Kroeker, Johann F. (1871–ca. 1932)

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Johann F. Kroeker, a missionary (General Conference Mennonite) at Janjgir, India, was born 13 October 1871 in Gnadenfeld, Russia. He attended St. Chrischona Bible School, Switzerland, and Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, graduating from the academy in 1899. He married Susanna Schowalter of Mühlhausen, Germany. He, his wife, and P. A. and Elizabeth Penner were the first General Conference missionaries to India, arriving at Bombay on 9 December 1900. The Kroekers opened the mission station at Janjgir, erected the first buildings, organized the school, and opened evangelistic work. Because of ill health they returned to Russia in 1909, where he served as itinerant evangelist of the Gnadenfeld Mennonite Church among the Mennonites of Siberia. Once in Siberia he filled many rolls including doctor, obstetrician, teacher, church correspondent, and dentist. In 1929 the Kroekers tried to escape Russia by crossing the Amur river to Harbin China, however they were discovered and exiled to Siberia. Johann Kroeker was imprisoned and died there some time shortly after 1932. Susanna and her oldest daughter died of starvation in 1941. Three of the Kroeker daughters survived the exile, Lilli, Maria, and Anna. Lilli and Anna married Peter and Walter Friesen.


Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 149 ff., 708, 718.

Stoesz, Conrad. "Johann F. Kroeker (1871–193-)." Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. 2002. Accessed 5 January 2008. <>

Twenty-five Years with God in India (Berne, 1929) 185.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Conrad Stoesz
Date Published 2002

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MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Conrad Stoesz. "Kroeker, Johann F. (1871–ca. 1932)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2002. Web. 28 Jan 2021.,_Johann_F._(1871%E2%80%93ca._1932)&oldid=95673.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Conrad Stoesz. (2002). Kroeker, Johann F. (1871–ca. 1932). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 January 2021, from,_Johann_F._(1871%E2%80%93ca._1932)&oldid=95673.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 246. All rights reserved.

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