Historian to speak on Polish Mennonites

Mennonite historian and scholar Peter J. Klassen will be the speaker at the annual spring dinner meeting of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center on the campus of Tabor College.

Klassen, professor emeritus of history at California State University, Fresno, Calif., and chair of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, will speak on ?The Prussian/Polish Mennonite Story.?

?Through his research, Peter has gained a marvelous insight into religious tolerance and Mennonite identity in the Polish-Prussian context,? said Peggy Goertzen, director of CMBS. ?This will be an eye-opening presentation.?

Klassen served as a tour leader for the Tabor College Centennial Tour to Poland and Ukraine May-June 2008. His newest book, ?Mennonites in Early Modern Poland and Prussia,? will be available for purchase at the program.

Cost for the dinner program is $14 per person.

Preceding the dinner program, CMBS is sponsoring a local history tour, May 8. The tour will begin at 12:15 p.m. with a light ethnic lunch at the Historic Church on Tabor College campus, and a brief history of the Polish Mennonites who founded the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.

The Mennonite history tour itinerary will include the Brunk cemetery, Gnadenau village, Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church, Peabody train station, Walton historic marker, Alexan?derwohl Mennonite Church, Hochfeld village, Johannestal-Brudertal-French Creek sites, and Main Street Hillsboro.

The bus tour will conclude at the Historic Church, about 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $22 per person. Seating is limited. For more information and reservations for the history tour or the CMBS spring dinner program, contact Goertzen at 620-947-3121 ext.1211.

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