Andreas, Johann (1802-1877)

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Anna and Johann Andreas, ca. 1870. Elbing, Germany
Scan of photo 2003-0135 provided by Mennonite Library and Archives]

Johann Andreas was born 8 September 1802 in Klein Mausdorf, West Prussia, Germany, and died 11 January 1877 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He became the elder of the Elbing-Ellerwald Mennonite Church in 1846 and served the church in this capacity until 1869.

When on 3 March 1868, the Prussian Cabinet Order was passed according to which Mennonites would have to serve the government in military or alternative service, Johann Andreas was one of the few leaders who were opposed to any form of service. On this matter he was in agreement with the elders and ministers of the Am Trakt Mennonite settlements who refused to have Christian fellowship with those who would conform to the Cabinet's Order. In a circular letter to his congregation dated 18 November 1869, Elder Andreas pleaded "with those who wished in the future to participate in the Lord's Supper on the ground of the traditional Mennonite confession of faith" that they should notify him before 1 January 1870, and informed those who wished to conform to the Cabinet's Order that they would have to partake of the Lord's Supper separately. Although he urged in his letter "that all members of the congregation should come and none stay away," only a small group remained loyal to the traditional principle of nonresistance.

The pressure from within his congregation forced Andreas to resign his eldership. When he immigrated to America, only a comparatively small group from his congregation followed his example. The rigor of the controversy so severely affected his health that he died within five months after his family reached Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The family had chosen to make their home in Beatrice, Nebraska, where he was buried.

Author(s) H. Albert Claassen
Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1955

Cite This Article

MLA style

Claassen, H. Albert and Cornelius Krahn. "Andreas, Johann (1802-1877)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 2 Oct 2023.,_Johann_(1802-1877)&oldid=141019.

APA style

Claassen, H. Albert and Cornelius Krahn. (1955). Andreas, Johann (1802-1877). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 October 2023, from,_Johann_(1802-1877)&oldid=141019.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 120-121. All rights reserved.

©1996-2023 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.