Schmitt, Moses H. (1876-1947)

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Moses H. Schmitt

Moses H. Schmitt: deacon, minister and bishop of the West Zion Mennonite Church near Carstairs, the Mayton Mennonite Church at Mayton, Alberta, the Clearwater Mennonite Church near Youngstown, Alberta, and the Sharon Mennonite Church near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, was born 13 August 1876 near Baden, Ontario, and died at Galt, Ontario, on 23 December 1947. He married Leah Weber (1874-1944) on 26 February 1902. They had four sons and one daughter; two sons died in infancy.

Moses Schmitt grew up, joined and participated in the Mennonite churches in the Berlin (Kitchener) area of Ontario. He first came west in 1900 to look for a homestead and moved the following year. In 1901 he became a founding members of the West Zion Mennonite Church near Carstairs, and was in the lot but not chosen as the congregation's first deacon. He was chosen and ordained as a deacon in 1909, serving in that capacity until 1915 when he was chosen and ordained as a minister.

The circumstances of Moses Schmitt's ordination as a minister were somewhat unusual. John K. Lehman, a minister in the congregation at Mayton, moved to Oregon in the spring of 1915. The conference agreed to provide the Mayton congregation with ministerial support. The West Zion congregation was closest to Mayton, but an additional minister was needed if ministers from West Zion would also assist at Mayton. Moses Schmitt, while remaining on his farm in Carstairs, was ordained to meet the needs of the Mayton congregation.

The Lehman's returned to Mayton in 1917. Conference leaders then asked Moses Schmitt to move to Reist/Youngstown, Alberta, to assist the struggling Clearwater congregation there. In 1919 Schmitt answered a call to serve the Sharon Mennonite Church near Guernsey, after Abram Reist agreed and was ordained as the minister of the Clearwater congregation.

Moses Schmitt served the Sharon congregation near Guernsey as minister from 1919 until his retirement and move back to Ontario in 1940. He was ordained as a bishop on 12 August 1929 to serve both the local congregation and the conference. He was, according to a published obituary, "Loved in the home circle, respected by the community, appreciated in church circles for his humility, loyalty, and sacrificial service."


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

Obituary. Gospel Herald 41(13 January 1948): 47.

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

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

Author(s) Ted D Regehr
Date Published December 2003

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MLA style

Regehr, Ted D. "Schmitt, Moses H. (1876-1947)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2003. Web. 29 Sep 2020.,_Moses_H._(1876-1947)&oldid=143239.

APA style

Regehr, Ted D. (December 2003). Schmitt, Moses H. (1876-1947). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2020, from,_Moses_H._(1876-1947)&oldid=143239.

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