Klassen, David D. (1902-1985)
David D. Klassen, minister and elder: b. 5 February 1902 in Halbstadt, Manitoba, the second of twelve children born to David Klassen (20 September 1876 – 6 July 1965) and Anna (Abrams) Klassen (13 June 1881 – 12 February 1943). On 24 October 1920 he married Susanna Heinrichs (10 December 1902, Halbstadt, Manitoba – 17 March 1989, Carman, Manitoba, Canada) in Halbstadt, Manitoba. She was the daughter of Wilhelm Heinrichs (28 March 1871 – 9 July 1938) and Maria (Wiebe) Heinrichs (21 July 1879 – 20 June 1949) of Halbstadt, Manitoba. David and Susanna Klassen were married for almost 65 years and had a family of six daughters and nine sons: Anna, Henrietta, Aron, Maria, Erdman, Wilhelm, Elsa, Paul, Katherine, Ernest, Edith, Johannes, Charles, Stanley and Victor. All survived their father when he died at the age of 83 in Carman, Manitoba on 4 September 1985.
David attended a private elementary school up to the age of 12 and a public school for a few years after that. He was baptized at the age of 18 and joined the Bergthaler Mennonite Church. On 13 July 1930, D. D. Klassen was ordained as a minister in the Bergthaler Mennonite Church. He and his family were pioneers in the Mennonite settlement in Homewood, Manitoba, where he helped to found the Homewood Bergthaler Church. For 25 years he was a member of the board of directors of the Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Gretna, Manitoba, and for 18 years a member of the board of Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg. In 1961 he was ordained an elder of the Bergthaler Mennonite Church. He also served at various times on boards and committees of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada and the Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba.
For many years Klassen was in some demand as a popular speaker on biblical themes. His favorite ones were eschatology and biblical nonresistance. In 1957 he accepted an invitation from the Radio Committee of the Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba to be the regular speaker on its weekly broadcast "Word of Life." Klassen made the messages largely expository. On occasion he would sing an unaccompanied solo on the air. These songs became so popular that a number of recordings were made and sold.
Gerbrandt, Henry J. Adventure in Faith. Altona, MB: Bergthaler Mennonite Church, 1970, index.
Martens, Katherine. All in a row: the Klassens of Homewood. Winnipeg: Mennonite Literary Society, 1988.
Mennonite Reporter (16 September 1985): 1; (30 September 1985): 5.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 495. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Ens, Gerhard and Richard D. Thiessen. (January 2006). Klassen, David D. (1902-1985). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K537ME.html.