Penner, Abram (1856-1933)

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Penner, Abram: minister and elder; born 14 April 1856 in Kronsthal, Chortitza Colony, South Russia. His parents were Peter Penner (1802-1869) and Anna (Thiessen) Penner. Abram married Katharina "Katie" Wallmann (28 June 1858, Kronsthal, Chortitza Colony, South Russia - 23 September 1931, Deyevka, Orenburg, Russia) on 25 June 1878 in Kronsthal, Chortitza Colony. She was the daughter of Andreas Wallmann and Anna (Dyck) Wallmann. Abram and Katie had ten children, with three dying in infancy. Abram died in 1933 in Deyevka, Orenburg.

Abram was baptized on 2 June 1875 in the Chortitza Mennonite Church. A few years after their marriage, Abram and his young family moved to Blumenfeld, Nepluyevka Colony. After approximately ten years they moved to Alexeifeld, Russia and then to the Orenburg settlement. Abram was elected minister in 1896 and became the first elder of the Deyevka Mennonite Church organized in 1899. He was characterized by a great love for the brotherhood, a firm will, and an unusual gift for organization.

Unfortunately, soon after his election serious conflicts arose on the question whether the planned Zentralschule was to be located at Deyevka or Pretoria. In the heat of this strife Penner had to retire from office in 1910 upon the wish of the congregation. However, because he felt himself called by God to the office of elder, he continued to conduct meetings in private homes with a small group of his followers. But before long even these were discontinued. He died without having found his way back into his former congregation.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.05 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2008: #214833.

Author(s) Walter Quiring
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published August 2006

Cite This Article

MLA style

Quiring, Walter and Richard D. Thiessen. "Penner, Abram (1856-1933)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2006. Web. 23 Mar 2019.,_Abram_(1856-1933)&oldid=93263.

APA style

Quiring, Walter and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2006). Penner, Abram (1856-1933). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 March 2019, from,_Abram_(1856-1933)&oldid=93263.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 134. All rights reserved.

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