Bartel, Norman (1929-2020)

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Norman Bartel (1929-2020)

Norman Bartel: missionary and pastor; born 5 May 1929 in Waldheim, Saskatchewan, the fourth of seven children. His parents were Peter H. Bartel (18 November 1889, Childstown Township, South Dakota, USA – 8 March 1962, Waldheim, Saskatchewan, Canada) and Caroline "Carrie" (Schmidt) Bartel (1 January 1895, Avon, South Dakota – 17 October 1959, Waldheim, Saskatchewan). On 22 July 1953 Norman married Mary Alice Giesbrecht, daughter of David Giesbrecht (1887-1976) and Anna (Janzen) Giesbrecht (1895-1984), at the Zoar Mennonite Church in Waldheim, Saskatchewan. Norman and Mary had three daughters: Debra, Beverly, and Lisa. Norman died 31 May 2020 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Norman was baptized on 8 June 1947 in the Zoar Mennonite Church, presided over by Rev. J. L. Zacharias. In preparation for his life’s work, Norman studied at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, the Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas. He and Mary also attended Arizona State University, studying American Indian history and culture. Norman and Mary were commissioned for missionary service in July 1960 in Steinbach, Manitoba.

Norman and Mary applied to the Commission on Overseas Mission (General Conference Mennonite Church), beginning their ministry in Cuauhtémoc, Mexico, among Old Colony Mennonites. Subsequently, for eight years the Bartels pastored a church in Hammond, Oklahoma, serving Cheyenne Indians. In 1968 Norman and Mary were called to pastor the Mayfair Mennonite Church in Saskatoon, continuing here to 1982. Thereafter they accepted an invitation to pastor the Church of the Open Door in Winnipeg, Manitoba, serving this congregation for the next 12 years. Both in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, their ministry emphasized evangelism and a deep caring for marginalized and addicted people. Throughout, Norman and Mary were ministry partners. In addition to pastoral service, Norman was active on several conference boards, notably emphasizing mission service.

As a mark of affection and respect, both Norman and Mary were honored by their Cheyenne friends with aboriginal names. Norman was given the name Hyaskast, meaning distance traveller; Mary was honored as Washeek, meaning happy woman.


Bartel, Mary Bartel. Interview by author. 27 January 2023.

Bartel, Norman. Trusting God in Life’s Journey.

“Norman Bartel.” Abbotsford News 31 May 2020. Web. 25 May 2023.

Author(s) David Giesbrecht
Date Published May 2023

Cite This Article

MLA style

Giesbrecht, David. "Bartel, Norman (1929-2020)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2023. Web. 21 Jun 2024.,_Norman_(1929-2020)&oldid=175564.

APA style

Giesbrecht, David. (May 2023). Bartel, Norman (1929-2020). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2024, from,_Norman_(1929-2020)&oldid=175564.

©1996-2024 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.