Gortchakovo Mennonite Brethren Church (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia)
Gortchakovo Mennonite Brethren Church near Davlekanovo, province of Ufa, Russia, was founded in the year 1898. Its first leader and cofounder was Wilhelm Baerg of Karanbash. The first ordination, involving two ministers, Heinrich K. Siemens and Heinrich Thiessen, and presided over by Elder DeFehr of Orenburg, took place in 1907. Baerg soon after this resigned from the leadership and Johann Heinrichs was elected leader. When Heinrichs moved to Siberia in 1909, Jacob J. Martens, superintendent of the Armenschule at Berezovka, became leader. After Martens' death in 1922 Heinrich K. Siemens took over. In 1925 Siemens emigrated to Canada and settled in Gem, Alberta. After that the leadership went to G. G. Friesen. During his administration the second and last ordination of ministers of this church took place on 2 December 1927, when H. B. Friesen and H. H. Siemens, son of H. K. Siemens, were ordained. About this time all preachers were disfranchised by the Soviets. H. B. Friesen and H. H. Siemens fled. Friesen found his way to Paraguay, while Siemens managed to join his parents in Canada. The last minister of the Gortchakovo Mennonite Brethren Church was P. Dück, who died in 1932.
In the course of its development this church had branched out into the neighboring localities: Karanbash, Berezovka, Davlekanovo, and Yurmakay. All of them, with the exception of Yurmakay, had their ministers and meetinghouses. Membership of the combined churches grew to approximately 300 souls. Each local church had representatives in the Vorberat (preliminary council). Matters of lesser importance were settled by the local church, while questions of wider range were brought before the Vorberat and the Hauptversammlung (general assembly). Local churches had the following preachers: Gortchakovo—G. Friesen, Sen., B. Friesen, Johann Heinrichs, H. K. Siemens, G. G. Friesen, Jun., H. B. Friesen, and H. H. Siemens; Berezovka —Jacob J. Martens, David Thiessen, J. Isaak, and P. Duck; Karanbash—Wilhelm Baerg and Gerhard Wiens; Davlekanovo—K. G. Neufeld, Heinrich Thiessen, Peter Thielmann, Jacob Friesen, and David Isaak.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 138.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 544. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Rogalsky, J. P. "Gortchakovo Mennonite Brethren Church (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/gortchakovo_mennonite_brethren_church_ufa.
APA style: Rogalsky, J. P. (1956). Gortchakovo Mennonite Brethren Church (Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/gortchakovo_mennonite_brethren_church_ufa.