Schellenberg, Katharina Lohrenz (1870-1945)

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Katharina Lohrenz Schellenberg: missionary doctor; born 28 November 1870 in Tiegerweide, Molotschna Colony, South Russia to Elder Abraham Schellenberg (29 August 1845 - 11 April 1920) and Katharina (Lohrenz) Schellenberg (27 March 1847 - 21 August 1884), the second of seven surviving children. She died while in service at Shamshabad, India on 1 January 1945.

Katharina spent her early years in the Molotschna Colony, where her father was an elder in the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church. At the age of 8 she immigrated with her family to the United States, settling in Kansas. She was baptized 20 October 1889 and joined the Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church. She trained as a nurse and served for a short period as the first supervisor of the Goessel [Kansas] Hospital. At the age of 34, following four years of training at a homeopathic school of medicine in Kansas City, Kansas, Katharina became the first woman doctor in the Mennonite Brethren Church. She discontinued her medical practice in her home town of Buhler, Kansas to leave for India in 1906 and begin a medical work at the Mulkapet station in 1907, transferring to other areas later on. She took only two furloughs during nearly 38 years of service in India (1914 and 1923). When she returned in 1926 to work in the new hospital at Shamshabad, she trained her own nurses and worked tirelessly, taking few vacations in the hills during the hot seasons. Although she never married, she adopted a foster child. During World War II she and Helen Warkentin served alone on the mission station for two years.


Jost, Esther. "Free to serve, Katharina Schellenberg (1870-1945)." Women Among the Brethren, ed. Katie Funk Wiebe. Hillsboro, KS : Board of Christian Literature of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 1979.: 82-94.

Wiebe, Katie Funk. "The Life and Work of Dr. K. L. Schellenberg." The Youth Worker 6 (1959).

Author(s) Katie Funk Wiebe
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published November 2006

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MLA style

Wiebe, Katie Funk and Richard D. Thiessen. "Schellenberg, Katharina Lohrenz (1870-1945)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2006. Web. 28 Sep 2020.,_Katharina_Lohrenz_(1870-1945)&oldid=131209.

APA style

Wiebe, Katie Funk and Richard D. Thiessen. (November 2006). Schellenberg, Katharina Lohrenz (1870-1945). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 September 2020, from,_Katharina_Lohrenz_(1870-1945)&oldid=131209.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 795. All rights reserved.

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