Martens, Frank (1906-1994)

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Frank and Mary Martens

Frank James Martens: Bible colporteur; born in Main Centre, Saskatchewan, Canada on 11 September 1906. He was the third of 12 children born to Jacob Martens (1880-1962) and Anna (Redekop) Martens (1880-1966). On 25 June 1933 Frank married Mary Louise Karber (7 March 1908, Fairview, Oklahoma, USA – 16 March 1998) in Shafter, California. Mary was the daughter of Peter J. Karber (1878-1961) and Katharina (Schmidt) Karber (1879-1940). Frank and Mary had one daughter, Joyce. Frank died in Abbotsford, British Columbia (BC), Canada on 27 July 1994.

Frank accepted Jesus as his Saviour in 1922 and a year later was baptized into the Main Centre Mennonite Brethren Church.

Frank began his post secondary studies at the Herbert Bible School in Saskatchewan. In 1926 he moved to California where he lived for the next ten years. While here he enrolled in the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA). After graduating from this school, Frank availed himself of some missionary medical training, anticipating a missionary assignment in Africa.

In 1936 Frank was invited to teach at the Herbert Bible School. Although he taught only one year in Herbert, it was here that he came in contact with Canadian Bible Society, whose mission it was to distribute and sell Bibles. This ministry deeply appealed to Frank. After some further training, he was assigned as a Bible colporteur to the West Coast of British Columbia, making Victoria, BC his physical home and Immanuel Baptist Church his spiritual home. Over the course of the next several years he traveled to 118 islands, making presentations and visiting homes as far north as Steward, Alaska. 

Following his retirement as a colporteur, Frank and his family returned to Victoria, BC, where he became the treasurer of the Society, while his wife Mary worked in the Bible Society bookstore. He continued to be active in the distribution of Bibles. In total, Frank served the Canadian Bible Society for 50 years.

In September 1986 the Martens family moved to Abbotsford, British Columbia where they became active members of the Bakerview Mennonite Brethren Church.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #9092.

Author(s) David Giesbrecht
Date Published June 2010

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Giesbrecht, David. "Martens, Frank (1906-1994)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2010. Web. 22 Oct 2020.,_Frank_(1906-1994)&oldid=101404.

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Giesbrecht, David. (June 2010). Martens, Frank (1906-1994). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 October 2020, from,_Frank_(1906-1994)&oldid=101404.

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