Jacob Andrews Ressler, pioneer Mennonite (Mennonite Church (MC) missionary and editor, the son of Martin B. and Magdalena Andrews Ressler, was born near Ronks, Pennsylvania, 28 July 1867; died 3 October 1936; interment in Scottdale cemetery. He received his education in the public schools and in Millersville Normal School, Millersville, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1891. He was a teacher in the public schools of Lancaster and Westmoreland counties, Pennsylvania, for a number of years. In 1891 he married Elizabeth Bachman of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She died 3 August 1898, leaving one child, Emma (Mrs. George Townsend), of Masontown, Pennsylvania. On 18 June 1903, he was married to Lina Zook of Sterling, Ohio, a former worker in the Mennonite Mission in Chicago, Illinois. Two children of this marriage, Ruth and Rhoda Ressler, served as missionaries in Japan.
Ressler was converted and united with the Mennonite Church (MC) at Strasburg, Pennsylvania, at the age of seventeen. In 1895 he moved to Scottdale, Pennsylvania, and in July of the same year he was ordained to the ministry at the Alverton Mennonite Church, three miles from Scottdale. In 1898 at a missionary meeting at Elkhart, Indiana, he was unanimously chosen by the bishops and the congregation present to head a small group of missionaries to open up work in India. Before sailing he was ordained as bishop at Springs, Pennsylvania, on 5 January 1899. He and Dr. William and Alice Page sailed from New York on 22 February 1899, and landed at Bombay, India, 24 March. This was the beginning of the Mennonite Mission (MC) at Dhamtari, India. He returned to America for a brief furlough in 1903. During this year he married his second wife, Lina Zook, who returned with him to the field in December 1903. In 1908, owing to his wife's failing health, the family returned to America.
After his return from India Ressler lived near Sterling, Ohio, until 1911, when he was called to Scottdale to serve as editor of Sunday-school literature. This proved to be his longest field of service. For 25 years he edited the Advanced Sunday School Lesson Quarterly, and for the greater part of this time also the Words of Cheer and Beams of Light. He was for many years Associate Editor of the Gospel Herald. He was the author of a number of books and pamphlets, three of which were Stories from India (1916), Junior India (1927), and Elementary Studies in Prophecy (1917). "J. A.," as he was popularly known, also served the church as evangelist and Bible instructor and was active in General Conference, serving as moderator in 1922-1923, and in the conference and mission board of the Southwestern Pennsylvania (now Allegheny) District.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 476.
|Author(s)||John L Horst|
Cite This Article
Horst, John L. "Ressler, Jacob Andrews (1867-1936)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 Jan 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ressler,_Jacob_Andrews_(1867-1936)&oldid=96217.
Horst, John L. (1959). Ressler, Jacob Andrews (1867-1936). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 January 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ressler,_Jacob_Andrews_(1867-1936)&oldid=96217.
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