Landis, Paul Moyer (1924-2013)

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Paul Moyer Landis: minister, bishop and publisher, was born 2 April 1924 in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, USA to Samuel Alderfer Landis (26 June 1896-14 October 1977) and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Anders Moyer (8 December 1900-30 October 1977). Paul grew up in a small family with one older sister, Emma. On 26 February 1946 he married Mary Lehman Kurtz (19 December 1922-5 February 2001); they had seven children. Paul Landis died 9 October 2013 in Barnett, Missouri at the home of his daughter. Paul and Mary are buried in the Grandin Mennonite Church cemetery in Grandin, Missouri.

Paul grew in a farm family that sold produce in a market in Philadelphia. He was baptized into the Salford Mennonite Church in 1938. Paul graduated from high school in 1944 at Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He began college at Eastern Mennonite, but was forced to withdraw in his second year. He met Mary Kurtz through his work with the college's Young People's Christian Association; she was the daughter of Mennonite minister John E. Kurtz. Paul was licensed as a minister, and Paul and Mary began service as missionaries in the Crockett, Kentucky area in fall 1946. Paul Landis was ordained as a minister on 20 October 1950.

The church at Crockett did not flourish; when Paul Landis left Crockett in the mid-1950s it had seven members. Paul and Mary Landis did help to start the Faith Hills Christian School in Crockett. Paul and Mary moved to Portsmouth, Virginia to join Eli Kramer, a like-minded conservative bishop who had given oversight to the work at Crockett. Soon Kramer placed Paul in charge of the Norview Chapel in Norfolk County, Virginia where he served for three years.

During his time in Virginia, Paul Landis participated in the formation of the theologically conservative Pilgrim Mennonite Press, and was chair of the initial board. Paul and Mary briefly moved to Hartville, Ohio to help with the publication effort. By this time, Paul Landis had withdrawn from the Mennonite Church, in concert with his mentor, Eli Kramer.

Persons from the Crockett, Kentucky community where the Landis family had served earlier, asked Paul to come and pastor a new non-conference church. Paul and Mary Landis returned to Crockett in 1960 to start the Faith Hills Mennonite Church. The publishing venture also moved to Crockett where it was renamed Rod and Staff Publishers.

Paul Landis served as publisher/manager of Rod and Staff until the mid-1980s, helping to make it a significant publisher for conservative Mennonites. Landis wrote many articles and preached many sermons on truth and holiness in practical living. He was ordained as bishop in 1970, and continued to serve the Faith Hills congregation until 1982. In the late 1980s Paul and Mary moved to Pennsylvania where he served as bishop of the Stoney Fork Mennonite Church and the Hope Mennonite Fellowship in Lowville, New York.

Landis continued to write for conservative publishers in his retirement. He survived stomach cancer. He lived with family in his last years after the death of his wife.

Paul Landis was described by a conservative Mennonite leader as a "serious-minded brother, with his roots deeply in the Word of God. That caused him to be burdened that the message of truth be taught and practiced in the churches."


"A farewell service." Gospel Herald 39, no. 19 (6 August 1946): 392.

"Paul Moyer Landis." Find a Grave. 11 October 2013. Web. 9 November 2017.

"Paul (Moyer) Landis." SAGA (Swiss Anabaptist Genealogical Association) Genealogical Website. Web. 9 November 2019.

Siegrist, Harold P. "Paul M. Landis (1924-2013)." The Historical Journal 25, no. 2 (October 2019): 4.

Books by Paul M. Landis

Landis, Paul M. "Once saved, always saved": truth or delusion? Crockett, Kentucky: Rod and Staff Publishers, 1991. 143 pp.

Landis, Paul M. Purity in the Christian home. Crockett, Kentucky: Rod and Staff Publishers, 1978. 29 pp.

Author(s) Samuel J Steiner
Date Published November 2019

Cite This Article

MLA style

Steiner, Samuel J. "Landis, Paul Moyer (1924-2013)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2019. Web. 4 Aug 2021.,_Paul_Moyer_(1924-2013)&oldid=166174.

APA style

Steiner, Samuel J. (November 2019). Landis, Paul Moyer (1924-2013). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 August 2021, from,_Paul_Moyer_(1924-2013)&oldid=166174.

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