Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977)

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Gerhard Benjamin Giesbrecht was born 27 January 1906 in Steinfeld, Molotschna Colony, Russia, to Benjamin Giesbrecht and Maria von Niessen. In 1909 the family moved to Markovka in the Slavgorod Mennonite colony, Siberia.

Gerhard Giesbrecht experienced a conversion in 1922 and was baptized on 6 August of that year, joining the Grishkov Mennonite Brethren church. He attended the Bible school in Davlekanovo, 1925-1926, where he developed a strong sense of mission. He and Katharina Unrauh were married on 7 April 1928 and immigrated to Paraguay with his parents in November 1929.

In the Chaco the Giesbrechts settled in the village of Gnadenheim, Fernheim Colony, where he served as elementary school teacher for six years. During this time, however, he was constantly thinking of working among the Indians, whom he called the "dear brown ones." In 1937 he and his family left the colony and settled at Yalve Sanga, the newly established mission station (Licht den Indianern). Except for minor interruptions their work continued at that place until 1960.

From 1964 he served the Mennonite Brethren church in Filadelfia, but his heart remained with the work among the Indians. He died unexpectedly on 25 November 1977 of a heart attack while preaching a sermon at the Mennonite Brethren Church in Filadelfia.

Author(s) Gerhard Ratzlaff
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Ratzlaff, Gerhard. "Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 29 Sep 2022.,_Gerhard_Benjamin_(1906-1977)&oldid=141122.

APA style

Ratzlaff, Gerhard. (1987). Giesbrecht, Gerhard Benjamin (1906-1977). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2022, from,_Gerhard_Benjamin_(1906-1977)&oldid=141122.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 341. All rights reserved.

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