Reverend Heinrich Ellenberger

Henry Ellenberger

Pastor, Poet, Pioneer
Organizer of
The Zion Mennonite Church

An old Wood cut of Fridelsheim castle and village

This booklet is dedicated to the memory of the life and endeavors of Reverend
Henry Ellenberger, pastor of Mennonite churches in Friedelsheim, Erpzolsheim,
Eppstein and Friesenheim, in the Rhein-Phalz, South Germany, who at the age of 67,
migrated to the pioneer-frontier in Iowa, where he shepherded the Busch Mennonite
Church near West Point, Iowa, and organized the Zion Mennonite Church on the
Franklin Prairie. This was followed by the organization of the first Ahennonite school
in Western United States. This vigorous leader was the first ordained Mennonite
pastor to serve west of the Mississippi River; thus he literally opened up the west for
the host of Mennonites to follow.

Published 1976 on the 125th Anniversary of the organization of the Zion Mennonite Church


Henry Ellenberger was born of Swiss Mennonite stock. The family had been forced to flee as did many others of their faith, from the beautiful Emmethal Valley east of Berne, Switzerland. The Rhein-Pfalz into which they settled was almost as beautiful, as there were fertile valleys framed against the timbered Haardt Mountains. Before them to the east lay the rolling plains leading to the Rhine River valley of Germany.

Henry Ellenberger's grandfather, Abraham, lived in Gonnheim, a short distance east of Friedelsheim, near Bad Durkheim. It is thought that he was the pastor of the Mennonite church of Friedelsheim. His father was Christian, a farmer born in 1734 and died December 15, 1808 in Friedelsheim. His mother, the daughter of Christian and Katherina Stauffer, was born 1743 and died November 11, 1803 also in Friedelsheim. Henry was born March 28, 1784 in Friedelsheim

As a lad he learned to cultivate the fields and care for livestock of his father's farm. The love of the land was to stay with him all of his life. One of the first tasks when he got to the state of Iowa was to purchase a farm. He seems to have had other talents. In his obituary it was reported that "he loved to write poems." Some of these are printed in this booklet. His broader interests are also evidenced by his election to serve as pastor. Since it is reported that he was one of the first paid pastors in South Germany he must have secured special education for this rote.

From the life he lived, the one picture of him, his letters and poems, he gives us the impression of being a sensitive, spiritual leader. He was a kindly, concerned man as shown by his walking 20 miles, when he was 80 years of age to purchase gifts for his grandsons.

He must also have been a strong, well organized leader, for at the age of almost 70 he organized the Zion Mennonite Church, of Donnellson, Iowa. Even though he appears to be of slight build he must have been sturdy, for he assumed the full responsibility for preaching in the new church as well as oversight of the West Point, Iowa,Mennonite Church. In this role he was in charge of all the official duties as the only ordained minister of the two churches. When in his eighties, he lived with a widowed daughter and family. Even though he was too blinded to write he asked his daughter to write down the words to his poems. Most of his poems deal with his relation to his God.

We do not seem to have much information about Henry Ellenberger's education but in 1812 he was elected as minister of the Friedelsheim and Erpzolsheim Mennonite Churches. In 1808 he married Elizabeth Hertzler of Alsheim, born 1788. He served these two churches until 1824 when he moved to Eppstein. In 1827 his nephew, Jacob Ellenberger, followed him as preacher of the Friedelsheim Church. According to the records Jacob attended the pietistic school in Beuggen, Baden, 1824-1829. As was customary the church had several ministers. Jacob also passed his examination at the normal school Kaiserslautern. Both Henry and Jacob received subsidies from the Amsterdam, Netherlands Mennonite congregation while they were preaching.

At Eppstein, Henry Ellenberger also served the Friesenheim congregation. In 1828, his wife, Elizabeth Hertzler, died at the age of 39 years. To them had been born ten children, seven of whom were still living when she passed away. Two children soon followed her in death.

On April 29, 1829, he married Katherine nee- Eicher, widow of Jacob Schowalter of Rucheim. She was the daughter of Jacob Eicher who died at Bornheim and his wife, Marie nee Leonard, was born ca. 1805.

