Engle, Jesse M. (1838 -1900)

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Jesse Engle was among the first Brethren in Christ missionaries to southern Africa and was instrumental in establishing the first Brethren in Christ mission congregation at Bulawayo, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He was born 19 July 1838 in Bainbridge, PA the son of Henry Engle and Hanna Myers and the grandson of Jacob Engel. He was the youngest of 12 children, and was orphaned by the age of 12. His education was limited to a rural school in Stackstown, Pennsylvania. He was converted at the age of 14, married at 19, ordained to the ministry at 22, and elected as elder at 38. He served the church in Cumberland County, PA, and later in Kansas, migrating with the first party of Brethren in Christ in 1879. He felt the call to the mission field and left Abilene, KS, for Africa on 15 October 1897. The mission party consisted of Jesse and his wife, Elizabeth, H. Frances Davidson, Alice Heise, and Barbara Hershey. After meeting with Cecil Rhodes, they were granted a large tract of land for the mission among the Matabele people in the Motopo Hills near Bulawayo. Jesse Engle died 3 April 1900 of malaria after serving less than two years. His wife was Elizabeth B. Niesley; they had nine children: Jacob, Henry, John, Enos, Mary, Aaron, Elizabeth, Jesse, and Ezra.


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Davidson, H. Frances. South and South Central Africa. Elgin, IL: Brethren Publishing House, 1915: 19-44.

Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1978 183-187.

Engle, Morris M.  History Of The Engle Family In America 1754-1927. Mt. Joy, PA The Bulletin Press, 1927: 137-138.

Trautwein, Noreen The Everywhere Missionary. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press,1967: 1-32.

Davidson, H. Frances. "The Journal of Frances Davidson." Brethren In Christ History and Life 8 (1985): 103-123, 181-204; 9 (1986) : 23-64.

Author(s) Eugene K Engle
Date Published 1990

Cite This Article

MLA style

Engle, Eugene K. "Engle, Jesse M. (1838 -1900)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 27 Feb 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Engle,_Jesse_M._(1838_-1900)&oldid=122484.

APA style

Engle, Eugene K. (1990). Engle, Jesse M. (1838 -1900). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Engle,_Jesse_M._(1838_-1900)&oldid=122484.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 270. All rights reserved.

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