Peter A. Toews (23 July 1877-6 March 1961) was born in Chortitza, South Russia and came to Canada in 1892. He settled in Kleinstadt, on the Manitoba West Reserve. In Altona he was a farmer, businessman (cattle-buying, farm machinery sales), educator, civic politician, and a spiritual leader in the Sommerfelder Mennonite Church. He served as reeve of the rural municipality of Rhineland (1920-29) and was chairman of the board of directors for the Mennonite Educational Institute (1922-26). He encouraged unsuccessfully (1925) the passage of a provincial bill to establish a separate Mennonite school division. He was elected minister (1929), ordained (1930), and confirmed as elder (1931). He retired from the ministry in 1951. In the work of the ministry he visited northern Alberta (1930) in search of land suitable for resettlement. He dealt with congregational difficulties that led to the formation of the Rudnerweider Mennonite Church (1937). He served as co-chairman of the Ältesterkomitee (Committee of Elders) created to negotiate alternatives to military service and helped raise funds for Red Cross and assistance to widows and orphans. In 1958 he became part of the conservative group that left the Sommerfelder Church to form the Reinländer Mennoniten Gemeinde (Reinland Mennonite Church). He was buried in Schoenthal, MB.
Bergen, E. "Pioneer Portrait of the Past (196)." Red River Valley Echo 40 (30 July 1980): 11.
Epp, Frank H. Mennonites in Canada, 1920-1940: A People's Struggle for Survival. Toronto: Macmillan, 1982.
Gerbrandt, H. J. "Wealth is Rooted in People." Mennonite Mirror 1 (May 1972): 11-12.
Kehler, J. J. "Lebensverzeichnis." Steinbach Post 48 (28 March 1961): 5.
Reimer, D. P., ed. Experiences of the Mennonites of Canada During the Second World War, 1939-1945. Altona, MB, 1946.
Zacharias, Peter D. Reinland: An Experience in Community. Reinland, MB, 1976.
Cite This Article
Giesbrecht, Jacob. "Toews, Peter A. (1877-1961)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 9 Oct 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Toews,_Peter_A._(1877-1961)&oldid=61420.
Giesbrecht, Jacob. (1990). Toews, Peter A. (1877-1961). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 October 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Toews,_Peter_A._(1877-1961)&oldid=61420.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2015 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.