Both Jacob and Henry Ellenberger were poets. Jacob Ellenberger formulated the Palatine catechism Formularfuch and the hymnal of 1832 and 1854. He also wrote hymn number 296 in the hymnal of the South German Mennonites. Henry continued to write poems throughout his lifetime. Few of them, however, were published until the present time. The nephew of Jacob was also named Jacob Ellenberger. He was born August 2, 1831. He served as minister at Friedelsheim 1881-1901. His outstanding contributions are three volumes of Pictures of Their Lives as Pilgrims, 1878, 1880, 1830 and the Christlicher Gemeinde-Kalendar which was founded at his instigation. A number of his pictures and drawings have appeared in Mennonite publications.

Henry Ellenberger served the Eppstein Mennonite and Friesenheim Mennonite Churches until T850 when he migrated to the United States. His son, Jacob, had however migrated in 1846. According to the deed recorded in Lee County, Iowa Courthouse, Jacob Ellenberger purchased from J.P. Walker the west one-half of the west one-half of the south-east quarter, section 33, township 69, range 5 and part of the west one-half, southeast fourth of section 17, township 68 range 5, on September 3, 1846 for a sum of $357. In 1849 the Busch Mennonite Church was organized. It was located four miles southwest of West Point, Iowa. Jacob was elected as one of the lay ministers. He performed some of the services within the church. Abraham Schowalter, Jr., reported that his parents had been married by Rev. Jacob Ellenberger.

In1850 Henry Ellenberger with his second wife, Katharine and the following children migrated to Lee County, Iowa: Katharine, born May 9, 1809, Abraham born August 5, 1817, Elizabeth born December 26, 1819, Jacob had migrated earlier. He was

born October 12, 1821. Barbara born June 27, 1827, however at Eppstein. Heinrich, Jr. decided to remain in Germany. He was born August 10, 1823 at Friedelsheim, the birthplace of the other children. Henry Ellenberger purchased from John Goodling the north one-half, northeast one-fourth, section 30 and part of the west one-half, northeast one-fourth, section 16, township 68, range 6 on March 31, 1851 for $900. This transaction was witnessed by T. Ellenberger. The first section of land was the 80 acres in which the Zion Mennonite Church was to later be located. At one time this area was known as "behind Franklin." On June 2, 1852, it is recorded that he purchased from Mary Everingham lots five and six and ten in the town of West Point, lawa. It is interesting to note that Henry Ellenberger migrated to this country at the advanced age of 67 years having served as pastor of churches in the Palatinate for 38 years. During the summer of 1851 additional Mennonites moved into the immediate area, and the Zion Mennonite Church was organized under the leadership of Rev. Henry Ellenberger. This first meeting was held in the No. 4 school district of Franklin Township three miles north and one mile west of the present town of Donnellson, Iowa. When he had arrived in the fall of 1850 to West Point, where his son was located, he was asked to serve as minister of that church as their lay ministers were not ordained at that time. So it was that in the spring at Pentecost, of 1851, Holy Communion was observed for the first time west of the Mississippi by Mennonite people.

Rev. Henry Ellenberger carried on all of the work of the congregation. During the winter of 1851-52 he conducted the first catechism class and held baptism for the Zion congregation May 2, 1852. During the summer of 1852, three additional ministers migrated from the Palatinate to this country. Within the next years these three men were asked to share in the work of the ministry of the Zion Church, with Henry Ellenberger still carrying on as the minister of the West Point church. By that time he had moved to West Point, and therefore it was necessary for him to travel all of the distance to Zion Church to conduct services. He continued active, however, in the work for a number of years. When the school was started in 1853 he took an active part in that and when the new church building was erected in 1854-55 he offered the dedicatory prayer and gave the dedicatory sermon. During this period of time, however, his eyesight continued to fail, so that it became increasingly difficult for him to do any reading and writing.

