Neufeld, Jacob “Jay” (1932-2016)

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Jay Neufeld (1932-2016).

Jacob "Jay" Neufeld: pastor and church planter; born on 18 July 1932 in the village of Chortitza, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia to Jacob Neufeld and Mathilde (Harder) Neufeld (8 January 1906, Neuendorf, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia – 19 June 1999, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada). He was the fifth child in a family four daughters and two sons. On 24 August 1957 he married Katie "Kay" Willms, daughter of Daniel Johann Willms (1891-1971) and Katharina (Wiens) Willms (1898-1984), in Leamington, Ontario. They had two sons and three daughters. Jacob died on 24 February 2016 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.

In 1935 Jay’s father was charged with counter-revolutionary activities and sentenced to Siberia, where he died after three years of hard labor. In 1943 his mother with four children embarked on the Great Trek and escaped from Russia and spent five years in Poland and in Germany. In 1948 the Neufeld family moved to Canada, settling first in Swan River, Manitoba and then Kelowna, British Columbia. He was baptized on 21 August 1949 in the Virgil Mennonite Brethren Church, Virgil, Ontario.

Jay began his studies at Eden High School, followed by Winkler Bible Institute and Mennonite Brethren Bible College. While pastoring in Winnipeg, Jay studied at Providence Seminary, earning a Master of Ministry degree.

Neufeld’s passion was evangelism. "Jay and Kay" (as they were affectionately known) served together as a team planting and leading churches. The church plants were South Otter Gospel Chapel, BC (1959-62), Dawson Creek Mennonite Brethren Church, BC (1962-63), and Brampton Mennonite Brethren Church, Ontario (1967).

Jay served as pastor in Niagara Christian Fellowship Chapel (1963-67), Vineland MB Church (1968-73), Garden Valley Church, Garden City, Kansas (1973-1979), Dinuba MB Church, Dinuba, California (1979-1983), Elmwood MB Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba (1983-1988), East Aldergrove MB Church, Abbotsford, BC (1988-91), and Clearbrook MB Church, Abbotsford, BC (1993-2002, 2008-2013).

Between East Aldergrove MB Church and Clearbrook MB Church Jay served for shorter times of ministry of about four months each in Grace Christian Fellowship, Langley, BC, Hillside Community Church (former South Otter Gospel Chapel), and Leamington MB Church, Ontario.

Neufeld was committed to partner together with other churches where ever he served. He was the president of the local ministerial both in Garden City, Kansas and in Dinuba, California. His passion for evangelism led him to serve as first as a member and then as the chairman of the National Board of Evangelism.

In tributes from his family Jay was described as a man great in stature, resolve and faith, a man strong enough to love those who were his enemy.

Author(s) Walter Wiens
Date Published November 2017

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiens, Walter. "Neufeld, Jacob “Jay” (1932-2016)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2017. Web. 12 Apr 2024.,_Jacob_%E2%80%9CJay%E2%80%9D_(1932-2016)&oldid=157016.

APA style

Wiens, Walter. (November 2017). Neufeld, Jacob “Jay” (1932-2016). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 April 2024, from,_Jacob_%E2%80%9CJay%E2%80%9D_(1932-2016)&oldid=157016.

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