Enss, Bruno (1899-1967)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bruno Enss: farmer and minister; born 3 July 1899 in Tiegenhagen, West Prussia. Bruno was the son of Johann Enss (24 February 1860 – 5 October 1938) and Catharina (Bergthold) Enss (26 October 1860 – 24 January 1940). He had two surviving siblings, Louise and Anna. Bruno married Helene Hinz (30 May 1898, Neuteicherwalde, West Prussia - 21 May 1989, Winnipeg, Manitoba) on 26 October 1920 in Reimerswalde, West Prussia. She was the daughter of Johann and Maria (Janzen) Hinz. They had three children: Georg, Günter and Magdalena. Georg at age 21 and Günter at age 16 both died while serving in the German army during World War II. Bruno died of a stroke on 27 October 1967 after undergoing a stomach operation in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Bruno was survived by his wife, Helene, daughter and husband Magdalena and Erwin Strempler, and two grandchildren.

Bruno Enss grew up in Reimerswalde, West Prussia and was baptized in the Ladekopp Mennonite Church in 1914. He attended the Berufsschule für Landwirtschaft (Vocational School for Agriculture) in Marienburg, West Prussia, and upon graduation, purchased his own farm at the age of 21 and took up farming.

Enss was ordained as a minister in the church in Tiege in 1934 and ordained as elder of the Orlofferfelde Mennonite Church in 1935. He served until 1945, when Bruno and his family fled from their home upon the advance of Soviet troops into the area. Bruno and his family moved west through the Danzig Werder and ended at the Baltic Sea, where they were able to board a ship. Although the ship was under constant attack by air and submarine torpedoes, they arrived safely in Copenhagen, Denmark in April 1945.

At first the Enss family along with many other refugees was housed in a school in Copenhagen before being dispersed to various refugee camps throughout Denmark. For the next four years the family lived in four different camps. Bruno tried to meet the spiritual and physical needs of fellow Mennonite refugees, and as a member of the clergy, was permitted to leave the camp to visit the sick. He was also given access to the refugee lists from the various camps and was able to reunite separated families.

During this time Bruno met Henry H. Janzen, who was ministering to refugees while serving under Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Through Janzen, the Enss family was sponsored by a family in Manitoba, Canada, and they were able to immigrate to Canada in June 1949.

Bruno studied at Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba for three years from 1949 until 1952, where H. H. Janzen was president. Although these years were not easy economically, Enss considered them to be his best years, particularly since he was able to receive a deeper view of the truths of God revealed through Jesus Christ. Enss served various Mennonite communities in Manitoba during his first few years in Canada, as well as in other provinces of Canada. 

Enss served for seven months as an evangelist and teacher in South America in 1953 and 1954. Upon his return to Canada, Enss moved to the province of British Columbia in 1954 where he served as leading minister in the First Mennonite Church Greendale for eight and a half years from 1954 until 1963. Bruno concluded his ministry as elder and leading minister at Springfield Heights Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, where he served as elder from 1964 until 1967.

Enss was known for his positive nature and love and enthusiasm for the church. His sense of humor opened many doors for him as well. He visited church members on a regular basis and his messages were sincere and Scripture-based. He loved young people and baptisms were always a highlight for him. His motto was: "Be ye reconciled to God" ("Lasset euch versöhnen mit Gott.").


Der Bote (14 November 1967): 6; (7 June 1989): 6.

A History of the First Mennonite Church, Greendale, B.C. Greendale, BC: First Mennonite Church Greendale, 1976.

Die Mennonitische Rundschau (8 November 1967): 1-3.

Peters, Gerhard I. Remember Our Leaders: Conference of Mennonites in Canada, 1902-1977. Clearbrook, BC: Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, 1982.

Strempler, Erwin. "Bruno Enss." Personal e-mail (27 October 2009).

Strempler, Magdalena. "Bruno Enss." Personal e-mail (9 November 2009).

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published August 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Enss, Bruno (1899-1967)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2010. Web. 24 Feb 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Enss,_Bruno_(1899-1967)&oldid=178346.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (August 2010). Enss, Bruno (1899-1967). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 February 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Enss,_Bruno_(1899-1967)&oldid=178346.

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