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Durksen, Martin (1919–1995)

Proper Title

Martin Durksen fonds

Dates of Creation

1949–1991

Physical Description

1.6 m textual material, 1 tape, and 18 photographs

Biographical Sketch

Martin Durksen, the youngest of thirteen children, was born during a time of great political unrest. His parents Johann and Katharina Heinrichs Duerksen, along with many other settlers, had to flee their home in the Tereker region. Martin was born during this flight. The family arrived in Kalentarowka, Stavropol, Russia on May 8, 1919 and remained there for eighteen months. The family was able to move to the Molotschna Colony but eighteen months later they were forced to flee to the Crimea where Durksen started school. Martin always felt that he had been born a refugee.

In 1929 his family left Russia via Germany, arriving at their homestead in the Chaco, Paraguay in 1930. Durksen finished elementary school and the four-year Zentralschule. He was baptized and became a member of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church. He trained as an elementary school teacher and he taught for six years.

In 1941 he married Kaethe Duerksen and later that year they began missionary work with Indian groups in Paraguay, teaching and fostering native children. From 1945–1947 Martin Durksen studied at the Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Bragado, Argentina where he prepared for further ministry. From 1948–1949 the Durksens again worked with the Paraguayan Indians. In 1949 they moved to Buenos Aires to serve the social and spiritual needs of the recently landed Mennonite immigrants through MCC. Martin Durksen served in Buenos Aires for 17 years, pastoring and church planting while continuing his involvement with MCC.

Upon immigrating to Canada in 1967 he began teaching at Steinbach Bible Institute and pastoring at the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church in Grunthal. Starting in 1969 he worked at Mennonite Brethren Communications (formerly known as Gospel Light Hour). He stayed with MB Communications until his retirement in 1979.

From 1979–1989, Martin Durksen was involved with "Bridge Builders Mission," an organization of which he was the founding chairman. Through this mission, Durksen built contact points on three continents. One specific area of work was with aboriginal peoples in Winnipeg and North-western Ontario. Martin Durksen died in 1995.

Custodial History

The Martin Durksen collection was donated by his wife, Katie Durksen in 1995.

Scope and Content

The contents of the Martin Durksen collection are a testimony to his long life of ministry. The collection contains most of the program outlines from 1969–1979 for the German radio program entitled "Familienandacht," as well as many outlines from the Sunday morning program "Licht des Evangelium." A tape of Durksen's Gospel Light Radio Broadcasts is located in the CMBS tape collection.

In this fonds are sermon notes in English, German and Spanish as well as some University papers writen by Durksen and a few files related to his involvement with various organizations or specific events. The photographs are of Mennonite colonies in South America, and are now located in the CMBS photograph collection.

Notes

  •  Volumes 936–940.
  •  Title based on contents of fonds.
  •  The accession number is 1995–40.
  •  Finding aid for tape: NA-01–173.
  •  Finding aid for photographs: NP115–1.

Series Descriptions

I. Martin Durksen sermon series.
1949–1989.
60 cm textual material.

  • This series consists of Durksen's sermon notes in the English, German, and Spanish languages reflecting where and to whom he was ministering. Durksen's sermons are not chronologically arranged; there is no apparent arrangement.
  •   Title based on contents of series.
  •   Finding aid: Martin Durksen Box 1, list 1–17 and Box 2, list 1–12.

II. Martin Durksen radio program series.
1969–1979.
70 cm textual material.

  • This series consists of Durksen's program outlines for the German radio program entitled "Familienandacht," as well as many outlines from the Sunday morning program "Licht des Evangelium."
  •   Title based on contents of the series.
  •   Finding aid: Martin Durksen Box 3, list 1–42 and Box 4, list 1–45.

III. Martin Durksen article and report series.
1970–1990.
23 cm textual material, map, and 18 photographs.

  • This series demonstrates the various involvements Durksen had with such organizations as Bridge Builders, Mennonite Central Committee, Manitoba and Canadian Conferences, Mennonite Voluntary Service, the Leper Mission, South American missions, and Bible Studies. It consists primarily of reports rather than correspondence. Also in this series are Durksen's papers written to fulfil course requirements for his ongoing education.
  •   Title based on contents of series.
  •   Finding aid: Martin Durksen Box 4, list 46–57 and Box 5, list 58–68.
  •   Finding aid for photographs: NP115–1.
  •   Finding aid for map: NMC-4S-24.

File List

Series I: Martin Durksen sermon series.

1. German sermon notes. – 1952–1979.
2. German sermon notes. – 1952–1986.
3. German sermon notes. – 1951–1979.
4. German and English sermon notes. – 1967–1979.
5. English and Spanish sermon notes. – 1959–1986.
6. English sermon notes. – 1967–1987.
7. German and Spanish sermon notes. – 1953–1955.
8. Sermon notes on the theme of family life. – 1963–1985.
9. Sermon notes for funeral services. – 1959–1980.
10. Spanish sermon notes. Undated.
11. Sermon notes for Christmas and New Years. – 1967–1978.
12. Sermon notes for youth. – 1978–1987.
13. Sermon notes for children's messages. – 1967–1989.
14. Celebration service at Boissevain. – 1974.
15. Spanish sermon notes. – 1959–1987.
16. Sermon notes for Easter. – 1957–1984.
17. Biblical themes. – 1974–1984.

Volume 937: Sermon binders.

