Kroeker, Martin Abram (1900-1973)

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Martin Abram "M. A." Kroeker: Mennonite Brethren pastor and denominational administrator; born 29 July 1900 in Crimea, South Russia to Abraham Jakob Kroeker (11 December 1863-21 November 1944) and Agatha Langemann Kroeker (5 May 1874-19 September 1962). He was the fourth child and second son in a family of five girls and four boys. On 1 September 1921 he married Helen Epp (4 December 1895-25 September 1989). They had five daughters and four sons. M. A. died 21 May 1973 in Hillsboro, Kansas.

Martin was baptized on 5 May 1917 into the Mennonite Brethren Church. After he and Helen were married, they were recipients of American Mennonite Relief, one reason Martin later felt strongly about service with the Mennonite Brethren Board of General Welfare and Public Relations. In June 1924 Martin and Helen left Russia with an infant daughter (their first child died in Russia), immigrating to Winnipeg, Manitoba. They were there only a short time, before moving to Mountain Lake, Minnesota, where the Kroekers lived with the N. N. Hiebert family several months. While there, Martin worked in his father's bookstore and also had a side job with Isaac Bargen. Martin was ordained as a minister in 1924, though it is uncertain whether this took place in Russia or in North America.

The Kroeker family settled more permanently in the community of Marion, South Dakota in March 1925. The Silver Lake Mennonite Brethren Church, at Marion/Dolton, South Dakota, needed an assistant pastor to help Rev. Jacob Adrian, so Kroeker began pastoral service there. M. A. served as pastor of Silver lake for nearly 27 years. While in South Dakota, M. A. furthered his education at Freeman Junior College and Sioux Falls Baptist Seminary. He went on to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for Freeman College.

The Kroekers moved to Hillsboro, Kansas in 1956, to serve as Executive Secretary of the Mennonite Brethren Board of General Welfare and Publish Relations. He retired from the Board of Welfare in 1965, but continued to serve as an employee of the Board of Trustees. While in Hillsboro, M. A. and Helen joined the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren church, but M. A. did not pastor there. He served as Adult Sunday School superintendent for a number of years, was a member of the church council, and did visitation ministry to the elderly.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #108273.

"M. A. Kroeker collection." Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas.

Author(s) Peggy Goertzen
Date Published May 2010

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MLA style

Goertzen, Peggy. "Kroeker, Martin Abram (1900-1973)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2010. Web. 2 Dec 2023.,_Martin_Abram_(1900-1973)&oldid=101537.

APA style

Goertzen, Peggy. (May 2010). Kroeker, Martin Abram (1900-1973). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 December 2023, from,_Martin_Abram_(1900-1973)&oldid=101537.

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