Harder, Gustav (1856-1923)
Gustav Harder, pastor of the Emmaus Mennonite Church (General Conference Mennonite) near Whitewater, Kansas, was born 19 March 1856, in Heubuden, West Prussia, the son of Bernhard (1811-1900) and Agatha (Wiebe) Harder (1830-1861?), Chorister (Vorsänger) of the Heubuden congregation. His mother died when he was five years old. At 16 he was baptized.
When the Mennonites of Prussia were faced with compulsory military service, a number of Heubuden families, including the Harders, immigrated to America, and settled about 15 miles east of Newton. In 1877 the Emmaus congregation was organized and Gustav Harder was chosen as chorister. Seven years later he was ordained as pastor and in 1902 as elder of the congregation. Four years after coming to America, Gustav visited his former home in West Prussia, and met Helene Kroeker (1858-1919) to whom he was married on 20 May 1880. They became the parents of two children, Helen and Bernhard. Gustav Harder had great interest in missions. In 1890 the General Conference elected him to the Foreign Mission Board. Soon thereafter this board chose him as its treasurer, which position he held to his death. Emergency relief greatly interested him and his congregation, especially on behalf of the Mennonites of Russia.
Gustav Harder was also active in the establishment of Bethel College and for many years served as a member of its board of directors. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Bethel Deaconess Hospital. He never fully recovered from the death of his wife in 1919, and died on 16 June 1923, at the age of 65. Both he and his wife were buried just across the road from his home in the small Harder cemetery.
Hege, Christian and Neff, Christian. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 254.
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: Kaufman, Edmund G. "Harder, Gustav (1856-1923) ." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/harder_gustav_1856_1923.
APA style: Kaufman, Edmund G. (1956). Harder, Gustav (1856-1923) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/harder_gustav_1856_1923.