Neufeld, Jacob C. (1916-1974)

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Jacob C. & Agatha Neufeld

Jacob C. "J. C." Neufeld: church elder and farmer; born 30 July 1916 in Schönfeld, Russsia to Cornelius P. and Aganetha Enns Neufeld. He was the youngest of eight sons and one daughter. Jacob left Russia with his parents and siblings in 1924. They were received by the John Frey family in St. Jacobs, Ontario, Canada, before settling in Southwestern Ontario's Coatsworth and Wheatley areas. Jacob Neufeld was baptized in 1936 by Elder N. N. Driedger in the Leamington United Mennonite Church, Leamington, Ontario. On 21 October 1944, he married Agatha Driedger, daughter of Abram and Margaretha Friesen Driedger. They had two sons and one daughter. Jacob C. Neufeld died 27 April 1974 in Leamington, Ontario.

Jacob attended Wheatley elementary school, then studied during four winters at Manitoba's Winkler Bible School, and following that, completed high school in Wheatley. His involvement with the church spanned thirty-six years. From 1938 on, he served as Sunday school teacher, Sunday School superintendent, and youth leader, all in the Leamington United Mennonite Church.

In 1951 Jacob Neufeld was ordained by N. N. Driedger, and in 1957 he became Elder (Ältester). A year later, Jacob accepted full leadership of the Leamington United Mennonite and North Leamington United Mennonite congregations whose combined membership totaled about 1,000.

Because J. C. Neufeld's work took him away from home regularly, his wife, Agatha Neufeld, became the anchor of the family. The pastor's pay was minimal at that time, so the Neufelds could not afford to give up their Road 7, Mersea Township farm. Conference sessions usually conflicted with the soybean harvest, and it was through the help of generous people that J. C. was able to attend these conferences. Thus the family led a hectic existence for many years: caring for three young children, seeing to the endless church work, attending to the farm work of planting, cultivating, and harvesting, as well as fulfilling the household duties of sewing, freezing and canning. This was accomplished with much assistance from family and friends. Two friends in particular, namely Peter Wiens and Henry Brown, became pillars of strength and moral support to Jacob and Agatha Neufeld.

Jacob never tired of seeking new ways to build the Kingdom of God through His church here. He valued the importance of a Christ-centered education and strove toward his goal of having the church work together with the Sunday school, as well as post-secondary institutions such as the Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Conrad Grebel College, and the United Mennonite Educational Institute.

Jacob C. Neufeld was a sincere leader of the church. He was well organized, and conscientious in his thinking, which was in turn reflected in his service to the church and in his conference work. One week before his death Jacob preached in the St. Jacobs church, and together with Agatha spent the afternoon visiting with the John Frey family, a son of the Freys who had housed the Neufeld's 50 years earlier.


"Two Leaders Pass Away Suddenly." Mennonite Reporter (29 April 1974): 1.

Author(s) Astrid Koop
Date Published February 2003

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MLA style

Koop, Astrid. "Neufeld, Jacob C. (1916-1974)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2003. Web. 20 Sep 2018.,_Jacob_C._(1916-1974)&oldid=142047.

APA style

Koop, Astrid. (February 2003). Neufeld, Jacob C. (1916-1974). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2018, from,_Jacob_C._(1916-1974)&oldid=142047.

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