Heppner, Ben L. (1917-2002)
Ben L. Heppner: missionary and minister; born in Laird, Saskatchewan, Canada on 12 July 1917 to Bernhard H. Heppner (11 August 1883, Burwalde, Manitoba, Canada - 29 April 1969, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada) and Sarah (Loewen) Heppner (25 September 1886, Parker, South Dakota, USA - 24 June 1973, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada). Ben was the sixth of 13 children. He married Esther Edna Nikkel (5 June 1918, Laird, Saskatchewan - 7 March 2011, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), daughter of Erdman Nikkel (1893-1966) and Aganeta "Agnes" (Schultz) Nikkel (1893-1969), on 7 September 1941 in Laird, Saskatchewan. They had a daughter, Patricia, and an adopted son, Timothy. Ben died on 14 March 2002 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Ben attended school until grade nine. He recommitted his life to the Lord at the age of 18 and attended Prairie Bible Institute for one year before returning to work on the family farm. After his marriage to Esther the couple farmed in Laird. During this time Ben worked with the youth and the choir in the church as well as taught Sunday school. He decided to return to Prairie Bible Institute and graduated in 1949. He later earned a B.Th. degree from the American Bible College.
In 1950 Ben and Esther joined West Indies Missions (later known as Worldteam), planting a church and pastoring several churches on the island of Guadeloupe. He also taught in the Bible school and aided in the construction of homes. During the time when he was on furlough back in Saskatchewan, Ben pastored the Laird Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church for a year and the Dalmeny MB Church for two years from 1965 to 1967. He also served three years as a missionary in Haiti.
After Ben and Esther retired from the mission field, Ben became the first paid pastor of the East Chilliwack MB Church, serving there from 1970 to 1975. They returned to Saskatchewan in 1975, where Ben pastored the Warman MB Church from 1975 to 1982.
After retirement, Ben served in several pastoral interim appointments at Hope Fellowship in Saskatoon, Gospel Fellowship Church in Foam Lake, College Drive Community Church in Lethbridge, Langham Bible Church, and in Quebec. He also led tours to Guadeloupe and served on the Warman Housing Authority for 12 years. In 1990 they moved to West Portal Manor in Saskatoon where he passed away.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2010: #224554.
Mennonite Brethren Herald (21 June 2002): 25-26; (June 2011).
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MLA style: Thiessen, Richard D. "Heppner, Ben L. (1917-2002)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2013. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/heppner_ben_l._1917_2002.
APA style: Thiessen, Richard D. (May 2013). Heppner, Ben L. (1917-2002). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/heppner_ben_l._1917_2002.