Previous | Next

Spring 1997 · Vol. 26 No. 1 · pp. 16–29 

The Karaganda Mennonite Brethren Church: A Requiem?

John B. Toews

The modern city of Karaganda is not a tourist’s paradise. This city of some half a million appears “lost” in the vast dry steppe of northern Kazakhstan, the second largest republic in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Bordered by Siberia in the north, China in the east and the Caspian Sea in the west, Kazakhstan’s vastness is overwhelming. Its wealth is based on oil, mining, metallurgy, chemical production, and food processing. Alma-Ata, its beautiful southern capital, hardly prepares the visitor for the shock of Karaganda. Founded in 1932, the city is the center of the third largest coal mining region in the CIS. Karaganda is also known for its concrete and brick plants, steel milling, and the manufacture of mining equipment. Today’s Karaganda is an uncomfortable, drab city. The visitor is struck by its massive slag piles, the structural silhouettes of its many coal mines, the intense pollution, and the large residential areas which have collapsed into the shallow mine shafts.

Through oppression and the struggle for identity, a distinctive people reaches out to their neighbors.


The city was the product of Stalin’s First Five Year Plan (1928-32) which called for the rapid industrialization of the Soviet empire. Labor for the new enterprise initially came from the kulaks, the so-called “tight-fisted” peasants who resisted the forced collectivization of agriculture. Dispossessed and disenfranchised, they were sent to the northern forests or industrial complexes of Central Asia. The first wave of these {17} prisoners arrived in Karaganda in 1930-31. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s the city was at the center of a vast penal colony, possibly measuring three hundred kilometers in circumference. Much of it was directly controlled by the NKVD (secret police) in Moscow. In one sense it was a prison camp, in another a vast industrial and agricultural development program utilizing mainly prison labor. For the captives, work in the agricultural settlements was always preferable to the coal mines.


It was here in Karaganda, far from its origins in the southern Ukraine, that the Mennonite Brethren Church reemerged in the mid-1950s. Like all Mennonites in Russia, the Brethren had been scattered and decimated by Stalinist repression during the 1930s and 1940s. The Mennonite Brethren story goes back to the founding of Karaganda in the early 1930s. The first Mennonite exiles arriving in the region came from such settlements along the Volga River like Old and New Samara. Currently little is known of their exile experiences. Victor Fast, formerly the senior pastor of the Brethren Church in Karaganda relates the story of an aged parishioner:

She told me that some seven thousand people arrived in several trainloads. Two years later only two thousand were still alive. They were simply unloaded on the steppe and had to build sod huts. During the first winter some fifty people lived in such a small hut. There was little water and little protection [against the elements]. Naturally hunger, sickness, and death prevailed. 1

A Mennonite prisoner from Blumenort, Molotschna, in the Ukraine describes his first impression of Karaganda when he arrived there in 1936:

We arrived in the old section of Karaganda . . . . As far as the eye could see there were large and small piles of refuse. A smog consisting of smoke and soot hung over the entire region. We were led down a single street. Pitiful, crumbling earthen huts, built halfway into the ground, stood on both sides of the street. Tall weeds covered the sod roofs. Here and there were small dirty windows. Nothing green anywhere—only the monotonous, gray landscape. 2

In his memoirs this prisoner, Abram Berg, documents the rapidly expanding population on the Kazakhstan steppe. Thousands like him would be sent to the region as Stalin’s “Great Purge” swallowed up its victims during 1937-38, and incarcerated at least {18} some of them in the Karaganda region.

A substantial increase in the region’s German population occurred in 1941. Hitler’s invasion of Russia marked all Soviet Germans as potential collaborators, and forced deportation brought many thousands of exiles to the Central Asian Republics including Kazakhstan. Here the Germans were placed under a military style supervision (Spetskomandantura) which officially ended in 1956. As they were permitted greater freedom of movement, both Germans and Mennonites gravitated to cities where their families had managed to establish themselves. For some, the presence of relatives and friends, the freedom to use High German or Low German, and the practice of familiar customs offered a level of identity and community unknown for more than two decades. They were satisfied with again being German or Mennonite Soviet style, even if this excluded religion.


