The Fairview (Oklahoma) Church of God (Gemeinde Gottes) is a branch of the Apostolische Brüdergemeinde, which was originated in Russia by Hermann Peters, in close connection with the origin of the Mennonite Brethren. Only a few families of this group came to America in the great migration of the 1870s. Among these was Peter Gaede, who came to Hillsboro, Kansas, from the Kuban Mennonite settlement, where he originally was a member of the Mennonite Brethren. Because of disagreements in the Kuban he started a new group in cooperation with Jaeckel brothers. Through their zeal and missionary activities, the group found followers among Mennonites and non-Mennonites.
After Gaede's arrival in Kansas he organized near Hillsboro a group consisting mostly of former Mennonite Brethren and Volga Germans, which became known as the "Gaede Church." However, Gaede soon was won to the Seventh-Day Adventists, taking with him a number of his members. Most of the remaining members moved to Oklahoma near Fairview and Orienta, where a Church of God was organized. A. B. Penner, son of Bernhard Penner, was ordained minister 21 December 1898 by Heinrich Peters, brother of Hermann Peters, the founder of the Church of God in Russia. Heinrich Peters was a leader of another small congregation of this group at Mountain Lake, Minnesota. A. B. Penner died in 1937, having ordained his son Aron A. Penner as his successor on 4 April 1926.
The meetinghouse of the Fairview group, erected around 1914, was originally located near Orienta. In 1952 a church was erected in the town of Fairview. The group consists of some 20 members and those that fellowship with them. Its minister visits smaller groups and families affiliated with his church at other places in Kansas and Canada. The small group has had some great losses in membership. After Gaede left the church near Hillsboro, Abraham Loewen was its leader until he too joined the Seventh-Day Adventists. D. K. Esau left the group in Oklahoma with a number of families and moved to Alberta.
The group emphasizes conversion, baptism by immersion, nonconformity, church discipline, feetwashing, head covering for women, wearing of beards for men, the holy kiss, the greeting "Peace be unto you" instead of the regular greetings, and traditional Mennonite practices. The worship services are mostly in German. Sunday school is held on Sunday afternoon, and evening worship on Sunday. Common names in the group are Penner, Koop, Flemming, and Unruh. The North American families of this group were formerly in contact with their mother church in Siberia, the Crimea, and Kuban. The minister in 1955 was Aron A. Penner.
Gaede, D. P. History of the Gaede Family. 1952.
Die Kubaner Ansiedlung. Steinbach, Man., 1953.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Fairview Church of God (Fairview, Oklahoma, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 13 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fairview_Church_of_God_(Fairview,_Oklahoma,_USA)&oldid=80682.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1956). Fairview Church of God (Fairview, Oklahoma, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fairview_Church_of_God_(Fairview,_Oklahoma,_USA)&oldid=80682.
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