Toews, Peter (1841-1922)
First a Kleine Gemeinde elder, Peter Toews (24 July 1841-2 November 1922) later became a Church of God in Christ Mennonite elder. He was born at Fischau, Molotschna, South Russia, the youngest son of Johann Töws (1793-1873) and Elizabeth Harder. He joined the Kleine Gemeinde in 1861. On 12 November 1863, he was united in marriage with Anna Warkentin. He was ordained as a minister in 1866, and as elder in 1870. He was instrumental in unifying three factions of this denomination. In the early seventies he was sent to St. Petersburg and later to Yalta to interview the Tsar, and was prominent in the emigration movement to Canada. With the last 30 families of his group he sailed from Nikopol on 4 May 1875, and on 29 June arrived near Niverville along the Red River in Manitoba. He then settled in Grünfeld.
Endowed with a keen craving for knowledge, Toews read and studied constantly and prayerfully, comparing the Scriptures with the works of earlier writers. With a large part of his flock he joined the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, in 1882, and was ordained anew to the ministry on 11 January 1882. His sermons were clear and sound, as were also his many articles of Scripture exposition published in the Botschafter der Wahrheit. For many years he was editor of this publication, the official German-language organ of the denomination.
Many of his numerous poems and pamphlet articles were published in periodicals. Many of his hymns are contained in the Liederbuch der Gemeinde Gottes, the first two editions of which he edited. He translated several works from the Dutch into the German language. He corresponded with a number of the leaders of his day, and he was a moderator of the general conference.
Between 1900-11 he lived at Hochstadt, MB, and on retiring from active service moved to Swalwell, AB. Although almost blind during the last years, he continued to study and write. He died on 2 November 1922, at the age of 81 years, after 56 years of consecrated service, and was buried in the Linden cemetery at Swalwell.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 736. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hiebert, Paul G. "Toews, Peter (1841-1922)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T6493ME.html.
APA style: Hiebert, Paul G. (1959). Toews, Peter (1841-1922). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T6493ME.html.