Hoeppner, Bernhard (Ben) (1921-2007)
Bernhard (Ben) Hoeppner: Bible school teacher and pastor: born 10 November 1921 in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada to Johann J. (23 December 1886-1955) and Anna (Klippenstein) Hoeppner (10 January 1892-1978). He was the fifth of six children in the family. Ben worked as a Bible School teacher and pastor, both in Manitoba and in Paraguay. On 20 June 1955, he married Maria Loewen in Steinbach, Manitoba. The couple had no children. Ben spent his last years at the Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba and died on 29 December 2007 in Riverton, Manitoba. His funeral was at the Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church on 4 January 2008.
As a child, Ben Hoeppner grew up with his parents and siblings in southern Manitoba. Following his high school education, he went on to theological studies. In 1954, he began teaching at the Steinbach Bible Institute in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, where he met Mary Loewen, who was also an instructor there. They married on 10 June 1955 in Steinbach. The couple had no children. Ben continued to work at the school, teaching courses such as homiletics (preaching) and helping students to understand the Bible better.
In addition to his teaching work, Ben Hoeppner was involved in helping the school to gain accreditation with the American Association of Bible Colleges (AABC). For that status, the school needed a library with at least five thousand volumes. With the approval of the Board, Ben decided to help work towards that goal.
From 1961 to 1967, Ben worked to bring the library up to the academic status, asking for donations and working with the board to increase funding to the library. By the 1965-66 academic year, the library had 4416 books, catalogued in the Dewey Decimal System. With a donation of close to three hundred books the following year and with other additions, the library soon had the required five thousand volumes.
Besides working with the library, Ben Hoeppner helped give workshops to the faculty on many other aspects of accreditation, including outlining the benefits and drawbacks of the status, the need for an eight-month academic year, and other considerations. He was an advocate for gaining accreditation, although he presented both sides of the question.
Ben Hoeppner continued to teach at the Steinbach Bible College until 1980, when he and Mary moved to Paraguay to teach at a Bible school there. They returned to Manitoba in 1990, settling in Winnipeg, where Ben worked as a pastor of the Deutsche Mennoniten Gemeinde, a group of people composed mainly of Mennonites from Paraguay who had moved to Manitoba. The language of worship in that congregation was Low German. Ben and Mary continued to work with this group until Ben’s retirement. When his health deteriorated in his later years, he moved into the Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg. He died on 29 December 2007, with his funeral taking place at the Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg. Mary died in Winnipeg on 6 July 2019.
Ben Hoeppner was a dedicated teacher and advocate for education whose activities helped people in Canada and Paraguay. With his commitment to his faith and to his work, he was an example for future generations to follow.
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Find a Grave. “Rev. Bernhard Hoeppner.” Web. 7 April 2020. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/133607750/bernhard-hoeppner.
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Hildebrand, Jerry. Training Servant Leaders: A History of Steinbach Bible College, 1936-1996. Manitoba: Steinbach Bible College, 1997.
Winnipeg Free Press Passages. “Mary Hoeppner.” Web. 7 April 2020. https://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-265527/MARY-HOEPPNER.
|Date Published||April 2020|
Cite This Article
Huebert, Susan. "Hoeppner, Bernhard (Ben) (1921-2007)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2020. Web. 5 Jun 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hoeppner,_Bernhard_(Ben)_(1921-2007)&oldid=167704.
Huebert, Susan. (April 2020). Hoeppner, Bernhard (Ben) (1921-2007). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 June 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hoeppner,_Bernhard_(Ben)_(1921-2007)&oldid=167704.
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