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William Cornelius Voth was a missionary under the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCM), in China (1919-1939; 1948-1950), Japan (1951-1955), and Taiwan (1955-1958). In 1943-1944 he helped survey South America for new mission work.

Born 10 March 1888 at Lehigh, Kansas, to Cornelius C. and Sarah (Duerksen) Voth, at age three Voth moved with his family to Oklahoma. He attended Mennonite Preparatory Academy in Hillsboro, Kansas; Bethel College, Newton, Kansas (BA, 1918); and Colorado State Teachers’ College. He also studied architecture and engineering at the University of Oklahoma. On furlough (1927-1928) he also studied at Iliff Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and at Witmarsum Seminary in Bluffton, Ohio.

He married Mathilda Kliewer in 1918. They were ordained for missionary service and left for China in July 1919. Four children were born to them. The first term he supervised building construction but was also involved in developing policies for nationalization of the church. During his subsequent terms he was engaged in rural evangelism. In Japan and Taiwan he assisted in opening new fields. William Voth died 13 May 1962.


Juhnke, James C. A People of Mission: A History of General Conference Mennonite Overseas Missions. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1979: 113, 115ff, 242, and index.

The Mennonite (22 May 1962): 348; (30 May 1961): 357-359.

Author(s) Verney Unruh
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Unruh, Verney. "Voth, William Cornelius (1888-1962)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 26 May 2016.,_William_Cornelius_(1888-1962)&oldid=93839.

APA style

Unruh, Verney. (1989). Voth, William Cornelius (1888-1962). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 May 2016, from,_William_Cornelius_(1888-1962)&oldid=93839.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 919. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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