Wiens, Heinrich Jacob (1800-1872)

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Heinrich Jacob Wiens: minister and elder; born 15 October 1800 in Marienburg, West Prussia, the son of Jacob Johann Wiens (ca. 1762-1825) and Helena (Wall) Wiens (b. ca. 1762). Heinrich and his wife Maria had at least three children. Heinrich died 15 October 1872 in Rosenort, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, South Russia.

Heinrich and his parents immigrated from Einlage, West Prussia to Schönau, Molotschna Mennonite settlement, South Russia in 1803. He was elected minister of the Ohrloff Mennonite Church in Molotschna in 1825 and became elder of the Ohrloff church in 1842. He was deprived of his office in 1846 and expelled from the country because of differences he had with Johann Cornies and the Fürsorgekomitee. His case was similar to that of Jacob Warkentin. Both cases are illustrations of the problems that can con­front a Mennonite community when its civil and re­ligious authorities feel that one is interfering with the duties of the other. This case has been dealt with at length by P. M. Friesen, Franz Isaac, and others. A unique sideline is that Wiens became the martyr hero for the conservative Mennonites, who pub­lished his account in Manitoba, whence it was taken to Mexico and there is cherished as an item of classic martyr literature.

After Wiens's exile had been announced he wrote a farewell sermon that was read to the congrega­tion. He went to Prussia in 1847 and later returned to Russia where he lived as private citizen un­molested, preaching only on special occasions such as funerals.


Ein Abschied und Bericht wie es in der Molotschnerkolonie in d. früh. Jahre zugegangen ist, und wie die Vorgesetzten den ehr. Aeltesten Heinrich Wiens von Gnadenheim aus dem Lande verwiesen. haben. Seine Rückkehr nebst Beschreibung der ganzen Reise. Manitoba, 1903.

Friesen, Peter M. Die Alt-Evangelische Mennonitische Brüderschaft in Russland (1789-1910) im Rahmen der mennonitischen Gesamtgeschichte. Halbstadt: Verlagsgesellschaft "Raduga", 1911: 76.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 5.00 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2006: #47016.

Author(s) Cornelius Krahn
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published December 2007

Cite This Article

MLA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Richard D. Thiessen. "Wiens, Heinrich Jacob (1800-1872)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2007. Web. 18 May 2022.,_Heinrich_Jacob_(1800-1872)&oldid=139586.

APA style

Krahn, Cornelius and Richard D. Thiessen. (December 2007). Wiens, Heinrich Jacob (1800-1872). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2022, from,_Heinrich_Jacob_(1800-1872)&oldid=139586.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 949. All rights reserved.

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