Moser, John (1826-1908)

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John Moser, a General Conference Mennonite Church elder and leader, was born 2 August 1826 in Wayne County, Ohio, the oldest son and fourth child of Jakob and Barbara Wahli Moser, who had immigrated among the early settlers to the Sonnenberg Swiss settlement in Ohio in 1821 from Am Stalden, Jura, Switzerland. John married Anna Lehman on 15 January 1852. They moved to Riley Township, Putnam County, Ohio, near Bluffton, the following spring, where their ten children were born. He joined the Sonnenberg church on 10 April 1846, and was chosen minister of the Putnam County congregation on 9 October 1853. On 24 January 1864, he was chosen bishop of this congregation, which office he carried out with zeal and fidelity during a period when many changes were introduced into the congregation. During his pastorate of over 50 years he baptized nearly 1,000 persons, married over 200 couples, and, besides his regular sermons nearly every Sunday, officiated at several hundred funerals. He took great interest in the church organizations, such as Sunday schools, young people's societies, missions and evangelistic endeavors, all of which were begun during his ministry. He participated in the ministers' meetings of tie Swiss congregations. During his ministry the Swiss congregations of Allen and Putnam counties joined the General Conference Mennonite Church.

A farmer by occupation, he learned the gunsmith's trade and supplied the settlement with rifles of high quality. Moser compiled the letters of the Amish schism and had them published in 1876 as an answer to the strict avoidance practiced by the Reformed Mennonites and defended in the writings of Daniel Musser. He died 10 July 1908, and was buried in the cemetery of the St. John's Mennonite Church.


Amstutz, P. B. Geschichtliche Ereignisse der Mennoniten Ansiedlung in Allen und Putnam County, Ohio. n.p., 1925: 124-126 with picture.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III: 170.

Mennonite Yearbook and Almanac (1909): 22-24 with picture.

Moser, Johannes. Eine Verantwortung gegen Daniel Musser's Meidungs-Erklärung . . .Lancaster, 1876.

Author(s) Delbert L Gratz
Date Published 1957

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MLA style

Gratz, Delbert L. "Moser, John (1826-1908)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 6 Jul 2022.,_John_(1826-1908)&oldid=144433.

APA style

Gratz, Delbert L. (1957). Moser, John (1826-1908). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 July 2022, from,_John_(1826-1908)&oldid=144433.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 756. All rights reserved.

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