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Peter Martin Hamm (1930-1993)


Peter Martin Hamm: teacher, missiologist, administrator, and author; born 26 August 1930 in La Glace, Alberta, Canada to Martin M. Hamm (29 June 1899, Blumenhof, Borozenko, South Russia – 6 February 1982, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) and Anna (Warkentin) Hamm (20 November 1896, Schoenau, Zagradovka, South Russia – 13 July 1953, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada). Peter was the seventh in a family of ten children (an eleventh died in infancy). On 27 August 1955 he married Betty Hildebrand in Vineland, Ontario, Canada, whom he had met at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College. They had two children, Richard and Carolyn. Peter died in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada on 16 August 1993, where he was buried.

Peter grew up in the La Glace area of Alberta, and moved with his family to Chilliwack when he was a teenager. Peter was baptized on 8 September 1947 in the Chilliwack Mennonite Brethren Church.

Peter was a gifted student, completing his BA at the University of BC in 1954, his BD at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in 1964 and, later, his PhD in Sociology at McMaster University, Ontario, in 1980, where he focused on the study of religion and culture, specifically Hinduism and the sociology of religion.

After Peter’s two-year stint as teacher at Eden Christian College in Ontario, Peter and Betty became Mennonite Brethren missionaries in India. From 1966 to 1968 Peter was principal of the Mennonite Brethren Centenary Bible College in Shamshabad, during which time his wife Betty, a trained nurse, conducted health and nutrition programs for village women.

Following a decade working in India, Peter accepted an invitation to teach mission courses at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1980, with his studies completed, he joined the administrative staff of Mennonite Brethren Missions and Services, and served as secretary for Africa, Asia and Europe, working in this position until 1989.

In addition to producing a large volume of mission correspondence, teaching notes, sermons, study papers and photographs, Peter authored two books. In 1987 he completed a denominational study, Continuity and Change Among Canadian Mennonite Brethren (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press). In retirement, Peter spent time thinking about his own passage, which in 1993 resulted in a self-published autobiography, Reflections on My Journey.

Peter Hamm was an enthusiastic, dedicated churchman, serving as teacher, missiologist, administrator, and author. Seamlessly he learned how to combine a seasoned missiology with practical wisdom. His extensive personal papers are located at the Centre for MB Studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Hamm, Peter. Reflections on My Journey. Self-published, 1993.

"Mennonite Brethren Centenary Bible College." Wikipedia. 18 January 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonite_Brethren_Centenary_Bible_College.

Nikkel, James. Interview, 18 January 2020.

Author(s) David Giesbrecht
Date Published January 2020

Cite This Article

MLA style

Giesbrecht, David. "Hamm, Peter Martin (1930-1993)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2020. Web. 27 Jul 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hamm,_Peter_Martin_(1930-1993)&oldid=168307.

APA style

Giesbrecht, David. (January 2020). Hamm, Peter Martin (1930-1993). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 July 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hamm,_Peter_Martin_(1930-1993)&oldid=168307.

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