Penner, Mathilde Ensz (1879-1961)

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Born 27 April 1879 at Halstead, KS, Mathilde Ensz grew up on a farm and attended country schools. She became a member of the Brudertal Mennonite Church near Hillsboro, KS. After her marriage to childhood sweetheart, Peter W. Penner on 7 August 1902, she and her husband attended German Wallace Seminary, Berea, Ohio, 1904-1908. They were ordained missionaries (General Conference Mennonite) to India on 20 September 1908, and arrived in India a few weeks later to begin evangelistic work at Janjgir. On their first furlough, 1916-1921, they took along Nellie Asna, a motherless invalid Indian child; later they adopted and educated her. She became a teacher and a high school principal. The Penners worked at the Mennonite city mission in Los Angeles, 1919-21 (E. F. Grubb). They returned to Janjgir, 1921-1938. Their zeal for the Lord took them to hundreds of villages with the gospel, where Mathilde also used her medical skills. From 1940 to 1949 they worked at Bethesda Leprosy Hospital and Homes, Champa, and then in evangelistic work in the Champa-Mauhadih area. After 40 years of service in India, they retired to Hillsboro, KS, in 1949. Mathilde Penner died 3 November 1961.


Burkhalter, Martha et al. "Forty Years in the Vineyard." India Calling 12, no. 3 (Autumn 1949): 1, 2-4.

Moyer, Samuel T. They Heard the Call. Newton, KS, 1970: 63-72.

Penner, P.W. and Mathilde. "Around Mauhadih." India Calling 4, no. 3 (Autumn, 15 August 1943).

Penner, Mathilde. "High Peaks of Late." India Calling 4, no. 4 (Christmas issue, 15 November 1943).

Ratzlaff, Ruth R., ed. Fellowship in the Gospel, India: 1900­-1950. Newton: MPO, 1950: 13-23, 143.

Twenty-Five Years with God in India. Berne: Mennonite Book Concern, 1929: 188, 213-14, 217, 221, 227, 229, 232,

Author(s) Kathryn L Jantzen
Date Published 1987

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MLA style

Jantzen, Kathryn L. "Penner, Mathilde Ensz (1879-1961)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 17 Aug 2018.,_Mathilde_Ensz_(1879-1961)&oldid=121273.

APA style

Jantzen, Kathryn L. (1987). Penner, Mathilde Ensz (1879-1961). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 August 2018, from,_Mathilde_Ensz_(1879-1961)&oldid=121273.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 688. All rights reserved.

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