Christlicher Bundesbote (Periodical)

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Christlicher Bundesbote, founded in 1882, the official German weekly of the General Conference Mennonite Church, had its forerunners in the Religiöser Botschafter (1852-1856), Das Christliche Volksblatt (1867-1881), Zur Heimath (1875-1881), and Nachrichten aus der Heidenwelt (1877-1882). It came into being by merging the latter three, which represented respectively the Mennonites of the eastern United States, recent immigrants from Russia, and missionary interests. Thus the Bundesbote became the first General Conference Mennonite paper, appearing first semimonthly and later weekly. Editors were David Goerz, 1882-1885; J. A. Sommer, 1886-1911; Carl van der Smissen, 1912-1930; and C. E. Krehbiel, 1930-1947. The original larger size was reduced in 1930 to 8 x 11 in., with 16 pages.

In 1947 the Bundesbote was merged with the Canadian Mennonite weekly Der Bote, retaining its name Christlicher Bundesbote in the subtitle through 1955 when it was omitted. The editor of Der Bote, D. H. Epp, was given an assistant editor in Cornelius Krahn. The circulation of the merged paper was 4,500 in 1950. With the change of the reading constituency and editors the content has changed somewhat from that of the preceding period. Originally the paper served a Pennsylvania-Swiss-South German and Russian Mennonite constituency of the United States. Now it was read mostly in Canada and South America. It contained devotional messages, biographical and historical material, and information about congregations, mission fields, institutions, and Mennonites in other countries.

The great contribution which the Christlicher  Bundesbote made lies in the following areas: uniting Mennonites of entirely different cultural and religious backgrounds and promoting endeavors such as Sunday school, missions, evangelism, education, philanthropic institutions, literature, the Mennonite heritage and principles, and a conference consciousness.


Bargen, B. "General Conference Mennonite press." Mennonite Life (January, 1951): 35.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 351 f.

Schelly, A. B. "Mennonitische Kirchenblätter." Bundesbote-Kalender (1898): 26.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1953

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Krahn, Cornelius. "Christlicher Bundesbote (Periodical)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 6 Jul 2022.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1953). Christlicher Bundesbote (Periodical). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 584-585. All rights reserved.

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