Reist, Abram (1893-1984)

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Abram Reist: minister of the Clearwater Mennonite Church at Reist, near Youngstown, Alberta, the West Zion Mennonite Church near Carstairs, Alberta, and the Mount Calvary Mennonite Church at Westward Ho, Alberta, was born on 2 December 1893 near May City, Iowa, and died at Carstairs 28 August 1984. He married Alma Snider in 1918. They were the parents of four daughters and one son.

Abram Reist's family moved from May City, Iowa, to South Haven, Michigan in 1893, and then, six years later, to northern Michigan. In 1910 the family moved again, this time to a new region of the Canadian prairies near a new railway being built from Saskatoon to Calgary. They, with a small group of friends and relatives, established the new community of Reist, located near Clearwater Lake about ten kilometers north of the nearest railway shipping point at Youngstown, Alberta. The group did not have a minister, but began a Sunday School and organized itself as a new Mennonite congregation named the Clearwater Mennonite Church.

In the summer of 1914 Abram Reist found work on a farm in the Didsbury area, and began to attend the Sunday School and worship services of the West Zion Mennonite Church. Here he was converted and baptized, but then returned to Reist/Youngstown. In 1918 he visited his former home in Michigan where he married Alma Snider who accompanied him back to Reist/Youngstown. He was ordained on 26 May 1919 as a minister in the Clearwater congregation.

The Mennonite settlement at Reist/Youngstown broke up in 1924, due to prolonged drought. Abram and Alma Reist moved first to the High River area where they rented a farm, but after a year they relocated to the Carstairs area to serve the West Zion congregation during a time when their pastor, Henry J. Harder, was away. Reist continued to serve as Harder's assistant until 1948 when he took over the leadership of the Mount Calvary Mennonite Church at Westward Ho. He continued to serve there until his retirement in the mid-1960s when the Reists again returned to Carstairs where they lived until his death in 1984 and her death three years later.


Regehr, T.D. Faith, Life and Witness in the Northwest, 1903-2003. Centennial History of the Northwest Mennonite Conference. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 2003.

Harder, Richard, ed. West Zion Mennonite Church. Centennial Scrapbook, 1901-2001. Carstairs , Alberta : West Zion Mennonite Church, 2000: 31.

Stauffer, Ezra. History of the Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference. Ryley, Alberta: Alberta-Saskatchewan Mennonite Conference, 1960: 60.

Author(s) Ted D Regehr
Date Published December 2003

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MLA style

Regehr, Ted D. "Reist, Abram (1893-1984)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2003. Web. 22 Sep 2021.,_Abram_(1893-1984)&oldid=113873.

APA style

Regehr, Ted D. (December 2003). Reist, Abram (1893-1984). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 September 2021, from,_Abram_(1893-1984)&oldid=113873.

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