Jacob J. "Jake" Redekop: businessman and churchman; born 29 October 1930 in Nieder-Chortitza, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, Ukraine to Jacob Johann Redekop (30 April 1903, Nieder-Chortitza, Chortitza, South Russia - 10 December 1987, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada) and Maria (Guenther) Redekop (12 June 1899, Nieder-Chortitza, Chortitza, South Russia - 11 December 1988, Abbotsford, British Columbia). He was the second in a family of four, with an older sister and two younger brothers. On 4 September 1954, he married Hildegard "Hilda" Olfert, daughter of Abram Olfert and Margaretha (Sawatzky) Olfert. They had four sons and one daughter. Jake died on 11 September 2010 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.
As a youth, Jake and his family fled war-torn Russia, hiding and fleeing armies, often without food or a place to sleep, finally finding refuge in the Netherlands. Through the help of Mennonite Central Committee, Jake and his family migrated to Canada, arriving in 1947. Two years later, after settling in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Jake was baptized on confession of his faith at West Abbotsford Mennonite Church on Pentecost Sunday, 5 June 1949. It was here that he met Hilda and they were married in September 1954.
Jake worked hard pursuing opportunities that would help him provide for his family and enable his generosity. He began his working life as a famer but Jake was a businessman at heart. Soon he became a successful entrepreneur and real estate developer.
Even so, his heart was with ministry, supporting both the local church of which he was a part and supporting the wider work of the church. Although Jake preferred to be "doing" rather than "sitting" he did serve on several church committees and chaired the board of Mennonite Foundation of Canada for one term. He was also supportive of other wider-church organizations such as Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Church BC, Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Economic Development Associates and Fraser Valley Gleaners. Jake was also involved with the establishment of two churches in Abbotsford: Eben Ezer Mennonite Church in 1963 and Emmanuel Mennonite Church in 1981.
Life’s circumstances had robbed him of the opportunity for education but he knew its value and made generous contributions to Mennonite Educational Institute, Columbia Bible College, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Canadian Mennonite University. He loved children and was committed to the ministry of Camp Squeah, knowing that it was a place that would nurture a child’s faith and develop future church leaders.
Jake was a man of great stature, known for his loud voice, his ever-present smile and his large heart. He devoted his life to his family, to his congregation, to the work of the church and to God.
|Date Published||January 2014|
Cite This Article
Dawson, Angelika. "Redekop, Jacob J. “Jake” (1930-2010)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2014. Web. 28 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Redekop,_Jacob_J._%E2%80%9CJake%E2%80%9D_(1930-2010)&oldid=114415.
Dawson, Angelika. (January 2014). Redekop, Jacob J. “Jake” (1930-2010). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Redekop,_Jacob_J._%E2%80%9CJake%E2%80%9D_(1930-2010)&oldid=114415.
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