Peters, a Mennonite family name was first found in West Prussia, Germany, around 1580 and is probably of Dutch-Frisian descent. Many members of this family served as deacons and preachers in various West Prussian Mennonite congregations, especially those of Danzig, Montau, and Ladekopp. The Dutch Naamlijst names Hendrik Pieters (Peeters) as the elder of the Frisian (Waterlander) congregation in the Elbing Werder 1726-65, and Isaack Peters as preacher in Tiegenhagen 1746-93.
The Peters family name was also common among prominent leaders in the Molotschna Colony in South Russia. Among these were Abraham Peters a Mennonite Brethren (MB) leader who founded the MB settlement in the Kuban in 1863, Abraham Peters of Fürstenau, who led a group to Turkestan in 1880, Hermann Peters, who was the founder of the Peters group called "Brotbrecher," and Bernhard Peters (1855-1921), who was an elder at Schönsee.
In North America in 1957 there were 26 Mennonite ministers bearing the name Peters, distributed as follows: General Conference Mennonite Church-12: in Kansas 2, Montana 1, Mississippi 1, Manitoba 4, British Columbia 2, Ontario 1, Saskatchewan 1; MB-8: Manitoba 6, British Columbia 1, California 1; Old Colony in Mexico-3; Church of God in Christ-2: Michigan and Florida. Among these should be mentioned Frank C. Peters (MB), who was president of Tabor College, later a teacher in the MB Bible College in Winnipeg and later still president of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario; G. W. Peters, was dean of the MB Biblical Seminary in Fresno, California; G. H. Peters, was principal of the Mennonite Collegiate Institute at Gretna, Manitoba.
Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanted der Mennonited in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam, 1731, 1743, 1755, etc.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 152. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: van der Zijpp, N. "Peters (Pieters)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4840ME.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, N. (1959). Peters (Pieters). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P4840ME.html.