Peter Plett Reimer: farmer and minister; born 27 June 1877 in Blumenort, Manitoba, Canada to Minister Peter R. Reimer and Maria L. Plett (see additional information for further details regarding Peter's family)Canada. In 1948, Peter moved with a group of Mennonites to Mexico, where he died of stomach cancer on 8 April 1949.
As a child, Peter attended school near the family home. He was baptized in the local church on 12 July 1896. After his marriage to Elisabeth Dueck, the couple farmed in Blumenort for six years before buying land near Neuanlage (now Twincreek) and Chortitz for a mixed farming operation. In addition to farming, Peter was a partner with his brother-in-law in a steam engine threshing company from 1900 to 1926, doing custom threshing jobs for people in the area. To supplement his income, he also ran a blacksmith shop for farmers in the area.
Reimer served in the church, being elected minister in 1920. He was ordained on 14 December of that year. On 14 January 1926, he was elected Ältester (elder) of the East Reserve Kleine Gemeinde churches and was ordained on 1 June. During the early years of his ministry, the first Sunday School and Young People’s programs began, as well as the church paper, Christlicher Familienfreund, and the Steinbach Bible College.
Meanwhile, Reimer helped organize and run a ministerial conference, held in Meade, Kansas on 23-28 October 1937. The purpose of the conference was to review church teachings for all of the congregations and to inspire participants to greater commitment in their faith. Peter spoke openly about his own conversion, emphasizing the need for simple living and unity of faith. Over the years, Peter also helped move the Kleine Gemeinde churches towards greater independence so that by 1945, each church had full autonomy and Peter was in charge of only his own congregation.
In 1946, Peter wrote an article detailing his decision to move to Mexico with many other members of the community who were concerned about maintaining their nonresistant beliefs and control over their children’s education. Finding acceptable alternative service options during the Second World War had been a problem as the church wanted no connection with the military, and concern was also growing over the Manitoba government's demands for greater control over schools.
In 1948, Peter and his family moved with a group from Manitoba to Mexico, seeking greater freedom to follow their beliefs. Peter already suffered from a heart condition and soon became ill with stomach cancer. He died in Mexico on 8 April 1949 after 23 years of service in the church as minister and Ältester.
Peter Plett Reimer was a dedicated leader with a strong commitment to the church, whose faith and willingness to bring necessary changes to the churches helped the congregations grow and flourish in difficult times. Throughout his life, he worked to build the community of faith and was an example for future generations to follow.
GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.00 ed. Fresno, CA:, 2009: #6525.
Plett, Delbert. "Ältester Peter Plett Reimer (1877-1949)." Preservings (June 2003): 104-109.
The parents of Peter were Peter R. Reimer (17 December 1845, Neukirch, Molotschna, South Russia - 10 November 1915, Manitoba, Canada) and Maria L. Plett (17 December 1850, Russia - 6 October 1934).
On 27 February 1898, Peter married Elisabeth Dueck (23 November 1876, Manitoba, Canada - 8 February 1935), daughter of Jakob L. Dueck (25 June 1835, Muntau, Molotschna, South Russia - 27 October 1893, Manitoba, Canada) and Maria (Rempel) Dueck (16 February 1840, Molotschna, South Russia - 17 March 1917, Manitoba, Canada) of Grünfeld, Manitoba. The couple had 12 children, two of whom died in childhood.
After Elisabeth's death Peter married Anna Dueck Friesen (12 November 1883 - 2 February 1939) on 12 May 1935. She was the daughter of Abraham L. Dueck (16 February 1841, Muntau, Molotschna, South Russia - 18 July 1899, Gruenfeld, West Reserve, Manitoba) and Elisabeth (Rempel) Dueck (4 October 1842, Molotschna, South Russia - 17 November 1901). Anna had 15 children from her first marriage to Jacob K. L. Friesen (1879-1930), but the couple had no children together.
After Anna's death Peter was married for the third time on 30 April 1939 in Blumenort to Margaretha Fast (12 March 1889 - 11 April 1984), daughter of Cornelius W. Fast (12 June 1840, Friedensdorf, Molotschna, South Russia - 23 February 1927, Steinbach, Manitoba) and Helena (Fehr) Fast (20 February 1850, Chortitza Settlement, South Russia - 14 March 1893, Manitoba, Canada) of Steinbach, Manitoba.
Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "Reimer, Peter Plett (1877-1949)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2009. Web. 31 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reimer,_Peter_Plett_(1877-1949)&oldid=101408.
Huebert, Susan. (2009). Reimer, Peter Plett (1877-1949). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reimer,_Peter_Plett_(1877-1949)&oldid=101408.
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