Voth, John Homer (1879-1943)
John Homer Voth, an evangelist and foreign missionary of the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church, was born on a farm near Bingham Lake, Minnesota, 23 December 1879, the third of the nine children of Heinrich Voth and Sarah (Kornelsen) Voth. He attended high school at Windom, Minnesota. At 15 he was converted and baptized and joined the Bingham Lake Mennonite Brethren Church of which his father was elder. Voth began to teach in rural schools at 17 and continued this several years. In 1901 he came to McPherson, Kansas, where for a number of years he attended the German Department School of the MB Church. For three years he studied at the German Baptist Theological Seminary, Rochester, New York, where he graduated. In 1918 Tabor College conferred on him the A.B. degree. On 18 August 1907, Voth married Maria Epp. Of their eight children, two sons died in infancy and one while in service during World War II. In 1905-1907 Voth did considerable evangelistic work in the MB Conference. He was ordained as a missionary to India by the MB Foreign Mission Board and left for this field in 1908.
Voth rendered valuable and effective services as itinerating missionary of the Mennonite Brethren Mission among the Telugus in the Hyderabad State of India. He erected most of the buildings on the Devarakonda Station. He was successful in winning converts, training indigenous workers, and establishing churches. He began the monthly Telugu paper, "Suvarthamani," in 1920, which became the organ of the Andhra MB Church. When he finally left India in 1942 after a period of 34 years' service, there were 17 Mennonite Brethren churches with a total of more than 3,000 members in the Devarakonda field.
Through his extensive writing for the Zionsbote and through his aggressive itineraries while on furlough, he created much interest for the cause of foreign missions in the Mennonite Brethren Conference. In the summer of 1942 he and his wife returned to America and established their home at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here he died 29 July 1943. Interment was at Mountain Lake, Minnesota.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 859. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Lohrenz, J. H. "Voth, John Homer (1879-1943)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/voth_john_homer_1879_1943.
APA style: Lohrenz, J. H. (1959). Voth, John Homer (1879-1943). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/voth_john_homer_1879_1943.