrischona near Basel, Switzerland. Harder then took a private course in Russian and became a teacher of the Halbstadt Musterschule connected with the pedagogical classes of the Halbstadt Zentralschule, serving here for five years (1885-90). He then became a minister of the Ohrloff-Halbstadt congregation and was appointed evangelist (Reiseprediger) by the Mennonite General Conference (Bundeskonferenz). He wrote a biography of his father Bernhard Harder in the volume Geistliche Lieder und Gelegenheitsgedichte (Hamburg, 1888).
Gerhard Harder was married to Justina Peters Harder; they had four sons. His son Johannes graduated from the Teachers' Institute at St. Petersburg and taught at the Halbstadt Zentralschule from 1909 until his death during the Revolution.
Harder was arrested in January 1931 together with Elder A. Klassen, spent several months in jail at Halbstadt, was sentenced to banishment to Siberia but fell ill and died at the Muntau hospital the day before the execution of the sentence. Earnestness and at the same time a great kindliness were outstanding features of his character and work.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 660. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Goerz, Heinrich. "Harder, Gerhard (1857-1931) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/harder_gerhard_1857_1931.
APA style: Goerz, Heinrich. (1956). Harder, Gerhard (1857-1931) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/harder_gerhard_1857_1931.