The Nikolayev Mennonite Church in the Orenburg Mennonite Settlement, Russia, first consisted of Mennonites from the Molotschna settlement who settled in the province of Orenburg (Chkalov) in 1895. The church was founded in 1897 under the leadership of Johann Bärgmann, who was assisted by Peter Dück, David Littke, Henrich Janzen, and Abraham Bärgmann. In 1905 the total population of the church was 1,238, with 494 baptized members. The first church building was located in the village of Stepanovka. In 1913-1914 the old church was torn down and a large new church of brick was erected. In 1906 a second church was built of brick in the village of Chernozernoye. The elder Johann Bärgmann also lived in this village. In addition to the early ministers mentioned above, Jacob Wolff was ordained in 1906 and Heinrich Brucks in 1911. The Mennonites maintained for a time a Bible school, called Pniel.
After the Revolution the congregation suffered severely. The ministers had to give up their work. Many members of the church emigrated to Canada, and others were exiled. The lowest economic and spiritual status of the settlement was reached during World War II. This settlement was evidently spared the fate of many of the others of having its population completely removed. Later reports indicate that the religious life of the settlement had been revived. (See Orenburg Mennonite settlement.)
Dirks, Heinrich. Statistik der Mennonitengemeinden in Russland Ende 1905 (Anhang zum Mennonitischen Jahrbuche 1904/05). Gnadenfeld: Dirks, 1905: 33, 64.
Dyck, Peter. Orenburg am Ural. Clearbrook, BC, 1951.
Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga," 1911: 717.
Krahn, Cornelius. "Revival Sweeps Mennonite Settlement in Russia." Mennonite Weekly Review (31 January 1957): 11.
Cite This Article
Krahn, Cornelius. "Nikolayev Mennonite Church (Orenburg Mennonite Settlement, Orenburg Oblast, Russia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 18 Dec 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nikolayev_Mennonite_Church_(Orenburg_Mennonite_Settlement,_Orenburg_Oblast,_Russia)&oldid=59571.
Krahn, Cornelius. (1957). Nikolayev Mennonite Church (Orenburg Mennonite Settlement, Orenburg Oblast, Russia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 December 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nikolayev_Mennonite_Church_(Orenburg_Mennonite_Settlement,_Orenburg_Oblast,_Russia)&oldid=59571.
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