Pauls, Wilhelm G. (1902-1990)

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Wilhelm Gerhard Pauls: minister and educator; born 28 October 1902 in Chortitza, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia, the youngest of eight children (of the eight, four died young) of Gerhard Pauls (11 November 1853 - 3 January 1920) and Anna (Harder) Pauls (1 January 1865, Schönhorst, Chortitza, South Russia - 13 October 1932). On 5 October 1924 he married Maria Froese (14 February 1901, Rosengart, Chortitza, South Russia - 5 January 1996, Crossfield, Alberta, Canada) in Rosengart, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia. Wilhelm and Maria had three children: Wilhelm, Erwin, and Serena. Wilhelm died on 14 November 1990 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Wilhelm attended Zentralschule and the Gymnasium in Alexandrovsk. He was baptized in 1921 and married Maria Froese in 1924.

Wilhelm, Maria and their young son, Willie, immigrated to Canada in 1926. Two children born to them in Canada, Erwin and Serena, died at a young age. In 1931 he became a minister in the newly formed Neukirchner Mennoniten Gemeinde von Chinook Sedalia and was ordained by Aeltester Wilhelm Martens on 18 February 1934.

Wilhelm served the congregation until 1937, when the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta asked him to lead a Bible School being established in Didsbury, Alberta. Known initially as the Neubergtaler Bibelschule, it was renamed the Menno Bible Institute in 1940 as it began to attract students from throughout the province. Pauls served as principal from 1937 to 1962, teaching courses in Biblical studies and German literature and grammar. While in Didsbury, Pauls was a lay minister in the Bergthal Mennonite Church.

Wilhelm became active in the Conference of Mennonites in Alberta, serving as Vice Chairman in 1949-1953 and as Chairman in 1954-1962. He also served on the Mission Board and the Finance Committee of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada. Maria Pauls was active in the provincial conference, helping in 1948 to organize the Alberta Frauen Konferenz, later known as Alberta Women in Mission. She served as its president for the first ten years.

Wilhelm and Maria retired to Calgary in 1967 and joined First Mennonite Church, where Wilhelm preached regularly. Wilhelm also found time to write and publish poetry in High and Low German. Some of his poems appeared in Der Bote. His best-known poem is "Mien easchtet Maltje," published in Harvest Anthology.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.05 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #164033.

Klassen, Irene, and others. Their Mark, Their Legacy. Calgary, Alberta: Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta, 2006.

Pauls, Wilhelm G. Gedichte verschiedenen Inhalts in hoch- und plattdeutscher Sprache. Calgary, Alberta: WG Pauls, 1984.

Pauls, Wilhelm G. "Mien easchtet Maltje." In Harvest: Anthology of Mennonite Writing in Canada. Centennial Committee of the Mennonite Historical Society of Manitoba, 1974: 123-35.

Pauls, Wilhelm G. "The Origins and Early Years of MBI." Mennonite Historian IX (September 1983): 1-2; (December 1983): 3.

Author(s) Wesley Berg
Date Published November 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Berg, Wesley. "Pauls, Wilhelm G. (1902-1990)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2010. Web. 21 Jun 2021.,_Wilhelm_G._(1902-1990)&oldid=95988.

APA style

Berg, Wesley. (November 2010). Pauls, Wilhelm G. (1902-1990). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2021, from,_Wilhelm_G._(1902-1990)&oldid=95988.

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