Janzen, Heinrich Johann (1844-1904)
Heinrich Johann Janzen, a teacher and minister of the Gnadenfeld Church (Molotschna), born at Ladekopp (Molotschna), 25 January 1844. He was employed as a teacher at a small school on an estate at Hochfeld. In 1865 he took over a school with 175 pupils at Waldheim. He married Maria Dirks, a sister of Heinrich Dirks, missionary in Sumatra, in 1869. For reasons of health he resigned his position early in 1868. He was one of the first Mennonite teachers to pass the city teachers' examination, and he learned surveying. He conducted the Gnadenfeld village school 1880-1884. In 1880 he was ordained as a minister by the Gnadenfeld church. He remained an active preacher here to the end of his life, though he was absent from the congregation for extended periods: 1884-1891 he served as preacher at the Vladimirov forestry camp, and 1891-1893 as house father of the Tiege school for the deaf. He died in November 1904.
As an adviser he was much sought after. He was interested in science and art; his sketches and an oil painting have some artistic merit. His literary efforts include these extant works: detailed (fragmentary) autobiography, collected sermons, devotional material, poems, hymns, and a conversion story, Bin Gnadenwunder (published by P. Neufeld, Halbstadt).
Children of Heinrich and Maria include Johannes (1868-1917), a minister in the Gnadenfeld Church, Heinrich (1869-1940), a teacher at the school for the deaf at Tiege, and Jacob (1878-1950), minister in the Gnadenfeld Church and elder in Ontario and British Columbia.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.05 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2008: #405593.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 393.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 95. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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