Berg, John (1849-1941)
John Berg, a minister of the Mennonite Brethren Church, was born in the village of Fürstenwerder, South Russia on 28 March 1849. He was the eighth of nine children in the family of Heinrich and Maria Neumann Berg. His parents struggled in poverty during his childhood days. When he was four, his mother died. On 2 March 1876 he joined the Mennonite Brethren Church at Orloff, Zagradovka. Soon after this the family emigrated to America, settling at Burrton, Kansas.
He felt the call to the Christian ministry at an early age and for a time showed a great desire to become a foreign missionary. In view of preparing for this, he attended a medical school in New York City for one year. Because of sickness he was compelled to discontinue.
On 11 July 1886 he married Anna Wedel. To this union seven children were born. Soon after marriage they went to Rochester, New York, where he entered the Baptist Theological Seminary. For some time he was active as traveling evangelist in the Mennonite Brethren churches. On Pentecost Sunday 1894 he was ordained to the ministry at Marion, Kansas. Shortly after this he took pastoral charge of a Baptist church in Anaheim, California, where he ministered 14 years.
In 1909 the family established its home at Reedley, California, where the Mennonite Brethren Church elected him as leader. This position he filled for nine years. When, on account of illness, he had to withdraw for some time from the ministry, the family lived for short intervals at Orland, Lodi, and Wasco, California. After that they again returned to Reedley and he continued in the ministry.
He was a very active conference worker and served on the Foreign Mission Board of the Mennonite Brethren Church, 1915-1924. In the Pacific District Conference he was an outstanding leader, serving occasionally as moderator. He died at Reedley, 7 November 1941, and was buried at the local Mennonite Brethren cemetery.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 277-278. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Lohrenz, John H. "Berg, John (1849-1941)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4513.html.
APA style: Lohrenz, John H. (1953). Berg, John (1849-1941). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B4513.html.