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Thielman, Henry G. (1904–1985)

Proper Title

Henry G. Thielman fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

24 cm textual material and 1 tape

Biographical Sketch

Henry G. Thielman of Clearbrook, B.C. was born October 15, 1904 to Gerhard and Tina Harder Thielman in Neukirch, Molotschna, South Russia, where he received his elementary education. He accepted the Lord in early childhood, was baptized together with his father, and joined the Allianz Church in Lichtfelde. Thielman enjoyed singing in the choir and in the family quartet.

He immigrated to Canada in 1926, the only one in the family of nine who was able to do so. He taught Sunday School in Leamington, Ontario, and some time later was elected by the church to preach. In 1929 he married Lydia Reimer of Winnipeg, whom he had gotten to know on the ship. The couple had two children. Both Henry and Lydia attended Winkler Bible School, and graduated in 1943. In 1944 Henry was ordained by Kitchener (Ontario) Mennonite Brethren Church, and he was the pastor of that church for four years.

In 1949 the Thielmans were asked by Mennonite Brethren Missions/Services to go to Japan to work under Mennonite Central Committee for three years with the intention of starting a Mennonite Brethren mission there. Due to illness they returned to Kitchener in 1952. In 1957 the Alberta Mennonite Brethren Conference sent the Thielmans to work as city missionaries and to assist a new church in Calgary. In 1964, Thielman were called to pastor the Clearbrook (B.C.) Mennonite Brethren Church. In 1968, he resigned due to ill health but a few months later he was able to become pastor of Yarrow (B.C.) Mennonite Brethren Church. He retired after three years, but continued preaching in many places over the next ten years and was a member of the Board of Missions/Services for a number of years. Thielman died in 1985.

Custodial History

The Henry G. Thielman fonds was donated by Lydia Thielman (wife) in instalments in 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1990.

Scope and Content

The Henry G. Thielman fonds consists primarily of sermon notebooks, typed, some in English, many in the German language. These notebooks, taken as a whole, do not appear to be arranged in a chronological, geographic, or thematic order although most of them include a thematic index. Also in the fonds are memoirs written by Lydia Reimer Thielman. A book in the Japanese language, probably given to the Thielmans when they left Japan, is included in this collection. The tape, [ca. 196-], is of a Clearbrook MB church service.


  • Volumes 1055–1056.
  • Title based on contents of fonds.
  • Accession numbers are 1986–14, 1986–29, 1987–15, 1988–1, 1990–17.
  • Finding aid for tape: NA-19–10.
  • For a photograph of the Thielman family see NP103–1–1.

File List

Volumes 1055–1056

  1. Obituary. – 1985.
  2. “Abbreviated Memoirs of H.G. & Lydia Thielman” by Lydia Reimer Thielman. An autobiography of the Thielman family and the events in their lives.
  3. Notebook of sermons and sermon outlines. – 1952–1980.
  4. Notebook of English and German messages, including sermons at special occasions such as weddings. – 1957–1980.
  5. Sermons and sermon outlines. – 1947–1978.
  6. Sermons and sermon outlines. – 1969–1980.
  7. Messages and message outlines. – 1960–1973.
  8. Sermons and sermon outlines. – 1946–1977.
  9. Book in Japanese. Contains letters written by people in Japan to MCC (Akron) requesting that Thielman remain in Japan. – 1952.
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