Reimer, Jakob (1817-1891)

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Jakob Reimer (1817-1891), one of the founders of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia, was born 29 January 1817 in the village of Kronsgarten in the Chortitza Mennonite settlement in the Ukraine, the son of David Reimer and Maria Neufeld. Jakob grew up on his father's farm in Felsenthal, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, where the family settled soon after his birth. Jakob married Wilhelmine Augustine Strauss (22 April 1818, Gnadenfeld, Molotschna, South Russia - 11 November 1889, Wiesenfeld, Molotschna, South Russia) on 16 February 1839, the daughter of Gottlieb August Strauss and Anna (Vatermann) Strauss, and they had 11 children in total.

Jakob was a close friend of his teacher Heinrich Franz I, whom he followed to Gnadenfeld for a year. There he was admitted to the church by baptism. He would have preferred baptism by immersion, having been convinced in 1837, by reading the life of Ann Judson, that it was the proper form. Later he married in Gnadenfeld and became an outstanding member of the village and of the congregation. Inspired by the revival preaching of Eduard Wüst, he joined the revival movement in the late 1840s and promoted it on his travels in the Mennonite churches with Johannes Claassen  and Wilhelm Bartel. Gradually his group left the large church and founded the Mennonite Brethren. On 21 May 1861, he was baptized by immersion by Heinrich Hübert. He was one of the signatories of the petition to the government for permission to settle in the Kuban, which was granted on 4 March 1864. After he had worked in Friedrichsfeld and Blumenau, villages near Andreasfeld, he settled in the Kuban and founded Wiesenfeld, where he died on 13 November 1891.

Jakob Reimer made important contributions to the development of the Mennonite Brethren Church. He opposed the emotional excesses of the early period with determination, and was excommunicated for this reason by his opponents in the group in 1864 through Benjamin Becker. In the next year he was, however, restored and the differences reconciled. From then on he worked quietly in a smaller circle.


Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 81 ff.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.05 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2008: #102943.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 455.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Reimer, Jakob (1817-1891)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 Apr 2021.,_Jakob_(1817-1891)&oldid=146111.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Reimer, Jakob (1817-1891). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 April 2021, from,_Jakob_(1817-1891)&oldid=146111.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 277-278. All rights reserved.

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