  1. English sermon notes starting with "Peace like a river." – 1953–1988.
  2. English seminar notes on the family starting with "Faithfulness in marriage." – 1968–1987.
  3. German sermon notes starting with "Der Himmel." – 1968–1987.
  4. German sermon notes starting with "Der Vater Unser." – Undated.
  5. German sermon notes starting with "Das neue Erleben...." – 1968–1988.
  6. German sermon notes starting with "Erfahrungen mit den Herrn." – 1954–1983.
  7. German sermon notes starting with "Jesus besucht unser Haus...." – 1954–1988.
  8. German sermon notes starting with "Keine Zeit." – 1949–1974.
  9. German sermon notes starting with "Grundlegende Glaubens...." – 1983.
  10. English sermon notes starting with "Jesus needs you!" – 1969–1988.
  11. English sermons notes starting with "Ready or not...." – 1958–1988.
  12. A German minister's manual by Otto Koenig used by Martin Durksen in performing marriage ceremonies.

Series II: Martin Durksen radio program series.
Volume 938: Radio programs.

1–42. Radio programs including rough drafts, final drafts, time sheets and other related program notes for "Licht des Evangelium" and "Familienandacht." – 1969–1979.

Volume 939:

1–45. Radio programs including rough drafts, final drafts, times sheets and other related program notes for "Licht des Evangelium" and "Familienandacht." – 1969–1975.

Series III: Martin Durksen article and report series.

46. Articles and sermons for the Mennonitische Rundschau. – 1970.
47. Minutes of the German Evangelical Alliance, Winnipeg. – 1987–1990.
48. "Etliches Material aus den Evangelischen Kirchengeschichten" by J. Jansen. – 1984.
"God's `Bridge Builder'" by Martin and Kathe Durksen. – [198].
49. University essays by Martin Durksen. – 1973–1977.
50. Memos relating to the meeting of MCC and the Russian Evangelical Delegation. – 1976.
Mennonite Central Committee poster.
51. Ministers' and Deacons' Committee report. – 1988.

  •  "What's Happening to the Deacons?" by Waldo Hiebert.
  •  "The Deacon and his Ministry" by Waldo Hiebert and Herb Kopp – 1979.
  •  Statements of candidates for the ministry presented to the ministers and deacons of Manitoba. – 1975.
  •  Board of Spiritual and Social Concerns resolution regarding Canadian Conference stand on alcoholic beverage. – 1978.
  •  Various papers on marriage and divorce (not by Durksen).

52. Eight photographs of the Mennonite colonies in South America, now in the photograph collection.
"Christlicher Dienst," newsletters and a report regarding Mennonite Voluntary Service in South America – 1989.
Two Spanish letters. – 1987.
Map of La Pampa province in Argentina, now in CMBS map collection.
53. Seminar papers collected by Martin Durksen. – 1974, 1977, undated.
54. German articles about missions, Mennonite history, Latin America, the church, probably by Martin Durksen. – Undated.
55. Symposium on demonology, University of Notre Dame. – January 8–11, 1975.
56. Reports of Native Ministries and Bridge Builders. Correspondence – 1985–1989.
Nine photographs, now located in the CMBS photograph collection. – 1988.
57. Materials from Janz Team Crusade.
58. Bulletins, reports and papers regarding the Spanish Church in Winnipeg. – 1985–1990.
59. Minutes of the leper mission, KM 81. – 1970.
Correspondence. – 1971.
60. Article regarding Indians in the Chaco. – 1978.
61. Martin Durksen's reflections on CFAM "South America." – 1972–1973.
62. Bible Study on the Gospel of John and Corinthians.
63. Bible Studies on the Gospel of Mark.
64. Bible Studies on the Gospel of Mark.
65. Christmas skit by Martin Durksen. – 1983.
66. Series on the family, by Martin Durksen, presented in Berlin. – 2 February 1980.
"Meine Reise nach USA und Canada." – 1978.
67. English and German presentations. – 1980–1981.
68. Bibliographic material.
One large photograph of a cathedral given to Durksen by Nina Sawelo in 1974.

NP115–1 Martin Durksen Photograph Collection

  •  NP115–1–1 to NP115–1–8 Eight photographs of life on a Mennonite colony in South America. Taken from Martin Durksen file 52. – Undated.
  •  NP115–1–9 Meeting at Cornerstone Fellowship Centre, Winnipeg, with native families and members of Bridge Builders. – 28 December 1988. See also Martin Durksen personal collection, File 56.
  •  NP115–1–10 Martin Durksen preaching at above meeting. – 28 December 1988.
  •  NP115–1–11 Martin Durksen and other members of the congregation singing. – 28 December 1988.
  •  NP115–1–12 Larry and Joyce Wilson with their child. – 28 December 1988
  •  NP115–1–13 Martin Durksen shaking hands with Larry Wilson. Wally Kroeker (Boissevain), representing native ministries in the Manitoba Conference, at left. – 28 December 1988.
  •  NP115–1–14 Native peoples at the meeting at Cornerstone Fellowship Centre. – 28 December 1988.
  •  NP115–1–15 Martin Durksen, Larry Wilson holding child, Joyce Wilson, and Kaethe Durksen in the Cornerstone Fellowship Centre, Winnipeg. – 28 December 1988.
  •  NP115–1–16 Martin Durksen preaching at Cornerstone Fellowship Centre. – 28 December 1988.
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