Bethel Deaconess Home and Hospital Society, of Newton, Kansas, was a benevolent corporation, chartered 30 March 1903 under the laws of the State of Kansas. The purpose for which this organization was created, as stated in the charter, was the building and maintaining of a deaconess home and hospital, and the establishing and operation of a training school, to educate nurses and deaconesses under the auspices of the General Conference Mennonite Church. It was the outgrowth of the deep interest of David Goerz in deaconess work among the Mennonites and the need for such work among the Mennonites and in the community. The society was founded by the Board of Directors of Bethel College and patterned after the Mennonite deaconess hospitals in Russia.
The society was governed by a board of nine directors. David Goerz, Abraham Ratzlaff, Abraham Baumgartner, H. Banman, Jacob Isaac, J. W. Regier, Bernhard Warkentin, J. J. Krehbiel, and Gustav A. Haury served as members of the first board. The members of the board of directors were elected by the members of the society. Every member, society, congregation, or conference of Mennonites was eligible for membership in the society.
This society established a deaconess program and maintained a deaconess motherhouse beginning in 1908. The deaconesses attached to this mother-house served mainly in the institutions which this society maintained but also served in other areas. A total of 67 deaconesses had been connected with this motherhouse by 1950. In 1950 the deaconesses numbered 25.
In addition to the deaconesses, many other workers were trained to serve in hospitals, homes for aged, and mission fields.
In 1908 the society also built and established the Bethel Deaconess Hospital which grew into a sizable institution. Affiliated with the hospital was a school of nursing, the purpose of which was to train young women for definite fields of Christian service.
In 1926 the society opened its home for aged which had facilities for 35 guests. In 1950 plans were in progress to enlarge this institution.
This society grew through the years and was of great benefit to the church and community through the services which it rendered and through the institutions which it maintained.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 212.
|Author(s)||H. J Andres|
 Cite This Article
Andres, H. J. "Bethel Deaconess Home and Hospital Society (Newton, Kansas, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 18 Dec 2013. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Deaconess_Home_and_Hospital_Society_(Newton,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91082.
Andres, H. J. (1953). Bethel Deaconess Home and Hospital Society (Newton, Kansas, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 December 2013, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Bethel_Deaconess_Home_and_Hospital_Society_(Newton,_Kansas,_USA)&oldid=91082.
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