Written by staff Tuesday, 08 January 2008 03:52Marvin Hein was born to David and Marie Suderman Hein on Easter Sunday, April 12, 1925, on a farm near Fairview, Okla. He died in Fresno on Jan. 5 at the age of 82.
He attended Fairview elementary and high schools. After serving nearly three years during World War II in Civilian Public Service (an alternative to the military), he married Mary Helen Martens on Sept. 1, 1946. They moved to Hillsboro, where Hein earned his bachelor’s degree at Tabor College.
After college graduation they headed two mental hospital voluntary service projects in Larned, Kan., and Ukiah, Calif. Hein earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kan., and pastored the Madura Congregational Church in Wakefield, Kan.
In 1956 Hein became assistant pastor of the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. After three years he became the senior pastor and served until 1980. While in Hillsboro he was an assistant and adjunct professor of New Testament at Tabor College.
In 1980 he was called to Fresno, Calif., as pastor of the North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church. He served that congregation until 1991 when he became the executive secretary of the General Conference (U.S. and Canada) of the Mennonite Brethren Church. He retired in 2002.
Hein held leadership positions in the Mennonite Church nationally and internationally. He chaired the Southern and Central district conferences, the U.S. Conference and the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. For 17 years he served on the General Council of the Mennonite World Conference.
Hein published four books and three family histories. He wrote a monthly column in The Christian Leader for 15 years and was a regular contributor to the inter-Mennonite devotional booklet Rejoice! for 31 years.
Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Mary Helen, and three daughters: Patricia Gail of Wichita; Penelope Gay Hein Unruh and husband David Unruh of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and Holly Lynn Taylor and husband Scott of Aptos, Calif., along with two grandchildren (Whitney Unruh and Jake Taylor) and a sister, Frances (Mrs. Lyndon Wahl) of Fairview.
A memorial service is planned for 6 p.m., Jan. 20, in the North Fresno Mennonite Brethren Church. Memorial gifts may be directed to Tabor College or the Mennonite Central Committee.