Russian Missions

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Russian Missions of the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church had their beginning soon after the establishment of the MB Church. Early preachers to the Russians were Johann Wieler 1883-89, Jacob F. Froese, Adolf Penner 1906-? and Hermann Fast 1892-? Fast was for some time active in St. Petersburg and in Rumania, and after 1901 among the Russians in Canada. The MB Church of Russia established a special fund in 1905 which supported eight Russian evangelists. Some of the Brethren were given prison sentences for disregarding the law against proselyting among the Greek Orthodox; among these were Froese and A. H. Unruh. After the revolution of 1917 work was taken up more freely by tent evangelism (Jacob J. Dyck, 1919), in which a number of Mennonite Brethren were engaged. With few exceptions they were later murdered by the Makhno bandits.

After the establishment of the MB Church in America following the immigration of 1870 and following, MB preachers repeatedly conducted Gospel meetings in the Russian settlements in North Dakota and Saskatchewan, Hermann Fast and John F. Harms serving as evangelists and pastors to the converts. In 1905 the conference published a small Christian periodical, Golos (that is, Voice), with Fast as editor. Congregations were organized at Kief and Dogden, North Dakota, and at Arlee and Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan, which were to some extent affiliated with the MB Conference, but which also held their own conferences. Luke Kravchenko was one of their outstanding ministers. The Board of Foreign Missions of the MB Church has for a number of years supported workers among the Russians of Canada. In 1949 the Canadian Conference was supporting Peter Schroeder at Grand Forks, British Columbia, who worked among the Dukhobors, D. B. Wiens at Arlee, Saskatchewan, and A. Huebert, an itinerant preacher. (See Evangelism.)


Lohrenz, John H. The Mennonite Brethren Church. Hillsboro, 1950. Available in full electronic text at:

Unruh, A. H. Geschichte der Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde 1860-1954. Hillsboro, 1954.

Author(s) H. H Janzen
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Janzen, H. H. "Russian Missions." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 17 May 2022.

APA style

Janzen, H. H. (1959). Russian Missions. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 May 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 393. All rights reserved.

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