The spiritually minded had always demanded something more. Like others of their kinsfolk, they had experienced incredible dispersion, many years of isolation, the destruction of their immediate and extended families as well as the loss of community and religious leaders. Yet their religious quest took precedence amid the turmoil associated with relocation and economic survival. The first Mennonites coming to Karaganda appear to have worshiped with a small Baptist group in the city. The exact date of its founding cannot be determined nor is anything currently known about the number or background of its adherents. Franz Ediger, a prisoner returning to his Karaganda family in 1948, reported the existence of a small Russian Baptist congregation. 3 By then it was legally recognized by the Soviet state thanks to allied leaders at Yalta in 1944, who demanded Stalin officially recognize Russia’s evangelical Christians. Subsequently the All Union Congress of Evangelical Christian Baptists (AUCECB), organized in Moscow in October, 1944, became the umbrella agency for all officially registered Baptist churches.

As men and women were steadily freed from the Spetskomandantura after 1956, the Karaganda Mennonite population rapidly increased. Tensions increased as they swelled the ranks of the Karaganda Baptist Church. The local presbyter, Ivan Yevstratenko, ruled authoritatively and insisted on carefully submitting to government authorities who scrutinized members, ministers, and even sermon content. The returning Mennonite exiles, congregational in temperament and long accustomed to challenging the prevailing system, now began to hold their own special house services in connection with funerals and birthday celebrations. {19} Stress and disagreements associated with these and other issues came to a head when a group of Mennonite dissidents left the Baptist Church on December 15, 1956. 4

Fortunately the secession coincided with the release of two experienced Mennonite Brethren ministers. One was the frequently imprisoned minister, Dietrich Pauls, now aged seventy. The second, David Klassen, also ordained, was subsequently appointed as elder of the fledgling congregation. Not long after, four additional ministers were elected and ordained. By the end of 1958, membership in the dissident group neared one thousand, thanks to widespread revival during 1957-58 and the steady return of exiles to Karaganda. Initially the rapidly expanding congregation met in various private homes. 5


Meanwhile police pressure remained constant and unrelenting. In the summer of 1962, three leaders—Heinrich Zorn, Heinrich Wiebe, and elder David Klassen—were arrested and tried. Shortly after, their co-worker Otto Wiebe was arrested and sentenced to four years, an imprisonment he did not survive. 6 The scattered congregation continued to function in secrecy as best it could, simultaneously meeting in as many as ten private homes in the suburbs. Prayer meetings and Bible studies now sustained the spiritual heartbeat of the hard-pressed congregation.

For some the pressure was more than they could bear. They sought safety from harassment by joining the nearby Kopai Baptist congregation, which operated under the protection of the AUCECB. This action, as the ancient church experienced in the mid-third century persecutions of emperor Decius, divided the congregation into “those who did and those who didn’t.” Some, it was felt, were unwilling to bear the cross of Christ.


Matters became even more complex for the emerging Brethren church. Its original secession from the local Baptist church in 1956 sought to address the question of an “inadequate gospel.” Among other things, communist authorities had banned the preaching of repentance and conversion as well as the attendance of young people. In 1963, a group within the AUCECB began to clamor for reform and an end to cooperation with atheistic authorities. Soon the Karaganda Baptist church, led by the presbyter Pyotr Posharizky, began to function along reform lines. A few leaders among the struggling Brethren now wondered whether it was not appropriate to once again cooperate or even rejoin the Baptists. {20} 7

The struggle within the Karaganda Mennonite Brethren Church intensified. Two influential leaders convinced some members to rejoin the Baptists and soon some two hundred applications were processed. Anticipating an imminent amalgamation, the Baptist presbyter allowed German language services on Sunday afternoons, attended by both Mennonites and German-speaking Baptists and served by ministers from both congregations. All the while, even though state officials and Baptist church authorities demanded unification, Brethren opposition to the planned merger intensified. Finally, in March, 1965, the Brethren responded with a decisive no! Only special meetings and a spirit of reconciliation prevented a permanent breach. One thing was clear: the Brethren church would go its own way.


A special membership meeting on May 28, 1965, drafted an eleven-point memorandum signifying the group’s intention of reinstating the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia. An interim executive of four was elected to coordinate church activities in each of four districts. In November, 1965, a poll of the entire congregation generated 703 names all of whom were intent on joining an independent Brethren church. However enthusiastic and determined the young church may have been, it had to contend with formidable difficulties. Under Soviet law it was an illegal organization and so all its activities were carried on in secrecy. 8

Less than a year after its organizational vote, the AUCECB invited the congregation to send two delegates to its forthcoming Baptist Congress. The invitation was accepted. The two delegates, Wilhelm Matthies and Heinrich Woelk, even voted at the congress, an action they later regretted. While in Moscow, inquiries were also made with the AUCECB executive and the government Council for Religious Affairs regarding an independent registration for the Mennonite Brethren Church.

