Wedel, David C. (1908-2010)

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David C. Wedel (1908-2010), ca. 1950.
Source: Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, KS. Photo Collection 2007-0146.

David C. "D. C." Wedel: college administrator and minister; born 16 March 1908 in Goessel, Kansas, USA to Cornelius C. Wedel (12 November 1871, Alexanderwohl, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia - 6 August 1954, Goessel, Kansas) and Kathrina (Unrau) Wedel (4 August 1871, Friedensruh, Molotschna, South Russia - 6 December 1957). On 5 August 1936, David married Martha Maria Quiring (13 April 1909, Canton, Kansas - 26 July 1997) in Canton, Kansas. Martha was the daughter of Peter P. Quiring (1877-1953) and Anna (Reimer) Quiring (1882-1963). David and Martha had two daughters, Eleanor and Judith. David died on 13 January 2010 at Bethesda Home, Goessel, Kansas, and was buried in Newton, Kansas.

David was raised in Goessel, Kansas and attended Goessel Preparatory School from 1924 to 1925. He graduated from Bethel Academy in 1927.

David taught at Heimbaugh County School and coached Goessel High School basketball from 1927-28. He graduated from Bethel College in 1933. He earned a B.D. degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, NY in 1936.

Wedel was a member of the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church at Goessel until receiving his ordination in 1936 when he took the pastorate of First Mennonite Church in Halstead, Kansas. He served from 1936 to 1946 with a brief hiatus to be director of the Civilian Public Service Camp in Marietta, Ohio, in 1941.

In 1946, then Bethel President Edmund G. Kaufman invited Wedel to come to the college as acting dean while the current dean took a sabbatical, and he taught Bible and religious education from 1946 until 1948. Following that, Wedel went to Denver for one year to get his doctorate in Christian education from Iliff School of Theology, graduating in 1952. Wedel served as Acting President of Bethel College from 1950 to 1951 and as Executive Secretary of the General Conference Mennonite Church Board of Education and Publication from 1951 to 1952. In 1952 Wedel became President of Bethel College, serving in that capacity until 1959.

Following his term as Bethel president, Wedel served as Director of Development and Admissions at Southwestern College, Winfield, Kansas, from 1959-1967. Dave and Martha returned to North Newton in 1967, where he rejoined Bethel College as Director of Development and Church Relations from 1967-1975.

While most of his career was spent in college administration, Wedel was also either interim or associate pastor at a number of congregations from 1971 until 1985, including: Buhler (Kansas) Mennonite Church; Zion Mennonite Church, Elbing, Kansas; Zion Mennonite Church, Souderton, Pennsylvania; Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, Goessel; and Ransom-Hamilton Mennonite Church, Ransom, Kansas.

Wedel wrote a history of Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church entitled The Story of Alexanderwohl, published in 1974 by the Goessel Centennial Committee. He was named Bethel Outstanding Alumnus for 1982. Wedel loved to sing both in English and Low German and sang with the Bethel College Men’s Quartet and Lake Avenue Baptist Church in Rochester.

D. C. Wedel was a man of rectitude, honor and faith.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 7.03 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2013: #82071.

"Dr. David C. Wedel." The 14 January 2010. 22 September 2013.

"Wedel, David C. (1908-)." Mennonite Church USA Archives website. 22 September 2013.

Zuercher, Melanie. "D.C. Wedel, Bethel's Sixth President, Dies at 101." The Mennonite website. 15 January 2010. 22 September 2013.

Archival Records

Mennonite Church USA Archives-North Newton. "David C. Wedel Papers, 1940-1985."

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published September 2013

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MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Wedel, David C. (1908-2010)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. September 2013. Web. 1 Aug 2021.,_David_C._(1908-2010)&oldid=163000.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (September 2013). Wedel, David C. (1908-2010). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 August 2021, from,_David_C._(1908-2010)&oldid=163000.

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