When Henry Ellenberger had served as a minister in Germany, his churches had been members of the South German Mennonite Conference. When he came to the United States, he again served two congregations as he had in Germany. These two congregations worked together in a number of ways. November 5, 1853, they met together and adopted a common constitution. It seemed that in a number of ways these two congregations continued to work together, and in 1859 they were to hold the historic conference at which time resolutions were passed which resulted in the formation of the General Conference Mennonite Church. Due to his advanced age and blindness, Rev. Ellenberger did not take an active part in the formation of the conference. On September 17, 1859, his second wife had passed away at the age of 75. He continued to live in West Point until his son-in-law passed away in 1859. This was Christian Rings who had married his daughter, Elizabeth. While repairing a barn, the wind blew a heavy beam which fell onto Christian, killing him. So Rev. Henry Ellenberger lived with her until his passing on September 26, 1869. Mrs. Mary Ellenberger, the wife of his grandson Christian, related the following incident. At the age of eighty it is reported that even though his eyesight was poor he could still see well enough to walk. On his eightieth birthday he walked from West Point to Donnellson (about 10 miles) where he purchased pocket knives for his four grandsons returning again by foot and presenting these to them.

During his lifetime he frequently wrote poems. A few of these have recently come into our possession. They were in the family, apparently coming down through his daughter, Barbara, who married Daniel Rings. Her daughter Katharine married Henry Bentzinger and she in turn gave these poems to her daughter, Anna Faeth, from whom I received them. The poems are included at the end of this paper. These have been translated by Benno Toews, a German professor at Bluffton College, except as noted.

At the present time the descendants of the following families in Lee County, Iowa are closely related to Rev. Henry Ellenberger: Henry Bentzingers, Henry Rings, Daniel Kollers, F.H. Krebill and others.

When Rev. Ellenberger was living with his daughter, Mrs. Christian Rings, he was blind and unable to work. Furthermore, she did not have much in the way of funds for her two small children. The neighbors came one day and cut wood for them. At that time they lived three miles north of Donnellson on the road where the Union School No. 3 was located. We would say it would be just west of Highway 218 on the south side of the road. All of these poems were written in the German language; therefore the translation does not always capture the beauty of the original expression. We are not certain that all of the poems were written by the Reverend Henry Ellenberger. Some may have been by his grandson, Henry, who likewise wrote poems.

By Henry Ellenberger
Franklin, Lee County, Iowa 1866

It was a work of love
which you have done to us,
because of my failing eyesight
and I could not fell trees.
There came along eight friends
and with them hope came back to us,
these friends had decided
to do what was too hard for me.
It did not take too long
and stroke after stroke fell,
cleaving and splitting
until hardly anything was left.
At the end we sincerely thank you
for your love, your diligence,
As stated in a choir song
this is the right way to help.
If words and deeds
fully agree
then this will be the seed
for the one Eternal life.

(To all friends who joined to chop wood for the widow Rings and the old father Heinrich Ellenberger.)



Emperors, king, and also Lords
As well as every subject
Shall arm themselves with faith
So that they might walk their path faithfully.
Everyone in his state is to love God and fear Him
Then the bond of love surrounds us
Enabling us to walk in the mind of Christ.
Then we need not fear any more
When the last hour strikes
Because the One who guarantees for us
Who carried the quiet of the people,
It is He who says to us, "Whoever believes
In me does not come into judgment,"
But inherits genuine salvation and blessing."



Blessed are those who are homesick
Who do not like it here
Who with heart, mind and thoughts
Have long chosen the heavenly.
These will be received
Just a little time of enduring,
Then they will come home
Into the dear Father's house.


Oh how long, how long?
It seems to me here
The heart is often fearful
Of what might happen to me.
Yet when I consider what God already has done
Then my heart turns to the One
Who can do all things.
Why should I despair
In God's grace and kindness,
Since He has always carried me
In love and patience?
He will also care for me
In my last time.
He cared for today and tomorrow,
Yes, into eternity.


Jesus, fair friend of souls,
Do accept me in grace.
Gladly I will wed the bridegroom of my soul
And securely united in faith I become free from my sins
And will remain faithful until that eternal bliss.



Always weeping, always praying
For that my heart is turned
To appear before God always
When my heart swims in tears.
To pray to Him day and night
Until all is done well.
Well done is also all suffering
Which still press my heart
Until He leads me to the joys
Where all pain disappears
Where tears flow no more
But I enjoy genuine salvation.

