The Molotschnaer Evangelische Mennonitenbrüderschaft was organized at Yushanlee, Molotschna, Russia, on 16 May 1905, the protocol of the founding being signed by Isaak Ediger, Peter Schmidt, H. Günter (as elders), Abraham Nachtigal (minister), N. Ediger, P. Enns, C. Klaassen, J. Boschmann, P. Stobbe, P. Ediger, J. Dick, J. Boldt, J. Enns, Jakob Dick, H. Harder (members). In 1905 the congregation had a council of elders (Aeltestenrat), with Isaak Ediger as leading minister; in 1910 the elder was H. Günter.
The reason for founding a new congregation by accepting and soliciting members from other congregations was given as follows: (1) "That members of a church of God must believe with all their heart in Jesus Christ . . ." and (2) "There was a desire for fellowship with all children of God who are concerned with walking uprightly before God. . . ." Some of the members of the Mennonite Brethren Church were voted into the council of elders: Jakob Reimer, Peter Unruh, and Jakob Kroker.
The background and cause for the founding of this congregation was the influence and work of men like F. W. Badeker and Stroter, who emphasized unity of believers, the body of Christ or the congregation, the second coming of Christ, etc. A warm evangelism prevailed in the group and it was an aim to have fellowship with children of God outside their own group on broader scale than was customary among the Mennonites of Russia. Baptism by immersion was practiced, but sprinkling and pouring were also recognized (for additional details concerning the background see Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinden.) The congregation had a place of worship in the village of Lichtfelde.
Under the Soviets the new congregation disintegrated. Many of its members were exiled and others emigrated to Canada and South America . In Canada they organized into similar congregations which later joined the Mennonite Brethren Church; in Brazil they organized and joined the General Conference Mennonite Church, while in Paraguay they still existed as the Evangelische Mennoniten-Gemeinde.
Dirks, Heinrich. Statistik der Mennonitengemeinden in Russland Ende 1905 (Anhang zum Mennonitischen Jahrbuche 1904/05). Gnadenfeld: Dirks, 1906: 59, 69.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 722-724.
Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Molotschnaer Evangelische Mennonitenbrüderschaft (Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 4 May 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Molotschnaer_Evangelische_Mennonitenbr%C3%BCderschaft_(Molotschna_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=92911.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Molotschnaer Evangelische Mennonitenbrüderschaft (Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukraine). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 May 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Molotschnaer_Evangelische_Mennonitenbr%C3%BCderschaft_(Molotschna_Mennonite_Settlement,_Zaporizhia_Oblast,_Ukraine)&oldid=92911.
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