Isaak, John Phillip (1861-1918)
John Phillip Isaak, a Russian Mennonite Brethren businessman and minister, was born 20 February 1861 in Tiege, Molotschna, in the province of Taurida, Russia, the oldest son of Phillip and Margaret (Toews) Isaak. He was followed by three brothers and two sisters. He graduated from the Zentralschule in Orloff. In 1881 (or 1882) he was married to Catherine Jantz. To this union were born 13 children, several of whom died in infancy, with John, Phillip, James, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Marie surviving. Several of these became physicians. Dr. J. J. Isaak was chairman of the Relief Committee in Harbin, Manchuria, ca. 1930, and helped many refugees to the United States and to South America. Elizabeth, also a physician, succeeded him in this field and was still in China in the 1950s. Margaret, the first Mennonite woman to attend the University of St. Petersburg, married a Baptist preacher, I. V. Neprash, and with him directed the Russian Missionary Service with headquarters at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
J. P. Isaak with his wife joined the Mennonite Brethren Church in its early years and held many important church offices, including the leadership of a congregation for about 20 years. He served for about the same period of time as a member of the school board and Agricultural Association board in the province of Taurida, participating actively in relief work for native Russians in 1905-1906 near the Volga River.
J. P. Isaak gave great encouragement to P. M. Friesen in writing his historical book (Brüderschaft) and assisted substantially in financing this work. He also contributed to missionary enterprises. His life was one of constant activity as a landowner, farmer, Christian businessman, and minister of the Gospel. He died in 1918 and was buried in the cemetery of the village of Tiege. He resided at various places including Adamovka and Zhitlova Balka, Ekaterinoslav; Rückenau and Tiege, Taurida.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911.
Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.
Harms, J. F. Geschichte der Mennoniten Brudergemeinde. Hillsboro, KS.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 54-55. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Toews, Jacob J. "Isaak, John Phillip (1861-1918)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/isaak_john_phillip_1861_1918.
APA style: Toews, Jacob J. (1957). Isaak, John Phillip (1861-1918). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/isaak_john_phillip_1861_1918.