At this point there were relatively few Mennonites desiring a peoplehood separate from the Baptists, a fact which became painfully clear during the sessions of the Congress. An unauthorized member of their own church petitioned the Congress to squelch any request for an independent registration of the Karaganda Brethren. His petition was signed by prominent German Baptists many of whom still carried Russian Mennonite names. A well-articulated appeal by Wilhelm Matthies nevertheless convinced the General Assembly to give its approval to the independent existence of the Mennonite Brethren Church. 9

In 1967, negotiations with the Council on Religious Affairs in {21} Moscow finally brought assurances that the Karaganda Mennonite Brethren could be registered apart from the AUCECB. Official approval was given on April 28, 1967, but not before the congregation drafted a constitution and a confession of faith—all within forty-eight hours. For its statement of belief, the Karaganda church relied on the 1902 Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith. 10 Now the church leaders petitioned officials for permission to build a church, which was granted in Moscow on September 3, 1968. Construction began two days later. A building capable of seating five hundred people stood complete by the end of November, and was dedicated on December 15, 1968. 11 The completion of the project required over one hundred meetings between church representatives and various levels of government.


Why did some one thousand Mennonite Brethren and at least three hundred Old Church Mennonites separate from the Russian Baptists who had provided shelter and spiritual nurture during their dispersion and exile? The question of cultural identity was certainly of paramount importance. In the prerevolutionary Russian Empire, Mennonites formed a distinct peoplehood characterized by self-enclosed villages, distinct languages, and time-honored folk customs. They further enhanced their sense of belonging by participating in joint Bible conferences, ministerial courses, song festivals, and even All-Mennonite congresses. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the flow of cultural and religious material from Germany continued to mold their ethnic and spiritual identity.

Their secure sense of peoplehood was not destined to last. Anti-German sentiments escalated during the course of the first World War, the German occupation of the Ukraine in 1918, and Hitler’s invasion in 1941. The last vestiges of Mennonite cohesion vanished with their forced deportation to Central Asia and Siberia in 1941, the induction of women into Stalin’s Work Army in 1942, and the long duration of the Spetskomandantura. Collectively, their experience was degrading and dehumanizing. War time propaganda further ensured a deep seated anti-German antagonism among the general population which often spilled over into the world of the everyday.

Karaganda Mennonite Brethren church records suggest a high level of discomfort in being surrounded by a completely Russian religious environment. As soon as it became possible, German Baptists and Mennonites joined together in the Russian Baptist Church for German services on Sunday afternoon. For some, German sermons and hymns were part of their {22} spiritual formation and they were reluctant to part with what was personal and familiar. Others may have unconsciously rejected a Slavic identity which they regarded as culturally inferior to their own.


Though the question of cultural identity was important, most of the issues separating the Karaganda Mennonites from their Baptist friends were of a theological nature. They interpreted their Bibles differently. In the early days of the Karaganda affiliation, Brethren leaders were already distressed that the registered Baptists accommodated to state pressure by not preaching repentance and conversion. The Karaganda records occasionally refer to the AUCECB as Weltkirche, an obvious reference to its cooperation with the atheistic state. 12 These sentiments were partially shared by a group within the Russian Baptists, the Initsiativniki, who broke away from the AUCECB on the issue of church-state separation and organized the Council of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists (CCECB). They, like some of the Mennonites, had found spiritual nourishment and shelter within the Baptist fold, only to discover that their relative immunity from communist harassment involved cooperation with the state.

