Bergen, Bernhard (1769-1809)

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Bernhard Bergen (von Bergen): Chortitza Mennonite Church elder; born 14 May 1769 in the Ellerwald Trift 5, West Prussia, the second of four children of Gerhard von Bergen (23 November 1741, Ellerwald, West Prussia - 23 April 1790, Gross Lichtenau, West Prussia) and Helena (Mattison) von Bergen (8 October 1748, Ellerwald, West Prussia - 1 November 1772, Gross Lichtenau, West Prussia). Bernhard married Katharina Penner (4 March 1773, West Prussia - 16 August 1809, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia) on 3 January 1799. She was the daughter of Martin Penner and Elisabeth (Isaac) Penner. Bernhard and Katharina had five children: Helena (died young), Bernhard, Katharina, Elias, and Helena (died young). Bernhard died on 8 April 1809 in the Chortitza settlement in the Ukraine, South Russia.

Bernhard immigrated to the Chortitza Mennonite Settlement in 1797 and was ordained minister in 1802 (or 1804) and co-elder in 1806, both in the Chortitza congregation. The reason for his ordination to the eldership is not clear, since Johann Wiebe was also serving in the office. It was apparently customary in Chortitza to ordain a co-elder, who took the place of the elder at his passing. The elder's office was at that time no doubt fraught with difficulty, for the Chortitza settlement was not yet filled, and there was general dissatisfaction with the plan of settlement and constant friction between the religious and secular leadership in the colony, in addition to a feeling of being forsaken in the desolate steppes, in their separation from the mother church in Prussia.


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Epp, David H. Die chortitzer Mennoniten: Versuch einer Darstellung des Entwicklungsganges derselben. Odessa, 1889. Reprinted Steinbach, MB: Mennonitische Post : Delbert F. Plett, 1984.

Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 267, 276, 279 f..

Friesen, Peter M. The Mennonite Brotherhood in Russia (1789-1910), trans. J. B. Toews and others. Fresno, CA: Board of Christian Literature [M.B.], 1978, rev. ed. 1980.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 16-01 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2016: #265582.

Author(s) Bernhard J Schellenberg
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Schellenberg, Bernhard J. "Bergen, Bernhard (1769-1809)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 23 Sep 2020.,_Bernhard_(1769-1809)&oldid=133813.

APA style

Schellenberg, Bernhard J. (1953). Bergen, Bernhard (1769-1809). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from,_Bernhard_(1769-1809)&oldid=133813.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 278. All rights reserved.

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