Isaac P. Regehr: teacher and minister; born 30 July 1864 in Gnadenthal, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia, to Peter P. Regehr (2 November 1828, Muntau, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 29 November 1913, Tiegerweide, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia) and Katharina Schellenberg (28 May 1827, Rosenort, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 8 March 1887, Gnadenthal, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia). He was the seventh of 10 children. Isaac was baptized in 1887 in Rückenau, and he married Elisabeth Letkemann (12 November 1869, Lichtfelde, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 20 August 1950, Coaldale, Alberta, Canada), daughter of Jakob Letkemann (1823-1901) and Anna (Warkentin) Letkemann (1829-1888) on 3 January 1889 in Kleefeld, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement. The couple had nine childrenAnna (died young), Elisabeth, Isaak, Peter (died young), Katharina, Jacob, Anna, Peter (died young), and Maria. Isaac was ordained as a minister at the Rückenau Mennonite Brethren Church in 1893, and he also worked for many years as a teacher in various schools. He died in Herbert on 23 January 1930, with his funeral on 26 January at the Herbert Mennonite Brethren Church.
In his early years as part of a large family, Isaac had limited opportunities for education, but he was able to complete a year of high school in Gnadenfeld. At 17, he became a teacher in Wiesenfeld, where he taught for four years while studying in the summers. He next taught in Kleefeld, where he worked until he obtained a job at the Alexanderkrone Zentralschule in 1906. In addition to teaching religion and German, he was the school’s business and public relations manager, and he also conducted the choir. Meanwhile, he married Elisabeth Letkemann of Kleefeld in 1889.
During his time at the school, Regehr founded a volunteer choir of singers from Alexanderkrone, Kleefeld, and Lichtenfelde and helped organize the first Sängerfest, or music festival, in Rückenau in 1896. As a minister and leader of the inter-Mennonite Concordia Choir, Isaac traveled extensively to various conferences and churches. He also owned several tracts of land and had farmed earlier in his career, in addition to being part-owner of a flour mill and having interests in the Raduga publishing company in Neu-Halbstadt.
Regehr received his official teaching qualifications in 1908 after government regulations forced him to leave his job and to spend a month in intense study. When he returned to his position at the Alexanderkrone school, he also worked at various administrative jobs, including collecting donations and tuition fees and registering students. He continued in this job until 1923, when he was fired because of his refusal to conform to the Soviet-imposed curriculum. No longer able to teach in the school system, he concentrated instead on his preaching and Bible teaching.
In 1926, Isaac and his family applied to the Canadian government for immigration and were accepted. After some delays due to the illness and death of one of Isaac and Elisabeth’s daughters, they left on 31 August 1926 and moved to Herbert, Saskatchewan. Isaac obtained a position as teacher and house father at the Herbert Bible School and worked there for two and a half years. He began to experience health problems during the fall of 1929, but he continued working until December, when he and Elisabeth left the school and moved to their own home. Isaac died of a liver disease on 23 January 1930.
Isaac P. Regehr was a dedicated teacher, minister, and musician who used his many talents to enrich the lives of the people around him. Through his work at the various schools and churches where he served and in the choirs he led, he had a lasting effect on his family and his community.
Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. “Regehr, Isaac P.” Web. 05 May 2010. http://www.mbconf.ca/home/products_and_services/resources/published_genealogies/personal_papers/regehr_isaac_p/.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 4.19 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2005: #217717.
Huebert, G. “Die Herbert Bibelschule.” Die Mennonitische Rundschau (5 Feb. 1930): 5.
Regehr, G. P. “Begräbnisfeier und Nekrolog des Pr. Isaak P. Regehr.” Die Mennonitische Rundschau (26 Feb. 1930): 9, 12.
Regehr, Isaac and Anna. “Krankheit, Heimgang und Begräbnis unseres lieben Vaters, Isaak P. Regehr, Herbert, Sask.” Die Mennonitische Rundschau (19 February 1930): 13, 16.
Regehr, T. D. with the assistance of J. I. Regehr. For Everything a Season: A History of the Alexanderkrone Zentralschule. Winnipeg: CMBC Publications, 1988: 48-52.
 Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "Regehr, Isaac P. (1864-1930)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2010. Web. 2 Jul 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Regehr,_Isaac_P._(1864-1930)&oldid=130775.
Huebert, Susan. (2010). Regehr, Isaac P. (1864-1930). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Regehr,_Isaac_P._(1864-1930)&oldid=130775.
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