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Wieler, Johann (1839–1889)

Proper Title

Johann Wieler fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

7cm textural material, 2 photographs

Biographical Sketch

Johann Wieler was born November 22, 1839, in Chortitza, South Russia, the son of a teacher also called Johann Wieler. He pursued a vigorous course of studies, thus qualifying himself as a teacher, and was particularly interested in the Russian language. He taught in the secondary school in Halbstadt. In 1872, he married Helena Thielman from Friedensfeld.

As a young man he was converted and joined the MB Church; as a minister he showed particular gifts for evangelistic work. He was deeply interested in evangelizing the Russians and even proposed to the MB Conference that it engage in missionary activities in this field in spite of the fact that such work was strictly prohibited by the Russian government. When the MB Conference rejected his proposal, he launched out on his own. This course brought him under suspicion with government officials, and when he baptized a Russian woman he was forced to flee, and remained in seclusion for some time. He finally immigrated to Germany, where he joined the Baptists. His family followed. He was, however, soon ordered to leave Germany and thus came to Roumania, where he ministered in a Russian Baptist Church in the town of Tultcha for approximately two years. When a new church building was under construction, he fell from a ladder and thus received fatal injuries; he died in 1889 at the age of 50.
Taken from the Mennonite Encyclopedia.

Custodial History

Wieler’s sermon books, a diary, some photographs, and a book of the anniversary of Baptists in Russia were donated to CMBS in 1985 by Katie Klassen.

Scope and Content

The Johann Wieler fonds consists of Wieler’s original diary, sermon booklets, and letters about his life and mission work. Many of Wieler’s original creations, in Russian or German, have been either transliterated or translated into English.


  • Volume 1108.
  • Title based on contents of the fonds.
  • Accession number is 1985–16.
  • Finding aid: Small Collections W, files 12, 13, 14, 15.
  • Finding aid: File 13 includes an index to the Pashkov Papers which contain letters from Wieler.
  • Finding aid for photographs: NP87, Lydia Isaak Collection.

File List

Volume 1108

  • 12:1 Transliteration of Johann Wieler’s diary or “Tagebuch.” – 1872–1883.
  • 13:1 Johann Wieler’s letters transliterated by William Schroeder. – 1884–1889.
  • 14:1 Four booklets of sermon notes(?) by Johann Wieler. – 1883–1886.
  • 14:2 Original “Tagebuch.” – 1872–1883.
  • 14:3 Russian picture-book of the anniversary of Baptists in Russia. – 1905.
  • 14:4 Article on Wieler taken from Mennonitische Rundschau 20 December 1978.
  • 14:5 Wieler’s obituary taken from Christlicher Familienkalendar. – 1908.
  • 14:6 Index of Wieler’s sermons. – 1883–1886.
  • Index of Wieler’s “Tagebuch.” – 1872–1883.
  • 15:1 Letter from D.(?) Wieler to Vasilii Alexandrovich translated into English. – 1884.
  • 15:2 Copy of original letter from D. Wieler to Vasilii Alexandrovich. – 1884.
  • 15:3 Letters in the Russian language. – 1884.
  • 15:4 Article “Johann Wieler and the Nineteenth Century Ukrainian Evangelicals,” by Lawrence Klippenstein. – 1996.
  • 15:5 Letter from J. Wieler to “dear brother in Christ” translated into English. – 1884.
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