Loewen, David H. (1898-1972)

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David H. and Anna Loewen, Jamaica, 1954.
Source: Together in the Lord: The Jamaica Mennonite Church 1955-1980, p. 7.

David H. Loewen: minister and missionary; born on 18 July 1898 in Silberfeld, Manitoba as the youngest of 11 children of Heinrich and Anganeta (nee Dyck) Loewen. David married Agnes Teichroeb (1899-1931) in 1918. They had 5 children together. In 1932 he married Anna Kehler (1899-1979). David H. Loewen died 7 November 1972 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

David received his early education in Silberfeld and then went on to attend the Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna for one year. For three years he attended the Winnipeg Bible School. David then went on to study for one year at a missionary medical school and one year at Wycliff Bible Translators Linguistic School.

Loewen was baptized on 28 May 1917 and became a member of the Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Manitoba. On 5 October 1932, Loewen was ordained to the ministry of the Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Manitoba at Altona. He loved to preach and promote missions at home and abroad. As early as 1938 he was saying publicly that he had a call to foreign mission work, according to Bergthaler historian Henry Gerbrandt. Gerbrandt wrote, "although the church listened and also helped finance his schooling, neither his education nor the health of his family allowed the mission boards to send him."

For a period during the 1940s David and Anna Loewen lived in Winnipeg and attended the Bethel Mennonite Mission Church (later known as Bethel Mennonite Church) which Benjamin Ewert had organized in 1938. The Loewens also went as missionaries to Mexico for a brief period. In the early 1950s they spent some time in Florida, where it became clear to David that the Lord wanted him to establish a mission in the Caribbean. In 1954 David and Anna went to Jamaica where they founded the Jamaica Mennonite Church in 1955. The work which the Loewens began was taken on by the Virginia Mission Board a little later when Myron and Esther Augsburger arrived and the Loewens returned to Manitoba.

Between 1957 and 1963 Loewen played an active part in establishing the Winnipeg Bergthaler Mennonite Church, which later became Home Street Mennonite Church. He also attempted to start another Bergthaler congregation in Winnipeg that held all of its services in German, but after failing to get support for this congregation from his congregation and the leadership of the Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba, he handed over the responsibility for the work to the Evangelical Mennonite Conference.

In 1963 Loewen retired and moved to Clearbrook, British Columbia. Here he continued to serve in the West Abbotsford Mennonite Church until his death. He is remembered above all for his preaching and promotion of missions at home and abroad. According to H. J. Gerbrandt, Loewen was an important voice in the church who for many years was like "a voice crying in the wilderness . . . his consistent prodding prayers and personal sacrificing served as conscience pricks to many in the church." Loewen died in 1972 and is buried in the Hazelwood Cemetery in Abbotsford, British Columbia.


Brunk, Twila Y. Together in the Lord: The Jamaica Mennonite Church 1955-1980. Harrisonburg, Virginia: Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions & Charities, 1980: 7-11.

Gerbrandt, Henry J., Adventure in Faith. Altona: the Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Manitoba, 1970: 158, 214-217, 323, 332.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 7.04 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2013: #557168.

Archival Records

Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, MB: David H. Loewen fonds.

Author(s) Alf Redekopp
Date Published 4 December 2013

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MLA style

Redekopp, Alf. "Loewen, David H. (1898-1972)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 4 December 2013. Web. 26 Jul 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Loewen,_David_H._(1898-1972)&oldid=104730.

APA style

Redekopp, Alf. (4 December 2013). Loewen, David H. (1898-1972). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 July 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Loewen,_David_H._(1898-1972)&oldid=104730.

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