Henry grew up on the family farm and attended schools in Rosenbach, Gnadenthal, and Winkler. His father was an ordained minister in the Bergthaler Mennonite Church. During World War II Henry spent some time in jail for his convictions as a conscientious objector. It was here that he committed his life to Christ and his life was turned in another direction. While working at Sunrise Co-op in Reinland, Manitoba, Henry met Esther, and they were married in 1945.
Henry and Esther studied at Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg. During this time he joined a radio quartet, "The King’s Four" which sang on the Gospel Light Hour radio show and eventually became the director/speaker of the program. After graduation in 1950, Henry accepted a teaching position in the East Chilliwack Mennonite Brethren Bible School. During this time he also served in Sunday services at Laidlaw and Harrison Hot Springs. He was ordained to the ministry in 1953.
Feeling the need for further training, Henry pursued a liberal arts degree at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, graduating in 1954. He developed a passion for teaching, preaching and overseas missions and this took him and his family to Paraguay, Brazil, Ecuador, and Austria. Following graduation, Henry and Esther accepted a request by the North American Mennonite Brethren conference to teach in the newly formed Mennonite Colony of Volendam in eastern Paraguay. They lived here for four and a half years. During this time Henry also taught in a Bible school in Bagé, Brazil.
During their furlough Henry earned a Master of Science in Education from Emporia State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas. Then it was back to Paraguay to serve as school administrator in the Elim Bible School in Filadelfia, Fernheim Colony, Paraguay. In 1960 he was asked to take charge of developing a Bible school in Curitíba, Brazil, where he was the administrator for three years. This school became the Institúto Teológico Evangélico dos Irmãos Menonitas (ITE). In 1964 he accepted an invitation to teach at Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute (MBBI) (now Columbia Bible College) in Clearbrook, BC.
Henry began teaching at MBBI in February 1964. Two months later he was asked to take over as principal for the next season. He reluctantly agreed to a one-year term that eventually turned into five years. During his time at MBBI, the number of students increased from 58 in 1964 to 137 in 1969. As a result of the larger student body, facilities needed to be expanded. This included two additional dormitories and an addition to the classroom-administration building. The addition housed the new chapel, the music department, several large classrooms and administration offices. A sports program was introduced. For the first time the school had a basketball team. During this time "Encounter" weekends were organized, inviting high school students to spend time to see what campus life at a Bible school was like.
In 1969 the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions asked Henry and Esther to be part of the staff of the German language division of the Christian short-wave radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. They worked here for two years, then returned to Hillsboro, Kansas to pastor the Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church for four years. In the years following, Henry pastored several churches, taught in the Gemeindeschulzentrum (Bible Institute) in Traun in Austria, and in the Instituto Biblico de Asunción in Paraguay. Henry also obtained a Master of Christian Studies from Regent College in Vancouver, BC and did doctoral studies at Fuller’s School of World Missions. A very satisfying experience was teaching Cultural Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Communications at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC for seven years. He pastored both General Conference Mennonite and Mennonite Brethren congregations in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, including Olivet Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, Chilliwack Central Mennonite Brethren Church (now Central Community Church), Cedar Valley Mennonite in Mission, and South Abbotsford Mennonite Brethren Church.
During his "retirement" Henry served as chairman of the Abbotsford Ministerial Association for six years. He pursued his desire to increase interaction between denominations in Abbotsford. During this time Abbotsford churches participated in a nation-wide prayer crusade, as well as hosting the World Evangelical Fellowship General Assembly. Due to failing health, he gradually relinquished the work he loved.
|Date Published||June 2007|
 Cite This Article
Toews, Julia. "Born, Henry C. (1920-2002)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2007. Web. 9 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Born,_Henry_C._(1920-2002)&oldid=91188.
Toews, Julia. (June 2007). Born, Henry C. (1920-2002). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 9 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Born,_Henry_C._(1920-2002)&oldid=91188.
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