Every day and every hour
Appears long to me in this world
Until I have found that peace
On high, in the tabernacle of heaven.
Where sufferings have disappeared
And I have found rest
Rest which lasts forever.
All I am and have
I give to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ
Indeed it is all Thine gift
Because you are my Redeemer
Who has redeemed me at so great a cost

And received me as child and heir
That I might die happy.


That God is the author of my affair
I feel deeply in my heart.
It was not my intention to venture it
Before I called unto the Lord
For I know and feel it very much
That nothing can happen
For our wellbeing and for His glory
Without asking and pleading.

All pleasures have disappeared for me in this time,
Daily I feel my wounds, which bring me heart suffering
Because I see many sufferings, which are so closely related to me
And I cannot avoid
Which is known unto the Lord.

I will commit all to the Lord,
To Him who is ever almighty.
He will only choose the best
Even though it is painful for me.
His ways are always holy,
Yes, even when the path is dark
He wants to make us tractable
Then He leads to heaven.

Then one will understand in the Light
What appeared dark to us here
There for the first time we will understand
Where the roads lead to.
We will laud and praise Him, the Lord of Glory
With the seraphims on high
For the great salvation.

The greatest miracle will some day be
When we comprehend it in the Light
That God could be gracious unto us
Since we neglect things so often
In thoughts, words and deeds.
Blessed is the one who comprehends it here
And flees to the wounds of Christ.

There already is prepared
The salvation of all people
Who combat and fight
Against sin and vanity
Who commit themselves entirely to Jesus
And love Him above all.
To such Jesus in favorable inclined
And receives them in grace.

Forever they have departed
Taken away out of this world
And I still walk here
Where many a care presses me
But they are on the meadows of Salem
As I hope, in the bosom of Jesus.
There all fear disappears,
And all cares have vanished.

The hope which comforts me
Is the faith in Jesus Christ
That just as for the redeemed
He has also died for me
He will take me to himself also
Out of grace and compassion
Even though tears flow now
At any rate there is bliss over there.

Where shall I go to, who helps me?
Who leads me to life?
No where, Lord, than only to you.
You can give me rest,
You came for sick souls
Who choose you for their salvation.

Therefore heal also my heart
Bind my wounds
And destroy the pain of my sins
Because I have found you
You are the physician that can heal
And also receive all sick ones
Who heartily love you.

Come to me, said Jesus Christ
As He still lived on earth.
Come, who still is afflicted
With sufferings and burdens.
Come, receive His love.
For it is He, who can refresh
If we yield ourselves to Him
And live according to His will.


The Small Ship of Life

Against stream and against storm
Goes forth my ship's trip
Waves mount up like towers
Often they foam with violence
Still the hope which carried me
Is the good Pilot.
He commands and the storm is allayed
That everyone can land safely.

Can land in the safe harbor
Where the sufferings have disappeared.
Where there is no pain nor complaining
But pleasure that satisfies
Which we eternally inherit there
When the battle is completed
Only through the suffering and death
Of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore strive when you can
And do not become tired.
After a beautiful strife
Follows a beautiful peace.

If we look back then
On our awful journey
0 then there is delight
For the great mercy of our Lord
That He has led us so faithfully
Even though the way seemed dark
It prepared us for the blessed gain.

Therefore drive on, my Pilot
Sail as you wish
Even though it goes up stream
Blessed is the one who submits to Thee.
Whoever commits the small ship of his soul
Into Thy hands entirely
Will be successful in his trip
Because the Lord always loves his own.

My body members remind me
Of the end of my life.
Then, Oh God, I commit myself
Entirely into Thy hands.


I rap at Thy gate of grace
With my poor sighs.
I hold to Thy word:
"Knock and it shall be opened unto you."
And even though the door does not open immediately
I ever continue knocking.


