Wieler, Johann (1839-1889)

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Johann Wieler: a Mennonite Brethren Church evangelist; born 23 November 1839 in Chortitza, Chortitza Mennonite Settlement, South Russia. His parents were Johann Wieler (29 June 1809, Chortitza, Chortitza, South Russia – 29 March 1894) and Anganeta (Braun) Wieler (18 September 1808, Rosenthal, Chortitza, South Russia – 14 February 1864). Johann married Helena Thielmann (8 July 1851, Neukirch, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement, South Russia – 5 September 1928, Coaldale, Alberta, Canada) on 28 May 1872 in Friedensfeld, Borozenko, South Russia. She was the daughter of Jacob Jacob Thielmann (24 November 1810 – 3 August 1862) and Agatha (Letkemann) Thielmann (28 August 1819 – 4 April 1876). Johann and Helena had ten children, with four living to adulthood: Johann, Lydia (1st wife of Franz C. Thiessen), Helena, and Margaretha (2nd wife of Franz C. Thiessen). Johann died on 30 July 1889 in Bucharest, Romania.

Johann pursued a vigorous course of studies, thus qualifying himself as a teacher, and was particularly interested in the Russian language. He taught in the secondary school in Halbstadt. As a young man he was converted and joined the Mennonite Brethren (MB) Church; as a minister he showed particular gifts for evan­gelistic work. He was deeply interested in evangelizing the Russians and even proposed to the MB Conference that it engage in missionary activities in this field in spite of the fact that such work was strictly prohibited by the Russian govern­ment. When the MB Conference rejected his proposal, he launched out on his own. This course brought him under suspicion with government officials, and when he baptized a Russian woman he was forced to flee, and remained in seclusion for some time. He finally immigrated to Germany, where he joined the Baptists. His family followed. He was, however, soon ordered to leave Germany and thus came to Romania, where he ministered in a Russian Baptist Church in the town of Tultcha for approximately two years. When a new church building was under construction, he fell from a ladder and thus received fatal injuries; he died 30 July 1889 at the age of 49.


GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.00 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2006: #494489.

Gutsche, Waldemar. Westliche Quellen des russischen Stundismus. Anfänger der evangelischen Bewegung in Russland. Kassel, 1956.

Unruh, A. H. Die Geschichte der Mennoniten-Bruedergemeinde 1860-1954. Hillsboro, KS.: The General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America, 1954.

Author(s) Jacob J. Toews
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published August 2013

Cite This Article

MLA style

Toews, Jacob J. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Wieler, Johann (1839-1889)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2013. Web. 22 May 2024. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wieler,_Johann_(1839-1889)&oldid=86044.

APA style

Toews, Jacob J. and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2013). Wieler, Johann (1839-1889). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2024, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wieler,_Johann_(1839-1889)&oldid=86044.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 948. All rights reserved.

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