Slavgorod (Kulundian) Mennonite Brethren Church (Slavgorod Mennonite Settlement, Siberia, Russia)
Slavgorod (Kulundian) Mennonite Brethren Church was established in the Slavgorod Mennonite settlement, Siberia, in 1908. A minister, Sawatzky, of Alexandertal, Samara, served the group in 1908. In 1909 the following ministers joined the group, coming from various settlements: Aron Reimer, Jakob Bergen, Abram Ratzlaff, Peter Bergen, and Heinrich Janzen. The Mennonite Brethren were divided into five independent congregations known under the following names: Schönwiese, Schöntal, Alexandrovka, Gnadenheim, and Grishkovka. Quarterly meetings of the leading ministers took care of business and problems of a general nature. Each congregation had a church council and its regular congregational meetings. Periodically all the congregations joined in a meeting by sending one delegate to represent each 25 members.
In 1917 the Slavgorod Mennonite Brethren had 12 congregations, located at Schönwiese, Schöntal, Alexandrovka, Gnadenheim, Grishkovka, Fernheim, Saratov, Pashnya, Svistunovo, Tchayachy, Glyaden, and the town of Slavgorod. The first general elder was Johann Wiens, who organized congregations, ordained ministers and deacons, and led Bible discussions and ministerial courses. In 1910 he went to the Pavlodar settlement. He was succeeded by Aron Reimer, who left for Canada in 1925. Daniel Heide and Franz Friesen succeeded him. When Friesen emigrated to Canada, Heinrich Janzen took his place until 1929, when he also emigrated to Canada. Of special significance were the Sunday schools conducted on Sunday afternoons, the church choirs, and the harvest festivals. The Mennonite Brethren (MB) supported the Ob Mission among the Ostyaks. The following paragraphs report on the congregations with names beginning with letters preceding "O" which have not been taken care of in the Encyclopedia. Congregations under "O" and following can be found under the following separate articles: Schönwiese MB Church, Saratov MB Church, Pashnya MB Church, Tchayachy MB Church, and Slavgorod MB Church.
Alexandrovka MB Church served the four villages of Alexandrovka, Orloff, Friedensfeld, and Tchernovka. The leading minister was Johann Schmidt, who left for Canada in 1926 and was succeeded by Cornelius Funk. They were assisted by Wilhelm Giesbrecht and Heinrich Teichrieb. Tina Hü bert from this congregation served as a missionary among the Ostyaks in the Ob Mission.
Gnadenheim MB Church served the villages of Gnadenheim, Blumenort, Ebenfeld, Kleefeld, Shumanovka, Halbstadt, and Hochstädt. The first leading minister was Isaak Braun, who was succeeded in 1926 by Heinrich M. Janzen, who was ordained elder. Other ministers were Heinrich Konrad, Peter Esau, Jakob Rogalsky, Bernhard Klassen, Franz Friesen, and Herman Klassen.
Grishkovka MB Church served nine villages: Grishkovka, Markovka, Karatal, Chortitza, Stepnoye, Golyenkoye, Alexanderkrone, Dolinovka, and Suvorovka. A church was erected in Grishkovka. There were smaller places of worship in other villages. The first leading ministers were Abram Ratzlaff and Jacob Ott, assisted by Gerhard Giesbrecht, Peter Krause, Johann Pätkau, and David Janzen.
Fernheim MB Church served three villages: Fernheim, Gnadental, and Sergeyevka. A church was erected in Fernheim during World War I. The leading minister was Cornelius Klassen, assisted by Johann Wiebe, Nikolai Kliewer, Peter Dück, and David Friesen.
Glyaden MB Church served the four villages of Lichtfelde, Ebenfeld, Ivanovka, and Sluchaynoye. The leading minister, Jakob Peters, was assisted by Franz Wiens, Peter Enns, Gerhard Neumann, and Heinrich Unger. A church was erected in Sluchaynoye in 1912.
A smaller congregation was founded in Svistunovo serving the villlages of Volinovka and Tchernyevka, with the ministers Jakob Löwen and Wilhelm Löwen.
During the Revolution and after the establishment of the communistic regime, severe hardships were inflicted on the faithful believers and worshipers. Gradually the tax for the ministers and the meetinghouses became unbearable. Many ministers were exiled. By 1932 organized religious activities including worship services were impossible.
Since the death of Stalin in 1953 some of the religious activities and work have been resumed. Worship services are conducted at various places and conversions and baptismal services are taking place. (See also Slavgorod Mennonite Church.)
Fast. Gerhard. In den Steppen Sibiriens. Rosthem, 1957: 72 f.
Unruh, A. H. Die Geschichte der Mennoniten-Brüdergememde. Winnipeg, 1954: 208.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 537-538. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Krahn, Cornelius. (). Slavgorod (Kulundian) Mennonite Brethren Church (Slavgorod Mennonite Settlement, Siberia, Russia) . Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/slavgorod_kulundian_mennonite_brethren_church.