Regier, Peter (1847-1904)
Peter Regier: writer and church leader; born on 21 October 1847 in Gnadenheim, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, South Russia, to Johann Regier and Susanna (Quiring) Regier. He was one of the middle of 13 children. On 4 January 1868, Peter married Katharina Quiring (30 October 1845, Ladekopp, Molotschna, South Russia - 14 April 1922); the couple had 12 children, six of whom survived their parents. In 1876, the family moved to the United States, landing in Philadelphia before settling in Minnesota. Peter died of an illness related to a fibroid tumour on 14 July 1904 in North Enid, Oklahoma, USA.
In about 1848, Peter’s family moved from Gnadenheim to Hierschau, where Peter received his primary education. His father died in 1866, and his mother later remarried but continued to live in Hierschau. On 4 January 1868, Peter married Katharina Quiring of Kleefeld, and the couple followed several other Regier family members to Klippenfeld, another village in the Molotschna. In 1870, when a spiritual revival swept through Klippenfeld, Peter and Katharina were also converted, although they waited until 1873 for baptism and membership in the Mennonite Brethren church.
Peter Regier and his family immigrated to the United States in 1876, together with a younger brother and his family, crossing on the S.S. Vaderland and arriving in Philadelphia on 28 July 1876 before going on to Minnesota. Soon, however, Peter and Katharina’s youngest son died, as well as Peter’s brother and his children. Late in the fall of 1876, Peter and his family moved to Nebraska, settling in Hamilton County, near Henderson.
Soon, Regier began to preach, hold Bible studies and prayer meetings, and to visit people in the area, together with Henry Nickel. A core group of Mennonite Brethren started to meet, and in 1878 when the Henderson Mennonite Brethren congregation was formed, Peter Regier was chosen as its first leader.
In 1897, Peter and Katharina Regier moved to North Enid, Oklahoma to work in the North Enid Mennonite Brethren Church. Peter was ordained as the Ältester there in 1902. While in North Enid, he also published a brief history of the Mennonite Brethren church, using information collected from various people, mainly on the Molotschna aspect of the history.
When his brother Johann died, Peter Regier returned to Henderson for the funeral. Soon afterward, he replaced his brother as itinerant minister, a job he had already done on one occasion when his brother was out of the country. Peter had just reached home when he received news of the death of another brother, Kornelius, on 30 September 1902. He set off to participate in the funeral but broke his leg when a train he was on gave a sudden lurch, and despite hospital care, the leg failed to heal. A fibroid tumor in his leg began to spread, and he developed severe pain followed by paralysis of his lower body.
Peter died of his illness on 14 July 1904 in North Enid. He had expressed a wish to be buried in Nebraska, and his wife, one daughter, and two sons accompanied the body to Henderson for interment on 20 July 1904. Peter’s wife, Katharina, died 17 years later.
Peter Regier was a diligent preacher and minister whose dedicated work helped the churches of Russia and the United States to grow. Despite the struggles of his life and the suffering he endured, he was an example of faith and endurance for his family and community.
Hiebert, Clarence. The Henderson Mennonite Brethren. Henderson, NE: Centennial Committee of the Mennonite Brethren Church, 1979: 10-14.
Huebert, Helmut T. Hierschau: An Example of Russian Mennonite Life. Winnipeg, MB: Springfield Publishers, 1986: 101-103, 357.
Huebert, Helmut T. Molotschna Historical Atlas. Winnipeg, MB: Springfield Publishers, 2003: 141.
Lohrenz, John H. The Mennonite Brethren Church. Hillsboro, KS: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, 1950: 137.
Regier, Peter. Kurzgefaste Geschichte der Mennoniten Brüder-Gemeinde. Berne, IN: Light and Hope Publishing Company, 1901.
Zionsbote (20 August 1902): 5; (8 October 1902): 2, 5; (20 July 1904): 7; (27 July 1904): 5; (3 August 1904): 3; (10 August 1904): 7; (26 April 1922): 9; (3 May 1922): 10.
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MLA style: Huebert, Helmut T. and Susan Huebert. "Regier, Peter (1847-1904)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2009. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/regier_peter_1847_1904.
APA style: Huebert, Helmut T. and Susan Huebert. (May 2009). Regier, Peter (1847-1904). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/regier_peter_1847_1904.