Gottshall, William Shelly (1865-1941)

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William Shelly Gottshall (b. 23 June 1865, d. 2 March 1941), an outstanding Mennonite (General Conference Mennonite) leader and long-time minister—1884-1941, was born near Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, the son of Bishop Moses and Mary (Shelly) Gottschall. He married Anna K. von Nieda. He attended Perkiomen Seminary and Ursinus College and graduated from Ursinus Theological Seminary in 1889. He was ordained preacher 15 October 1884, and elder 24 November 1886. He served as pastor in the following churches: Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, 1884-1905, Allentown-Upper Milford, Pennsylvania, 1905-1909; Bluffton, Ohio, the three Swiss churches, 1909-1924; Salem, Freeman, South Dakota, 1924-1930; East Swamp, Quakertown, Pennsylvania, 1930-1938.

Gottshall was widely active in district and general conference work. He was a member of the Home Mission Board for 42 years (1896-1938), serving 22 years as chairman and 12 years as secretary. He was widely known as a Bible expositor and effective preacher and served much in Bible conference work, and was strictly conservative in his theological position.


"Rev. William S. Gottshall." SAGA (Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association) Genealogical Website. Accessed 14 April 2008 <>

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Gottshall, William Shelly (1865-1941)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 21 Sep 2020.,_William_Shelly_(1865-1941)&oldid=113392.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1956). Gottshall, William Shelly (1865-1941). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from,_William_Shelly_(1865-1941)&oldid=113392.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 554. All rights reserved.

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