Swartzentruber, Amos (1893-1966)

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Amos Swartzentruber, 1963. Mennonite Archives of Ontario photo. 

Amos Swartzentruber, born 2 September 1893, died 2 July 1966 and his wife Edna (Litwiller) were the first Canadian Amish Mennonite missionaries, serving a short term in Youngstown, Ohio (1923), followed by work in Argentina (1924-63). Born near Baden, Ontario, Amos worked for several farmers following grade school. He had a conversion experience at about the age of 15 during meetings he attended at a United Brethren Church in Kitchener. He was baptized at the Steinmann (Amish) Mennonite Church a few years later. His first wife, Clara Jantzi, died of cancer after three years of marriage. C. F. Derstine, Peter Mayer, and other visiting preachers he heard at First Mennonite Church, Kitchener, Ontario and the Baden Mennonite Mission influenced him to attend Bible college. He enrolled at Bethany Bible Training School (Church of the Brethren) in Chicago, where he met Edna Litwiller, a student from his home community. They were married 23 June 1920, and had three children, Doris, A. Orley, and Anita. Amos was ordained a minister 17 February 1924, the day before he and Edna left for Argentina.

As a missionary Amos was a good administrator and manager. He was elected bishop in 1934. For most of his term of service he was treasurer of the Argentine mission (1927-58), chairman of the building committee, and bishop. The family was faced with tragedy in 1947 as their daughter Doris and her husband Clifford Snyder and two children were en route to missionary service in Argentina; Clifford died of a cerebral hemorrhage on board ship. Health conditions meant retirement for Amos in 1963. The couple moved from Argentina to Kitchener, Ontario.


Bender, John, ed., Pilgerleben, Pilgrims, Peragrinos. Western Ontario Mennonite Conference, 1984.

Springer, Nelson and A. J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliograpy,1631-1961, vol. 2. Scottdale, PA, 1977: 509.

Author(s) John M Bender
Date Published 1990

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, John M. "Swartzentruber, Amos (1893-1966)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 21 Sep 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Swartzentruber,_Amos_(1893-1966)&oldid=93666.

APA style

Bender, John M. (1990). Swartzentruber, Amos (1893-1966). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Swartzentruber,_Amos_(1893-1966)&oldid=93666.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 867. All rights reserved.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.