Foth, Johann (1844-1932)

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Johann Foth, elder of the Mennonite Brethren Church, was born in West Prussia, 20 August 1844. When he was a child, his parents moved to the Mennonite settlement on the Don River in Russia. Here Johann was baptized in 1872, joining the Menonite Brethren Church. He married Carolina Janzen on 6 January 1871. To this union 13 children were born. A man of rare ability with the gift of leadership, Foth was soon elected to the ministry, in which he served in Russia until 1883.

In 1883 the family immigrated to America, establishing a farm home in the community of the Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church southeast of Hillsboro, Kansas. Here he at once became active as a minister, was elected to its leadership in 1884 and ordained elder in 1885. He served in this position until 1916. During his ministry the church grew into one of the strongest congregations of the Mennonite Brethren Conference.

Elder Foth was very active in the Mennonite Brethren Conference, doing much itineration for many years. He served on the Foreign Mission Board for a long time. When the Conference was subdivided into district conferences in 1909, Elder Foth became the first moderator of the Southern District Conference, a position to which he was elected a number of times. He died 11 December 1932, and was interred in the Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren cemetery southeast of Hillsboro.

Author(s) John H Lohrenz
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Lohrenz, John H. "Foth, Johann (1844-1932)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 22 Oct 2019.,_Johann_(1844-1932)&oldid=141118.

APA style

Lohrenz, John H. (1956). Foth, Johann (1844-1932). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2019, from,_Johann_(1844-1932)&oldid=141118.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 357. All rights reserved.

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