Wedel, Cornelius P. (1836-1900)

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Cornelius P. Wedel: minister and conference leader; born 14 August 1836 in Waldheim, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia, the son of Peter Wedel (b. 4 February 1780) and Maricke (Schmidt) Wedel (30 September 1797, Klein Konopat, Prussia – 1 April 1905). He married Helena Wiebe (2 September 1840, Margenau, Molotschna – 28 March 1866, Alexanderwohl, Molotschna), daughter of Jacob D. Wiebe (1805-1853) and Anna (Wiens) Wiebe (1810-1876) on 21 June 1858. Cornelius and Helena had four children: Cornelius, Anna, Jacob, and Peter. After his first wife’s death, Cornelius married Eva Pankratz (21 February 1845, Alexanderwohl, Molotschna – 15 April 1923, USA), daughter of Jacob Pankratz (1796-1869) and Sara (Buller) Pankratz (1803-1872), on 9 June 1866. Cornelius and Eva had six children (two others died in infancy): Jacob, Heinrich, Daniel, Johann, Herman, and Eva. Cornelius died on 25 January 1900 in Goessel, Kansas, USA.

Cornelius grew up in Waldheim, Molotschna and prepared for a career as a teacher. He began his teaching career in 1855 and joined the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church in 1856.

In 1874 he along with his family and the majority of the members of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church immigrated to the United States, settling in the southwestern part of Marion County, Kansas. Wedel was called to serve as a minister in the re-established Alexanderwohl congregation in Kansas, elected on 15 February 1876.

In 1880 Cornelius, along with a group of people from the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, founded the Alexanderwohl (later known as Goessel) Mennonite Brethren Church, where he served as minister for 20 years. In 1886 he was ordained as elder of the church.

Wedel served the larger Mennonite Brethren Church in several capacities, serving as moderator of the General Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church in 1891 and 1893, and as a committee member on the first Mission Committee. He also traveled for many years as an evangelist.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 7.04 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2013: #27781.

Lohrenz, John H. The Mennonite Brethren Church. Hillsboro, KS: The Board of Foreign Missions of The Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church of North America, 1950. Available in full electronic text at:

Toews, John B. A Pilgrimage of Faith: The Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia and North America, 1860-1990. Winnipeg, MB: Kindred Productions, 1993: 161.

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published November 2013

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MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Wedel, Cornelius P. (1836-1900)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2013. Web. 10 Dec 2023.,_Cornelius_P._(1836-1900)&oldid=163513.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (November 2013). Wedel, Cornelius P. (1836-1900). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from,_Cornelius_P._(1836-1900)&oldid=163513.

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