Lohrenz, John H. (1893-1971)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

John H. Lohrenz: missionary and historian; born 2 March 1893 in Moundridge, Kansas, USA to Heinrich Lohrenz (26 July 1849, Elisabeththal, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 18 December 1942, Hillsboro, Kansas) and Elisabeth (Wiens) Lohrenz (17 October 1850, Marienthal, Molotschna, South Russia - 3 January 1904, Aulne, Kansas). He was the last of 10 children born to Heinrich and Elisabeth. On 6 June 1918 John married Maria Klaassen (28 November 1892, Hillsboro, Kansas - 19 July 1962, Fresno, California), daughter of Peter A. Klaassen (1870-1939) and Maria (Jantzen) Klaassen (1872-1950), in Hillsboro, Kansas. John and Maria had no children. After Maria's death, John married Susanna Richert (19 March 1897, Goessel, Kansas - 1991, Fresno, California) on 19 April 1963 in Dinuba, California. Lohrenz died 5 March 1971 at Fresno, California, where he was buried.

John was baptized and joined the Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro, Kansas, in 1907. After attending local public schools, Lohrenz enrolled at Tabor College in 1910 and received his BA degree from that school in 1918. During that same year he married Maria Klaassen.

Following their marriage John and Maria moved to Bluffton, Ohio, where John enrolled at Bluffton College and Mennonite Seminary. He received an MA degree from there in 1919. His thesis was entitled "History of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America." A revised version of this thesis was published under the title The Mennonite Brethren Church (Hillsboro: Board of Foreign Missions, 1950). Also in 1919 the Lohrenzes co-authored the book Glaubenshelden in der Christlichen Heidenmission (Hillsboro: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House). After graduation from Bluffton, J. H. Lohrenz served as an itinerant evangelist among Mennonite Brethren congregations in Kansas and Oklahoma. On 9 May 1920, J. H. and Maria Lohrenz were ordained as Mennonite Brethren missionaries to India, where they began serving later that year.

John and Maria spent four terms in India from 1920 to 1957, most of that time on the Shamshabad field in Andhra Pradesh state. John H. Lohrenz distinguished himself in India as an administrator, evangelist, educator and writer. As a teacher of Bible in the Shamshabad Bible Institute he prepared a series of Bible doctrine lessons that were eventually published as The Doctrinal Teachings of the Bible (Shamshabad: A.M.B. Mission, 1964). The book was published in the English, Telugu and Marathi languages. 

During their first furlough from India (1928-1929) the Lohrenzes attended the Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary. Both of them received BD degrees from that school in 1929. Following their retirement from active missionary work the Lohrenzes moved to Fresno, California, where they became members of the Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1959 the Board of Foreign Missions sent J. H. Lohrenz to visit Mennonite Brethren churches in South America.

Maria Lohrenz died in Fresno in 1962. Her husband published a brief biography of her life in 1963, entitled A Life For Christ in India (Hillsboro: Board of Foreign Missions).

John married Susie Richert in 1963. Richert graduated from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (Biola) in 1920 and received a BA degree from Tabor College in 1924. She was a primary school teacher in California for many years and retired in 1961. Shortly after their marriage, J. H. and Susie Lohrenz visited India for several months of preaching and teaching during 1963. Back in Fresno, Lohrenz conducted weekly devotional services in the Twilight Haven Rest Home for several years.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2011: #26588.

Moyer, Samuel T. They Heard the Call. Newton, Kan. : Published for Commission on Overseas Mission, General Conference Mennonite Church by Faith and Life Press, c1970:113.

Additional Information

Mennonite Encyclopedia Article, Vol. 5, p. 529

Born 2 November 1893 to Henry and Elizabeth Wiens Lohrenz, John H. Lohrenz was a missionary educator and writer in India for 37 years (1920-1957). A graduate of Tabor College, with postgraduate studies at Bluffton College and Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary, he married Maria Klaassen of Hillsboro, Kansas on 6 June 1918, and was ordained for missionary service under Mennonite Brethren on 9 May 1920. His missionary activities at Nagarkurnool, Kalvakurthy, Shamshabad, and Hughstown in Hyderabad State consisted of administration, evangelism, and particularly Bible school instruction and production of Telugu literature. Besides writing short biographies of Mrs. Maria Lohrenz, John H. Voth, John H. Pankratz, Daniel F. Bergthold, John A. Wiebe, and his brother H. W. Lohrenz, in 1950 he published The Mennonite Brethren Church, a history and handbook covering 1860 to 1948. In 1964 a series of Bible lessons titled The Doctrinal Teachings of the Bible, was published in India and translated into Telugu and Marathi. Following the death of his wife in 1962, he married Susie Richert of Dinuba, California in 1963. Lohrenz died 5 March 1971 at Fresno, California. -- Peter M. Hamm

Author(s) Kevin Enns-Rempel
Date Published August 2011

Cite This Article

MLA style

Enns-Rempel, Kevin. "Lohrenz, John H. (1893-1971)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2011. Web. 18 Jun 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lohrenz,_John_H._(1893-1971)&oldid=169722.

APA style

Enns-Rempel, Kevin. (August 2011). Lohrenz, John H. (1893-1971). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lohrenz,_John_H._(1893-1971)&oldid=169722.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 529. All rights reserved.

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