© Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Last updated January 31, 2003)

Funk, Johann, 1836-1917

Retrieval numbers: Vol. 2110-4

Title: Johann Funk fonds
Dates: 1893
Extent: 18 p.

Historical note

Johann Funk, church leader and farmer, was born on December 26, 1836 in the village of Nieder Chortitza, Chortitza Colony, South Russia. He was the fifth of nine children born to Peter and Margaretha (nee Braeul)Funk. Funk grew up and was educated in Nieder Chortitza. He was baptized on May 27, 1857 in the Bergthal Colony church. That same year he married Margaret Braun who died two years after their only daughter, Susanna was born. Funk then married Susanna Rempel and together they had 14 children of which only five survived to adulthood. In 1875 Funk brought his family to Canada where they settled somewhere on the Manitoba East Reserve. He was ordained to the ministry by Gerhard Wiebe in 1877 and later to the position of Aeltester in 1882. In 1879 his second wife, Susanna, died and two years later he married his last wife, Louise Dueck. They had one foster daughter, Justina Klassen. Funk is most well known for the key role he played in the Gretna School controversy. Questions were being raised in the church about the need for a Mennonite teacher training school. Funk supported schools to train teachers and sided with H.H. Ewert who became principal of the teacher training school at Gretna. This allienated him from the more conservative members and leaders in the church. The controversy came to a head in 1892 when Funk made clear his position on education and church discipline. Within a year the Old Bergthaler church was divided. The majority followed Aeltester David Stoecz of the East Reserve however 60 families remained with Funk. Conflict continued to follow Funk during the remaining years of his ministry. These included conflict with the General Conference Mission Board over baptism and H.H. Ewert regarding the location for the school. In January of 1911 he was encouraged to resign from church leadership and was replaced by Aeltester Jacob Hoeppner. Johann Funk died on March 17, 1917.

Scope and content note

This fonds contains one photocopied New Year's Day sermon written in 1893 in Altona.

Index terms


Funk, Johann, 1836-1917

Adjunct descriptive data

Finding aids

No other finding aids currently available.


Custodial history

Collected by David and Trudy Schellenberg of Winkler for the Christian Heritage Library.


Hand-written Gothic German


Described by Sharon H. H. Brown December, 2002.

Restrictions on access


Other notes

Acc. no. 97-150