Wedel, Peter H. (1865-1897)

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Peter H. and Martha Wedel

Peter H. Wedel: an evangelist and missionary of the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church; was born in Alexanderwohl, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, South Russia on 7 April 1865, the fourth child of Cornelius P. Wedel and Helena (Wiebe) Wedel, and brother of Cornelius H. Wedel. He married Martha Liebig in 1895 and they had one son (see additional information for further information regarding Peter's family).

Peter immigrated to America in 1874 with his family, settling near Goessel, Marion County, Kansas. His father Cornelius Wedel became elder of the MB Church there in 1886. Their son Peter, a very gifted boy, received his education partly in Russia and partly in America and became a country schoolteacher.

Wedel was converted at an early age and joined the MB Church through baptism and became an active member. The Mennonitischer Schulverein supported Wedel at the Baptist Theological Seminary, Rochester, New York for some time, hoping that he would later establish a Mennonite Brethren church school.

Upon the completion of his course Wedel, however, decided to enter evangelistic work. In 1888-95 he was exceedingly active and effective in conducting evangelistic campaigns in the MB congregations of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Wedel felt called to serve as a foreign missionary. Since the MB Church at that time had no foreign mission field, he decided to go under the German Baptist Missionary Society. After his marriage to Martha Liebig he left for Cameroons, Africa, stopping in Germany and also making a visit to the Mennonite settlements of South Russia, in both countries conducting very effective evangelistic campaigns. After two years of effective service on the mission field his health required him to leave. He died on the voyage to Europe on 10 August 1897, and was buried at sea. His short service and early death had a profound effect upon the Mennonite Brethren Church and was a powerful influence in beginning its own foreign mission work.


Goertzen, Peggy. "Peter H. Wedel: Pioneer Missionary to the Cameroons." Profiles of Mennonite Faith. Web. Summer 2009.

Jantz, Harold. "David Dyck, A Tireless Leader." Heritage Posting 31 (December 2000): 3.

Toews, J. B. A Pilgrimage of Faith: The Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America, 1860-1990. Winnipeg, MB: Kindred Press, 1993.

Additional Information

The parents of Peter were Cornelius P. Wedel (14 August 1836, Waldheim, Molotschna, South Russia – 25 January 1900, Goessel, Kansas, USA) and Helena Wiebe (2 September 1840, Margenau, Molotschna, South Russia – 28 March 1866, Alexanderwohl, Molotschna, South Russia).

The wife of Peter was Martha Liebig (23 January 1873, South Russia – 1915). Martha was the daughter of August G. A. Liebig (1836-1914). Peter and Martha married on 7 June 1895 in South Dakota. After Peter’s death, Martha married for the second time to Jacob Wahl.

Peter and Martha had one child, Herbert (b. 4 April 1896 in Douala, Cameroon).

Author(s) J. H. Lohrenz
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published August 2007

Cite This Article

MLA style

Lohrenz, J. H. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Wedel, Peter H. (1865-1897)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2007. Web. 21 Jun 2018.,_Peter_H._(1865-1897)&oldid=93887.

APA style

Lohrenz, J. H. and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2007). Wedel, Peter H. (1865-1897). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2018, from,_Peter_H._(1865-1897)&oldid=93887.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 908-909. All rights reserved.

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