Schellenberg, David K. (1917-2008)

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David K. Schellenberg, 2004. Source: Terry Smith, Editor, The Messenger

David K. "D. K." Schellenberg: editor, pastor, and archivist; born 26 July 1917 in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada to Jacob R. Schellenberg (3 October 1882 - 20 May 1952) and Aganetha (Kornelsen) Schellenberg (27 December 1879 - 9 March 1966). David married Helen Reimer (20 November 1917 - 9 March 2002, Steinbach, Manitoba) on 21 April 1940. Helen was the daughter of Isaak W. Reimer (b. 17 January 1882) and Margaretha T. (Kroeker) Reimer (b. 10 January 1885) of Steinbach, Manitoba. Dave and Helen Schellenberg had seven children: Gordon, Gary, Carolyn Joy, Ruth, Daniel, Arlene, and David (died at age five in 1950). David died on 6 November 2008 at Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach, Manitoba.

David married Helen Reimer in 1940. She accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized on confession of faith on 25 July 1937 in the Kleine Gemeinde congregation. She was hospitalized on 9 March 2002 and died from a leaking aortic aneurysm on 1 June 2002 at Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach, Manitoba.

David's status as a conscientious objector during World War Two was granted on 7 May 1943, and he served in 1943-1944 in Alternative Service as a truck driver in a lumber camp in north-central Saskatchewan. Reflecting sixty years later, he said he that if faced with the matter of going to war, he would again object.

Schellenberg graduated from Steinbach Bible Institute in 1949. A life-long learner, he returned part-time to graduate in 1985 with a Bachelor of Religious Studies degree from the then renamed Steinbach Bible College.

In the 1950s he served at the Mennonite Invalid Home (later called Rest Haven Nursing Home) in Steinbach, Manitoba, as an orderly and an administrator.

After the Western Gospel Mission (WGM) was formed in 1946, Schellenberg served as a worker and then became Field Man, an administrator responsible to visit WGM missionaries. He reduced his Field Man duties to half-time when he agreed to serve as a pastor in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. From 1959-1965 he served as the pioneer pastor of (now) Portage Evangelical Church, an Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMC) church.

From 1957 to 1962 Schellenberg served as the assistant editor of the English language section, the Christian Family Circle, within Christlicher Familienfreund (Christian Family Friend). In 1963 Schellenberg became the first editor of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference English language magazine The Messenger.

Schellenberg at first commuted occasionally from Portage la Prairie, but then relocated to Steinbach to serve as Executive Secretary to the Board of Christian Education and Publications (later renamed the Board of Education and Publication) and editor of The Messenger until 1987.

It was his delight to place pictures of his children and grandchildren on the magazine’s cover. He retired in 1987, but said in 2001, "If I were still editor, I could start over with my great-grandchildren!"

In retirement David contributed two columns, "Pages from the Past" (focused on history) and "By the Way" (reflective on a range of topics); served as the local church reporter for Steinbach Evangelical Mennonite Church; and occasionally contributed an editorial or feature article.

Schellenberg displayed a keen interest in EMC and wider Anabaptist history. As a national staff person he helped to collect thousands of documents. He served on the EMC’s Archives Committee and as conference representative to the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada. He was later designated as the EMC's Archivist Emeritus.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry anDatabase of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 7.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2013: #117040.

"Helen (Reimer) Schellenberg 1917-2002." The Messenger 40 no. 12 (26 June 2002): 14.

Hildebrand, Jerry. Training Servant Leaders: A History of Steinbach Bible College 1936-1996. Manitoba: Steinbach Bible College, 1997: 149.

"Rev. David K. Schellenberg 1917-2008." The Messenger 46 no. 21 (3 December 2008): 13.

Schellenberg, Dave K. "Reflecting on a C.O. anniversary." The Messenger 39 no. 9 (9 May 2001): 3-6.

Schellenberg, Dave K. "After 60 years, would I do it again?" The Messenger 43 no. 12 (29 June 2005): 4-6.

Schellenberg, Dave K. "Church planting and my family." The Messenger 43 no. 14 (17 August 2005): 17.

Smith, Terry M. "Rev. Dave K. Schellenberg, a shaper of the EMC." The Messenger 49, no. 12 (December 2011): 5.

Archival Records

D. K. Schellenberg papers are part of the collection at the EMC Archives.

Author(s) Terry Smith
Date Published February 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Smith, Terry. "Schellenberg, David K. (1917-2008)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2013. Web. 13 Jul 2024.,_David_K._(1917-2008)&oldid=118709.

APA style

Smith, Terry. (February 2013). Schellenberg, David K. (1917-2008). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 July 2024, from,_David_K._(1917-2008)&oldid=118709.

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