Neufeld, David P. (1919-1982)
David P. Neufeld (24 April 1919-7 April 1982) was born at Kitchkas, Orenburg, Russia. His family immigrated to Canada in 1926. A graduate of Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, "D. P." was a farmer-preacher in Rosemary, Alberta; he taught at the Menno Bible Institute in Didsbury, Alberta for five winters, and he became a significant conference and inter-Mennonite leader in Canada.
On 31 May 1942, he married Helen Neufeld, and later that year he was ordained to the ministry. In 1961 the Neufelds moved to Winnipeg where he became the first full-time executive secretary of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada (1961-1967). In that position he worked for the strong national base for General Conference Mennonites and resisted any provincialism which would erode national unity. He had other nationwide dreams. Neufeld was vice-chairman of the Historic Peace Church Council of Canada from 1959 to 1963, and he was instrumental in the formation of Mennonite Central Committee Canada, projecting a vision for its existence and serving as its chairman from its founding in 1963 until 1972. In this capacity he worked for a simple, flexible yet large structure, and for a unified voice when speaking to government and society. He was also deeply involved in the formation of Mennonite Foundation of Canada, and acted as its first chairman (1971). He pastored two churches, Bethany Mennonite in Virgil, Ontario (1967-1977), and Olivet Mennonite in Abbotsford, British Columbia (1977-1982). He died of cancer.
David P. Neufeld was recognized as an excellent preacher and communicator, a good pastor, an able administrator, and a leader and organizer who could bring vision into reality. He considered himself an Anabaptist evangelical.
Conference of Mennonites in Canada. Yearbook (1962): 48-49; (1967): 24-26.
Epp, Frank H., ed., Partners in Service: The Story of Mennonite Central Committee Canada (1963-1982). Winnipeg: MCC Canada, 1983: 20-28.
Neufeld, David P. "My Dream About Canadian Mennonite Council." Unpublished paper available from MCC Canada.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 623. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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APA style: Harder, Gary. (1990). Neufeld, David P. (1919-1982). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N4843ME.html.