Voth, Andreas (1821-1885)

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Andreas Voth, a Mennonite Brethren educator in Rus­sia, was born in 1821 at Brenkenhoffswalde, Brandenburg, immigrated to Russia with his parents in 1834 and settled in Gnadenfeld in the Molotschna Mennonite settlement. Voth had a better than or­dinary education, with Wilhelm and Friedrich Lange and Heinrich Franz as his teachers. He served as a village teacher at Pastwa and Halbstadt. In 1853 he left teaching to enter business, but though he was not very successful in business and was burdened by it, he still spent much of his time and energy sacrificially. He re­jected the office of minister, feeling himself un­worthy of it, but served as a deacon. Voth possessed special gifts for mediation. He mediated between the ministers and teachers, between teachers and Russian officials, and between the Mennonite body and the Russian government. In all circles he en­joyed respect and confidence. His service as chair­man of the Molotschna school board 1871-83 was very fruitful. He created a fund of 2,000 rubles for promising young men who wanted to prepare for teaching. Under his leadership the entire school sys­tem was reformed. The Halbstadt Zentralschule added a two-year pedagogical course for village teachers, followed later by other Zentralschulen. Voth founded the first secondary school for girls in his own home and at his own risk. He also played an essential role in revitalizing the teachers' confer­ences. When he retired from the board the Mo­lotschna settlement and its subsidiaries had a unified program of instruction. In 1877 the Russian gov­ernment gave him a medal in recognition of his edu­cational work. Unfortunately, in his good nature, Voth allowed himself to be used as a tool by the wealthier landowners to try to secure special favors for them from the government at St. Petersburg. For this he was severely censured by the govern­ment minister. He vowed that he would never again act in that capacity. In consequence these men abandoned him, disregarding the great sacri­fices he had made. He died on 17 June 1885, an economically ruined man. He had laid the founda­tions upon which Klett and Heese were able to build the educational system to new heights.


Braun, Peter. Der Molotschnaer Mennoniten Schulrat, 1869-1919. Zum Gedanktag seines 50jährigen Bestehens. Wladimir Suess, ed. Goettingen: Der Goettinger Arbeitskreis, 2001.

Friesen, P. M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 494, 646, 648.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 442.

Author(s) Abraham Braun
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Braun, Abraham. "Voth, Andreas (1821-1885)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 12 Apr 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Voth,_Andreas_(1821-1885)&oldid=146320.

APA style

Braun, Abraham. (1959). Voth, Andreas (1821-1885). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 April 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Voth,_Andreas_(1821-1885)&oldid=146320.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 857-858. All rights reserved.

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