Burkholder, Lewis Josephus (1875-1949)

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L. J. Burkholder

Lewis J. Burkholder was born 15 June 1875 near Markham, Ontario to Abraham Burkholder (3 December 1829-26 November 1910) and Elizabeth Reesor Burkholder (18 August 1842-29 July 1897). He was the oldest of five children of Abraham Burkholder's second marriage. There were three older children from the first marriage. "L. J." married twice -- first to Lucetta High (21 October 1870-4 June 1923); they had one daughter. After her death he married Emma Meyer (9 June 1884-14 April 1944); they had one son, Paul. He was not a farmer by vocation, but purchased several acres of land from his father and worked during his life as a carpenter, cabinet-maker, apiarist and a weaver.

He was converted under the preaching of John S. Coffman and united with the Mennonite Church on 18 May 1892. L. J. Burkholder was ordained to the ministry of the Mennonite Church (MC) on 12 January 1896 for the Cedar Grove congregation, and he gave 53 years of uninterrupted service. He was an active leader in the Ontario Mennonite Conference (MC) serving as conference moderator from 1914-1922; as superintendent of the rural mission board, 1920-1926; assistant moderator of the Mennonite Church General Conference, 1929-1931; one of the first officers of the Nonresistant Relief Organization of Ontario in 1917; and one of the first teachers in the Ontario Mennonite Bible School in 1907. He served as acting bishop on the Markham district during a number of years, though he was never ordained to this office. He was the historian of the Ontario Mennonite Conference beginning in 1928 (the first person so named), and the author of A Brief History of the Mennonites in Ontario (Toronto, 1935), a substantial and valuable historical volume. Because of a slight stroke and failing eyesight (ending in blindness), Burkholder was inactive after 1939. L. J. Burkholder died 28 September 1949 on the farm where he was born and lived all his life.


Burkholder, Oscar. "Lewis Josephus Burkholder, 1875-1949." Mennonite Yearbook and Directory 41 (1950): 25-26.


L. J. Burkholder's archives, including research materials gathered for his Brief history of Mennonites in Ontario, are located in the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Gospel Herald 42 (8 November 1949): 1109-1110.

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Samuel J. Steiner
Date Published October 2008

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Samuel J. Steiner. "Burkholder, Lewis Josephus (1875-1949)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. October 2008. Web. 24 Jun 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Burkholder,_Lewis_Josephus_(1875-1949)&oldid=165611.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Samuel J. Steiner. (October 2008). Burkholder, Lewis Josephus (1875-1949). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Burkholder,_Lewis_Josephus_(1875-1949)&oldid=165611.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 477. All rights reserved.

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