CMBS set to celebrate 150th Anniversary of Russian Mennonite Immigration

Benjamin Schmidt

HILLSBORO, Kan.–Tabor College’s Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies (CMBS) will lead a Mennonite Heritage Tour on Saturday, April 20, and host its Annual Dinner on Sunday, April 21.

The Mennonite Heritage Tour, set for 11:45 a.m.-5 p.m., is part of celebrating 150 years since the first arrival of Russian Mennonite immigrants in August 1874. Sites will include Brunk Cemetery, Gnadenau Orphanage and Village, Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church and Cemetery, Peabody Train Station, and Prisoner of War (P.O.W.) Building, Hillcrest Cemetery in Florence, Kan. and Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.

The tour will cost $40 and leave from the Historic Church on the Tabor College campus. A Faspa lunch is included.

The Annual Dinner is $25 and will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Franz Family Heritage Lobby of the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. It will include a keynote address from Benjamin Schmidt (g’16), who teaches History, English, and Greek at The Classical School in Wichita, Kan. He will present “Forerunners of Faithfulness: The Gnadenau Krimmer Mennonite Brethren Settlement in Marion County, Kan.”

A children’s ABC book, highlighting Mennonites immigrating to Marion County, will be available for presale and support the work of CMBS. The book will highlight the significance of items families brought to begin life in a new land. Under the direction of Derek Hamm, associate professor of graphic design, the illustrations will highlight the work of Tabor students in Advanced Graphic Design.

The finalists for the Dr. Wilmer A. Harms Anabaptist Contest will also be announced at the dinner. The competition is for full-time Tabor students who submit essays, poetry, or other works of art or media that engage and discuss forms of Anabaptist history.

Tour and dinner/program reservations are due April 15. Contact Peggy Goertzen, CMBS director, at or 620-947-3121 (ext. 1211/1212) to reserve your seat(s).

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