Lohrenz, Marie Klaassen (1892-1962)

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Maria Klaassen Lohrenz: missionary; born 28 November 1892 at Hillsboro, Kansas to Peter A. Klaassen (28 October 1870, Prangenau, Molotschna, South Russia - 12 May 1939, Rush Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada) and Maria (Jantzen) Klaassen (31 December 1872, Gnadenfeld, Molotschna, South Russia - 10 July 1950, Swift Current, Saskatchewan). On 6 June 1918 Maria married John H. Lohrenz. Maria died on 19 July 1962 in Fresno, California, USA.

Maria became a member of the Gnadenau Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Church (Hillsboro, Kansas) at a young age. After attending public schools, she was among the first students to enroll at the new Tabor College and Academy (Hillsboro, Kansas), where she attended from 1908-1910. Klaassen then taught in local public schools from 1910-1913. She returned to Tabor Academy in 1914 and graduated from there in 1916 with a teacher's certificate, after which she resumed public school teaching. In anticipation of mission work, Klaassen enrolled at the Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton, Kansas, for one year of study and training. On 9 May 1920, J. H. and Maria Lohrenz were ordained as Mennonite Brethren missionaries to India, where they began serving later that year.

In India Maria Lohrenz taught Sunday schools and Bible classes and assisted her husband during evangelistic tours. She was the principal of the middle school at Shamshabad and at Hughestown schools for many years. Maria Lohrenz also performed some medical work, serving for some time in the Shamshabad Mission Hospital. She also published in Telugu a book of gospel songs and a Guide to the Study of the Old Testament.

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, and Maria graduated with honors. Following their retirement from active missionary work the Lohrenzes moved to Fresno, California, where they became members of the Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church.

Maria Klaassen Lohrenz was a missionary in India for 37 years (1920-1957).


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.06 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2011: #20446.

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 at Hillsboro, Kansas on 28 November 1892 to Peter A. and Maria Jantzen Klaassen, Maria Klaassen Lohrenz was a missionary in India for 37 years (1920-1957).

A graduate of Tabor College, she taught for four years in Kansas rural schools. In preparation for missionary service, she completed one year of training at Bethel Deaconess Hospital, and, after her marriage to John H. Lohrenz on 6 June 1918, attended Bluffton College. During a furlough she graduated with honors from Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary. Her missionary activities at Nagarkurnool, Kalvakurthy, Shamshabad, and Hughestown included extensive touring of villages with her husband and the training of Bible women (lay evangelists). Her longest stint of service was at Shamshabad where she taught in the Bible school and served as principal of the middle school for a number of years. She published in Telugu a book of gospel songs and a Guide to the Study of the Old Testament. Following a final term in urban ministries in Hyderabad, she retired with her husband to Fresno, CA, continuing her extensive correspondence and hosting guests until her death on 19 July 1962 at Fresno, CA. -- Peter M. Hamm.

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

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MLA style

Enns-Rempel, Kevin. "Lohrenz, Marie Klaassen (1892-1962)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2011. Web. 24 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lohrenz,_Marie_Klaassen_(1892-1962)&oldid=89052.

APA style

Enns-Rempel, Kevin. (August 2011). Lohrenz, Marie Klaassen (1892-1962). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Lohrenz,_Marie_Klaassen_(1892-1962)&oldid=89052.


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

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