Neufeld, John (1905-1993)

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]ohn Neufeld was born on 6 ]une 1905 in the village of Marienthal, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia. He was the first of four children of Johann Neufeld (16 September 1868, Marienthal, Molotschna, South Russia – 24 January 1924, Marienthal, Molotschna, South Russia) and Anna (Nachtigal) Neufeld (5 February 1881, Rudnerweide, Molotschna, South Russia – 22 August 1912, Marienthal, Molotschna, South Russia), (his father had four children from a subsequent marriage to Barbara Funk (16 December 1882, Mariawohl, Molotschna, South Russia – 28 January 1965, Tofield, Alberta, Canada). John married Louise Enns (1 March 2016, Pordenau, Molotschna, South Russia – 21 December 2006, Calgary, Alberta), daughter of Jacob N. Enns and Margareta (Isaak) Enns, on 6 August 1939 in Beaverlodge, Alberta. John and Louise had four children: Linda, Arnold, Daniel, and Gerald. John died on 14 October 1993 in Calgary, Alberta.

John was baptized in 1925 and the following year he along with his stepmother and his siblings emigrated from Russia to Canada.

On 31 December 1931 John Neufeld preached his first sermon and on 6 August 1933 he was ordained as a minister by Elder Cornelius D. Harder in the Hoffnungsfeld Mennonite Church near Grande Prairie. Neufeld was a part of the Lymburn congregation from November 1935 until March 1936, after which he was asked to serve in the Beaverlodge congregation.

Neufeld knew he needed some Biblical teaching and wanted to attend Winkler Bible School in Winkler, Manitoba, but the Depression and his need to be at home made it impossible. He wrote to Pastor Ernest Modersohn in Germany asking if any of his Heilig dem Herrn subscribers would be willing to send him some of their old issues. By 1940 he had received over 10 years worth of magazines. His desire to attend seminary was never realized.

John married Louise Enns in 1939. Because many families from Beaverlodge, Wembley, and Lymburn (all Hoffnungsfeld Mennonite Church congregation locations) were moving to other locations, Neufeld also thought of moving. In April 1942 he accepted an invitation from his brother to move to Tofield, Alberta, where the Neufelds joined the Schönseer Mennonite Church (now Tofield Mennonite Church) in 1942.

In 1955 Neufeld was elected as the Elder of the church and remained in that position until he resigned in 1961. Neufeld served on the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta Mission Committee and Program Committee and also was elected to the Christian Service Board, serving on that board for four years.

In 1973, Neufeld and his wife moved to Calgary where they joined First Mennonite Church. Neufeld preached occasionally in the German service for the first few years until ill health forced him to discontinue preaching.

John Neufeld’s heart was in the work of the church and he gave himself with energy, using the best wisdom he had to help in ministry and leadership positions.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 17-09 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2017: #143896. Klassen, Irene. Their Mark: Their Legacy. Calgary, Alberta: Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta, 2006.

Author(s) Alice Unrau
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published November 2017

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MLA style

Unrau, Alice and Richard D. Thiessen. "Neufeld, John (1905-1993)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2017. Web. 16 Jun 2021.,_John_(1905-1993)&oldid=155931.

APA style

Unrau, Alice and Richard D. Thiessen. (November 2017). Neufeld, John (1905-1993). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 June 2021, from,_John_(1905-1993)&oldid=155931.

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