The notion that the AUCECB was compromising the Gospel went beyond its liaison with government authorities. The registered Baptists, Brethren leaders felt, were not fully embodying the Gospel. Since their beginnings in 1860, Brethren interacted with both German and Russian Baptists, yet tenaciously resisted amalgamation. Though they agreed on issues like conversion and the meaning of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, there had always been some unresolved issues. Menno Simons rejected the oath, advocated non-resistance, and insisted on the separation of the church and the state. His memory was not forgotten among the Karaganda Brethren. There were other concerns: the need for church discipline; an active living of the way of the cross; 13 regular Bible studies and prayer meetings; the priesthood of all believers which vested ultimate authority in the congregation; 14 and lifestyle issues which needed careful definition and regulation. 15 Church members lived in submission to one another, admonished and encouraged each other, attended services regularly, and lived simply and modestly. 16


In part the emerging sense of Brethren identity was forged by perceived Baptist shortcomings. Yet now that they stood alone, the Karaganda Brethren were obligated to generate a vision of how things should {23} be. As they thought of what they wished to become, they perhaps unwittingly began to reflect on what they had been. Perhaps they heard the sound of distant drums summoning them to the past. Three decades ago they still possessed their own culture, language and church. Now when the opportunity to rebuild presented itself, the old blueprints were still available.

Authoritative models of what it meant to be the church were lodged in the experiences and memories of the past. Many women, but comparatively few men, had survived the Soviet holocaust. During the worst years of dispersion and terror, women through evening house meetings ensured some continuity of spirituality and Bible knowledge among the children and youth. During the 1950s, ministers returning from the exile camps now claimed ownership of this spiritual legacy. Regrettably, male memories were deemed authentic while female ones were set aside. The reconstruction of the Karaganda Brethren Church depended essentially on the memories and possible prejudices of a few aging ministers ordained in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Dislocation and exile left the majority of parishioners with limited Bible knowledge and no experience in the everyday realities of church life. An entire generation had been deprived of instruction in matters of faith and practice. Confronted by the difficult task of spiritual reconstruction, they found conformity to the past comforting and reassuring. Gradually the entire prerevolutionary legacy of the Brethren was reintroduced into the Karaganda church—theology, organization, and lifestyle definitions, as well as customs and liturgies. The authority of the past, it seemed, was absolute. Old leaders guaranteed continuity and provided authoritative guidance for new practices and structures. This best explains the pervasive concern with the “laying on of hands” by those who themselves were once ordained. Experience taught inexperience while ancient wisdom guided newly emerging ministers and deacons. 17


The Karaganda church documents betray a sense of anxiety about fully embodying the Gospel and about exemplifying a correct Christian lifestyle. They reflect a concern with minutely defining tasks and obligations, with detailing polity, processes and procedures. Why the need for regulation and control? Why did a people emerging from captivity and exile enslave themselves by excessive legalism?

Russian Mennonites living in Karaganda had experienced the total loss of everything familiar and dear to them. Torn from their economic, social and religious moorings through revolution and war, they found {24} themselves isolated in the northern prison camps or scattered among the collective farms of Asiatic and Slavic peoples. Many leaders understood this. In a preamble introducing some guidelines for the emerging congregational life among the Karaganda Brethren, one of them wrote:

Mennonites lived in closed villages for centuries, in part because they were despised by others, in part because they did not wish to mix with the world. Over time their firm faith in their Redeemer, their confession of faith, and their principles of church governance produced enduring practices and customs which distinguished them from other nations and religious groups. [More recently] our people have endured a difficult period which, though rich in [spiritual] experience, not only threatened all its customs but the very life of the people themselves.

The greatest crisis in the more recent experiences of our people began when their traditional economic and social systems were assailed. Not long after, all the influential men among [our] people were taken away. Then their families were torn from their homes and scattered among backward peoples. How could valued customs and traditions survive under these circumstances? 18

Now came the opportunity to restore what had been lost, to honor a “holy legacy” from the past and restore it to its former glory.


On the question of family life, the guidelines were exacting: no family member should be missing at meal-time; children were to remain silent during the meal; the meal itself was of short duration. Furthermore, children did not visit in the same room as adults nor did any family member stay out beyond 10 p.m. Mennonite family life was characterized by punctuality, frugality, simplicity, and unpretentiousness. There was another essential to the Mennonite concept of the family: many children were an honor to the parents. Again and again the instruction manual appeals to the authority of past patterns and models. 19

There were similar concerns regarding engagements and weddings. Courtships following a public engagement should be brief. While the wedding was a family festivity, the ceremony itself was a church affair and hence the need for moderation. Ostentatious display, whether it focused on bridal gowns or elaborate dinners, was not in keeping “with ancient custom.” 20 Nor did the forbearers know anything about groomsmen or bridesmaids. Let the two walk down the aisle together while the choir sang {25} “Gott gruesse dich.” 21 Two sermons, detailed marriage vows, prayers, choir songs, the wedding meal, an after-dinner program with its poems and presentations—the Brethren order of the 1920s sufficed for the 1970s. 22

