Peters, Hermann (1841-1928)

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Hermann Peters: founder and elder of the Apostolische Brüdergemeinde; born in Gnadenheim, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, Russia in 1841. He joined the Mennonite Brethren Church ca. 1860 and was apparently among those who expressed their newly found joy of salvation through shouts and the use of musical instruments and in some legalistic forms of piety. When the Mennonite Brethren disapproved of this wing, Peters went his own way. For some time his followers were known as Herman Peters-Brüder. Originally they insisted that since Christ "took the bread and broke it," Christians should always do the same; for this reason they were nicknamed "Brotbrecher."

After this new group, consisting of some 20 fami­lies, was organized in 1865-66 in the Molotschna, Peters moved with them to the Crimea, where other Mennonites joined them. In 1900-1 he took the group to Siberia, settling northeast of Omsk near Kiryanovka and Trussovka. Here the group became prosperous and lost some of its narrow views. Com­mon names among them were Peters, Becker, Penner, Unruh, Martens, Voth, and Wedel. Peters died 10 February 1928, and was succeeded as elder by H. J. Warkentin. A small group of Hermann Peters' fol­lowers came to America in 1874 and still exists as the Fairview (Oklahoma) Church of God.

Other tenets emphasized by Hermann Peters were the refusal to accept any form of government service, extreme separation from the world and all other Mennonite groups, rejection of all innovations, refusal to observe holidays, prohibition of photographs, and maintenance of simplicity. In general, their original attitude was very much like that of the first Kleine Gemeinde or the Old Order Amish.


Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 236, 293, 378, 381, 393.

Hildebrand, John J. Aus der Vorgeschichte der Einwanderung der Mennoniten aus Russland nach Manitoba: (zum 75-jährigen Jubiläum dieser Einwanderung). Winnipeg, 1949: 78.

Hildebrand, John J.Sibirien. Erster Teil. Allgemeine Übersicht über Sibirien und der Gründung der Mennonitensiedlungen in Sibirien, Zweiter Teil. Geschichte der Evangelischen Mennonitengottesgemeinde in Sibirien. Winnipeg, 1942: 53, 96.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius. "Peters, Hermann (1841-1928)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 10 Jul 2020.,_Hermann_(1841-1928)&oldid=126138.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius. (1959). Peters, Hermann (1841-1928). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 July 2020, from,_Hermann_(1841-1928)&oldid=126138.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 153. All rights reserved.

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