Hein, Marvin (1925-2008)

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Marvin Hein (1925-2008)

Marvin Lester Hein: minister and conference leader; born to David Hein (29 March 1900, Isabella, Oklahoma, USA – 11 January 1975, Fairview, Oklahoma) and Marie (Suderman) Hein (11 September 1899, Isabella, Oklahoma – 26 May 2005, Fairview, Oklahoma) on Easter Sunday, 12 April 1925, on a farm near Fairview, Oklahoma, USA. He was the oldest of two, with one younger sister. Marvin married Mary Helen Martens, daughter of Daniel A. Martens (1886-1978) and Anna (Just) Martens (1888-1982) on 1 September 1946 in Fairview, Oklahoma. They had three children: Patricia, Penelope, and Holly. Marvin died in Fresno, California of acute leukemia on 5 January 2008 at the age of 82.

Marvin attended elementary and high school in Fairview, Oklahoma. After serving nearly three years during World War II in Civilian Public Service, Marvin married Mary Helen Martens. They moved to Hillsboro, Kansas, where Hein earned his bachelor’s degree at Tabor College.

After college graduation Marvin and Mary Helen headed two mental hospital voluntary service projects in Larned, Kansas, and Ukiah, California. Hein earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas, and pastored the Madura Congregational Church in Wakefield, Kansas.

In 1956 Hein became assistant pastor of the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church. After three years he became the senior pastor and served until 1980. While in Hillsboro he was an assistant and adjunct professor of New Testament at Tabor College.

In 1980 Hein was called to Fresno, California as pastor of the North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church. He served that congregation until 1991 when he became the executive secretary of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. For 11 years, he travelled the U.S. and Canada preaching, representing the conference, and finally heading the committee that arranged for divestiture of the General Conference in 2002. Hein retired in 2002.

Hein held leadership positions in the Mennonite Brethren Church nationally and internationally. He chaired the Southern and Central district conferences, the U.S. Conference and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

One of the highlights of Hein’s life was his 17-year involvement with Mennonite World Conference (MWC) from 1967 to 1984. He served as vice-president, representing North America, for two three-year terms. In his MWC role, he traveled to more than 50 countries and to five global assemblies.

Hein served on the governing boards for Tabor College, Fresno Pacific University, and Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS), where he also taught in the area of homiletics. In 1989, MBBS awarded him its first honorary doctorate.

Beyond the MB Church, Hein served on the National Association of Evangelicals board, represented Mennonite Brethren on the Council of Inter-Mennonite Moderators and Secretaries, and the board of Herald Publishing Company.

After preaching thousands of sermons, Hein compiled some into two books, The Ties That Bind, on varied topics, and Like a Shock of Wheat, based on his funeral messages. He wrote a monthly column in The Christian Leader for 15 years and was a regular contributor to the inter-Mennonite devotional booklet Rejoice! for 31 years.

Hein was considered one of the greatest preachers of his generation. Throughout his life, whether in worship, preaching, gardening or golfing, Hein always aspired to excellence and wanted God’s business to be done with finesse.


"Former Hillsboro Pastor Marvin Hein Dies at Age 82." Hillsboro Free Press (8 January 2008). Web. 16 July 2011. http://www.hillsborofreepress.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18086366.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2011: #22166.

Kennel-Shank, Celeste. "MB Leader Stood Out as Preacher." Mennonite Weekly Review (4 February 2008).

Mennonite Brethren Herald (March 2008).

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published July 2011

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MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Hein, Marvin (1925-2008)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. July 2011. Web. 13 Jul 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hein,_Marvin_(1925-2008)&oldid=142762.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (July 2011). Hein, Marvin (1925-2008). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 July 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hein,_Marvin_(1925-2008)&oldid=142762.

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