Funerals were likewise characterized by the reading and preaching of the Word and the quiet shedding of sympathetic tears. Three to four sermons were regarded as normative. The last speaker also read the obituary. Congregational singing accompanied the coffin to its final resting place. Here the coffin was opened once more for the last painful good-byes. A short graveside service concluded with prayer. Then the coffin was closed and slowly lowered into the grave. When it was covered with earth, a final prayer was offered and a closing hymn sung. Mourners then gathered for a modest meal. One thing was certain: eulogies and brass bands, common practices in Soviet society, had no place when the “quiet in the land” buried their dead. 23

What was the role of music in worship? There were many acceptable forms of musical expression—solos, duets, quartets—but none of these surpassed the importance of the choir. It was important to define the duties of the conductor and of choir members, to explain the role of the choir in worship, and to cite appropriate standards of conduct for individual choir members. Congregational singing needed accompaniment, and violins, guitars, mandolins, accordions, and even horns were deemed appropriate. 24 During communion services, the background music of the foot organ enhanced the solemnity of the occasion and could not be surpassed “by the finest piano playing.” 25 On the other hand, electrical instruments “which have recently made their appearance produce harsh screeching tones if played too loudly.” 26

How were children led into the ways of the Lord? Make use of Bible stories, Scripture memorization, singing—but don’t neglect to inform them of the plant and animal world. Teach them geography and even astronomy. Adolescents need to engage in a serious study of the Scripture, be instructed in ethics and practical Christian living, learn something about their confession of faith as well as the story of the Christian church. 27


Sharp contrasts typified the emergence of the Karaganda Mennonite Brethren church. Externally the struggle for separation from both the AUCECB and the local Baptist congregation was long and arduous. Independence brought with it a preoccupation with defining boundaries and setting perimeters for virtually every facet of church life, a process governed mainly by the memories of early twentieth century Brethren {26} practice and theology. Here was a rebirth characterized by unrelenting persistence on the one hand and inward encumbrance on the other.

What dynamics might account for such tensions? One aspect of the process certainly related to the question of identity and dignity. Members of the congregation were emerging from a long and brutal Soviet suppression of all things German and, by implication, Mennonite. Stalinism with its mass arrests, death camps, and forced relocation almost succeeded in destroying the last vestiges of their Mennonite identity. The death of Stalin afforded a last opportunity to regroup and rebuild, especially since religious and cultural memories capable of achieving this still survived.

The Karaganda records also suggest that the church engaged in a serious, more practical reading of the Gospel than its former Baptist hosts. There was the demand for clear lines of demarcation between church and state, a specific concern with what it meant to be the family, and an attempt to define various lifestyle issues.

The recovery of a Brethren peoplehood went beyond definitions of discipleship and church polity. There was also a concern for a recovery of a Christian knowledge base that went well beyond basic biblical literacy. Christians not only needed to know the Bible but the story of the Christian church as well. Intelligent Christians, Karaganda Brethren leaders believed, were informed Christians. Special lectures were held twice a month. In 1970, for example, members learned about such personalities as John Hus, Savonarola, Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. 28 The following year they focused on more recent Christian reform movements like Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, and the Herrnhuter under Nikolaus Zinzendorf. 29 Even eighteenth century rationalists like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot were not left out. Then there were subjects closer to their own interests and experience, like the pietist Johann Bengel (1687-1752) and Johann Jung-Stilling (1740-1817). Or what of the Baptists and Mennonites in Russia, the beginnings of the Mennonite Brethren church, and the emergence of the Allianz Mennonites in the early twentieth century? 30 During the 1970s a Mennonite congregation in remote Central Asia was probably better informed about the Christian and Mennonite story than their coreligionists in North America.


The churches’ long struggle for a separate identity raises a serious question. Was its struggle not selfish and self-serving? Two perspectives may provide some understanding of the problem. There can be little doubt that, for the participants, the process brought spiritual and psychological {27} healing. The dispersion in the camps, collective farms, and Work Army not only meant dehumanization, but brought with it an all-pervasive anti-German sentiment as well as an uncompromising antagonism to all religion. A separate German-speaking church restored both a sense of peoplehood and a feeling of worth.

