Janzen, Heinz Daniel (1927-2011)

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Heinz Janzen, 1970s.
Family photo

Heinz Daniel Janzen, Mennonite pastor and General Secretary of the General Conference Mennonite Church (GCMC) in Newton, Kansas, USA (1969-1980) born 19 June 1927, to Peter M. Janzen (30 March 1899-17 January 1978) and Mary (Dirks) Janzen (16 July 1905-16 April 1995) in New York City. On 10 September 1955 he married Dorothea Wirth Janzen (4 October 1930- ). Heinz and Dotty had three children--Peter, Margaret and Mary. Heinz died on 15 June 2011 at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, Kansas.

During World War II, Heinz enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After the war he attended the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and became a Christian pacifist. He later attended Goshen College (Indiana) (BS, 1953), Bethel College (Kansas) (BA, 1952), and New York Biblical Seminary (New York) (MDiv, 1956). He served as pastor of the Calvary Mennonite Church in Washington, Illinois (1956-1963) and Salem Mennonite Church in Kidron, Ohio (1963-1969).

As General Secretary of the GCMC in the 1970s Heinz worked to promote unity in a denomination sharply divided over theological and practical issues. One especially divisive issue was how to respond to GCMC staff members who wanted to refuse to pay federal taxes used for military purposes and who asked the conference to withhold payments to the Internal Revenue Service. In February 1980 the GCMC held a special mid-triennium conference in Rochester, Minnesota to address the tax issue alone. The GCMC eventually decided to disobey the IRS rules and risk federal legal prosecution. It was the only denomination, Mennonite or other, in the country to engage in civil disobedience on this issue. Heinz and Dorothea for 10 years personally withheld partial payment to the Internal Revenue Service.

Heinz Janzen’s leadership was also important as the denomination wrestled with proposals to restructure by separating the United States from Canada. Heinz served on many church boards, including Bethel College, Mennonite Central Committee, and the committee writing the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. Heinz and Dorothea also jointly edited and rewrote the General Conference Ministers Manual.

After his time as General Secretary, Heinz and Dorothea served as co-pastors of Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro, Kansas (1980-1990). From 1990-1996 he worked part-time in Newton as coordinator of the Mennonite Men program.


"Heinz Daniel Janzen." GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 16-01 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2016:#225784.

Janzen, Mary. Personal emails. (28 August-13 September 2016).

Author(s) James C Juhnke
Date Published September 2016

Cite This Article

MLA style

Juhnke, James C. "Janzen, Heinz Daniel (1927-2011)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2016. Web. 15 May 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Janzen,_Heinz_Daniel_(1927-2011)&oldid=135927.

APA style

Juhnke, James C. (September 2016). Janzen, Heinz Daniel (1927-2011). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 May 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Janzen,_Heinz_Daniel_(1927-2011)&oldid=135927.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.