Schowalter, Paul (1912-1984)

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Paul Schowalter, preacher, church leader, and historian, was born 28 August 1912 at Kaplaneihof. Baptized at Deutschhof he graduated in 1932 from the Gymnasium (secondary school) at Landau in the Palatinate. The gifted youth studied theology at Greifswald, Erlangen and Tübingen, 1932-36. From 1937-1939 he served as vicar under the guidance of Pastor Christian Neff in the Weierhof and Uffhofen congregations, and was ordained as Neff's successor in 1939. The same year he was drafted and served as an accountant and sergeant in a medical unit in France and Russia until 1945. From then on he served the two congregations until 1971 and lived at Weierhof until his death.

Schowalter reorganized after World War II youth work, baptismal instructions, and conference meetings. He helped to distribute Mennonite Central Committee material aid to refugees from Russia and East and West Prussia. During this time the Weierhof congregation's fellowship and education building was erected. He taught religion at the Weierhof Mennonite-founded secondary school, served as treasurer for the Konferenz der Süddeutschen Mennoniten, 1951-1968, and edited the Gemeindekalender, 1951-1967. He also served in the Youth Commission, Deutsches Mennonitisches Friedenskomitee, as a secretary in the Vereinigung der Deutscher Mennonitengemeinden, and as secretary of the Mennonitischer Geschichtsverein (historical society), 1947-1974. From 1959-1964 he was a member of the Mennonite World Conference committee and in this capacity he twice visited North America.

Schowalter also hosted many North American tour groups at Weierhof and aided them and others in genealogical research. He helped to set up the Mennonitische Forschungsstelle Weierhof (historical and genealogical library) after it had moved there from Krefeld. He wrote approximately 100 articles (history, sermons, book reviews, reports, financial statements), which showed his tremendous knowledge, and ability to interpret history combined with theology. About from 1967 on he suffered from deep mental depressions, was often hospitalized, but still succeeded in better days to publish a book, Stammbuch der Familie Schowalter (Weierhof, 1979). He died 28 August 1984.


Fast, H. "P. Schowalter (1912-1984)." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 42, n.F. 37 (1985): 128-29.

Glück, Theo. Gemeinde Unterwegs (November 1984): 129.

Quiring, Horst. Mennonitische Blätter (October 1984): 152.

Waltner, Gary. 300 Jahre Mennonitengemeinde Weierhof 1682-1982. Weierhof, 1982.

In addition to Schowalter's articles in Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967 and The Mennonite Encyclopedia : a Comprehensive Reference Work on the Anabaptist-Mennonite movement. Hillsboro, KS, etc.; Mennonite Brethren Pub. House, see:

"Johann Eimann (1964-1847): Ein Mennonit der keiner mehr sein durfte." Mennonitisches Jahrbuch (1980): 37-40.

"Mennoniten auf dem Haftelhof in der Pfalz." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 28, n.F. 23 (1971): 39-50.

"Ein Predigerverzeichnis vom Jahre 1766." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 4 (1939): 88-89.

"Wer gab die erste Anregung zu einer Mennonitischen Weltkonferenz." Der Mennonit 15 (1962): 8-9, 102.

"Zum Gedächtnis N. v. d. Zijpp." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 22, n.F. 17 (1965): 7-9.

"Zum Gedenken an Chr. Neff." Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter Jg. 6, n.F. 1 (1949): 2-13.

Author(s) Horst Gerlach
Date Published 1989

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Gerlach, Horst. "Schowalter, Paul (1912-1984)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 26 Feb 2024.,_Paul_(1912-1984)&oldid=146720.

APA style

Gerlach, Horst. (1989). Schowalter, Paul (1912-1984). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 February 2024, from,_Paul_(1912-1984)&oldid=146720.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 799-800. All rights reserved.

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