Was this concern with being Mennonite and German not inherently selfish since it prevented the church from reaching the local Russian-speaking population? Perhaps some personal observations are in order. When I last visited the church in 1993 it had only 125 members left. The mass movement of CIS Germans back to Germany had decimated its ranks. The young were still planning to leave while the old, who had no sponsors, remained behind. Decades of dedication and effort, it seemed, had only produced a modest church standing alone in the moonscape characterizing some of Karaganda’s suburban areas. Shallow coal mining had caused entire sections of the city to collapse into the mineshafts. In 1993, the rising groundwater threatened the church building itself. It was a depressing moment. I was witnessing the end of a vital and vibrant church.

On June 13, 1993, a lengthy dialogue with the leading minister, Victor Fast, and his assistant provided some welcome perspectives. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s this church had served five satellite congregations within a sixty-kilometer radius of Karaganda. Furthermore, between twenty-five and forty separate young peoples’ groups met secretly in the homes of church members to avoid detection by the secret police. During those decades, some twenty-five different Sunday Schools were conducted in various neighborhoods.

The congregation recently (1990s) purchased a large Russian army tent for evangelistic services in the villages surrounding Karaganda. Mobile Christian bookstores regularly visited localities outside of Karaganda. And yes, they were constructing a large new church building. It was not for the Mennonite remnant but for the large Russian-speaking congregation that filled their church every Sunday afternoon. These converts, after all, needed a place of worship once the old building collapsed and the last of the Mennonites left. 31

A concern with identity and peoplehood, it seems, presented no obstacles to outreach and evangelism. My concern with celebrating a requiem was premature. {28}


  1. Taped interview with Victor Fast, leading minister of the Karaganda Mennonite Brethren Congregation. Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 13 June 1993.
  2. Abram Berg, Insel in der Steppe. Erlebnisse des Haeftlings Nr. 119.715, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 1989 (ms. in possession of Olga Berg, Cologne, Germany), 25-26.
  3. One of the elders of the Karaganda Brethren, Heinrich Woelk, together with his son Gerhard, collected various accounts and memoirs first published in 1981. See Die Mennoniten Brüdergemeinde in Russland 1925-1980, Perspectives on Mennonite Life and Thought no. 4 (Winnipeg, MB: Christian, 1981), 104-5.
  4. Ibid., 105-6.
  5. Ibid., 106-10.
  6. Ibid., 111-19.
  7. Ibid., 122-27.
  8. Records of the Karaganda Mennonite Brethren Church, 12 August 1968 to 11 May 1976 (ms. in the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, CA), 46-47.
  9. Ibid., 48-49.
  10. Woelk, 137-40.
  11. Ibid., 86. In Canada this practice continued among the Russian Mennonite Brethren migrants of the 1920s until the 1950s.
  12. Records, 48, 53.
  13. “Gemeindewesen. Ein Lehrbuch fuer das genannte Fach,” (ms. in possession of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, CA), 17-19.
  14. Ibid., 20-23.
  15. Woelk, 126, 132-33.
  16. “Gemeindewesen,” 26-27.
  17. Ibid., 159, 164, 167, 169-70. As new Brethren churches emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, authenticity and the sense of a proper beginning was often associated with the presence of ordained ministers.
  18. Ibid., 77-78.
  19. Ibid., 78-82.
  20. Ibid., 84.
  21. Ibid., 146-50; “Zur Gottes Haus Weihe am 15. Dezember 1968 der Mennoniten-Brüder Gemeinde in Karaganda” in Heinrich J. Woelk, Sermons (ms. in possession of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, CA). {29}
  22. Ibid., 86-89.
  23. Ibid., 90-91.
  24. Ibid., 52, 56-58.
  25. Ibid., 54.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid., 61-66.
  28. Records, 3, 24 October 1970; 21 November 1970; 16 December 1970.
  29. Ibid., 24 July 1971; 14 August 1971; 20 November 1971.
  30. Ibid., 18 December 1971; 18 March 1972; 8 July 1972; 12 January 1974; 23 November 1974.
  31. Interview with Victor Fast, Karaganda, Kazakhstan, 13 June 1993.
John B. Toews is Professor of Church History and Anabaptist Studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Previous | Next