As you will note, this letter was written by Rev. Henry Ellenberger himself soon after he had gotten to the States. They were sent back to Europe to a relative and friend and saved in that family and sent to us by Rev. Paul Schowalter of the Weierhof. So about 125 years later, we get them here in the states for our interest

Letter of Heinrich Ellenberger, Franklin Centre to Abraham Latschar, Friedelsheim-Duerkheim-Rheinpfalz

Franklin, Iowa

May 14, 1851

Dear Brother-in-law and dear sister,

First of all, my greetings of love and peace to all who love the Lord. Probably you will think that it took a long time until I finally wrote to you, and you are right. But I believe, when you hear the reasons and causes, you will forgive me. First, I don't doubt it that you will have learned from Mrs. Borkholder at Gerolsheim that we arrived in good health and very happy at the home of my son at West Point on October 19, 1850. Second, you also will have heard the cause, why I did not write myself at the first time, namely that I first wanted to know a little more about our life here and also buy the most necessary things for everyday life.

The latter took more time than I thought and that had its reason. My son, Jacob, had much trouble with abscesses last summer. At the last, he got one under his kneecap at his right leg, and although this abscess broke open and all the pus came out, it took a long time until it healed. During that time his right knee was rather stiff so that he was not even, today, able to walk for a long time or to work at all. Also, I must take my time as I do not have anyone I can ask for information for fear of making a mistake with the language. In this country it is not as in Germany, where one can ask some the way because you know the language. And also, if you should have found the place or land which then is to be bought, you will soon learn that English-speaking people are livinq there, and you cannot speak with them without knowing their language.

Finally, in the spring, Christian Rings arrived and asked me for my two daughters' hands in marriage. He himself wanted to marry Elisabeth, and his brother, Daniel, our daughter Barbara. As we had not a great choice of boys in the age of my daughters here in our community and in our church, especially in this region, I agreed and we all gave them our consent. May the Lord send his blessings upon them. The ways of the Lord are not always ours.

After this event we went to buy lan4. We saw many different tracts of land, and we had already negotiated some near-by laying tracts, but every time something came between so that we had a hard time to find what we wanted. Finally, on March 31, I bought a piece of land including 80 acres of tillable acreage, 10 acres of forest, and another 40 acres of woods. Unfortunately the title is not clear. If the state wins the proceedings, the 40 acres will cost $50, and thereafter it is state's property. On the other hand, if the company in question wins, we don't know what will happen, as the members of this company possess these 40 acres for a very long time. We ourselves have nothing to lose, but only to win. This piece of land has apparently good, fertile soil. You can overlook the whole farm from our house. It has only two insignificant streams.

If you want to get a picture of our new home, then think of 100 hhorgen about, but our farm is a little bit bigger. The acres contain 160 rods, but a rod is 16 inches longer than the German measure. There are 100 rods arable acreage, or 130-140 Morgen without timber.

In America all acres of farms are nicely arranged. They all point either from south to north or east to west. Therefore, all houses are also built as to this system. We have three small houses on our land, two log houses, and one "week-end" house. The farmhouse is lovely and comfortable, where mother and I live; the other houses we will also make comfortable later in the future. Oh, I forgot to tell you that not all our land has been cultivated, but it is prairie and pasture which can be cultivated with the plow. After having finished this, you don't have to do anything to the soil during the next two months. Then you harrow it, cultivate it once more, sow and harrow under the wheat. Then you can be sure that your work will bear fruits. We have also a well on our farm with clear and very good water. The farm cost us altogether $900, or 2250 guilders. On April 8, after the purchase of the land, my daughter, Elisabeth, and Christian Rings, and Barbara and Daniel Rings got married in our church, and on April 4, they moved to the country. Mother and I followed them on April 26. We have given the land to the boys, and kept only 24 arable acres for us which they sow, plant, and harvest. One-third of the profit out of this land, the boys have to pay to us. They also keep for mother and me a cow, some pigs, and chickens. Moreover, they have rented to us a small apartment. Our present livestock consists of 2 horses, 2 bulls, 3 cows, 2 calves, 9 pigs, 14 sheep, 3 turkeys, 2 guinea-fowls, and numerous chickens. I don't know how many. You will see that I would have been unable to write you all these details in the beginning of our stay here at West Point.

Now I will give you, also, a short description of our passage. As the agent, Mr. Bluen, promised us we left Worms in time, but we had to stay one day in LaHavre. Consequently, we sailed, instead of August 16, on August 17 from LaHavre. Probably it would have been faster to go by boat down the Rhine, but most of the boats were already so full that we would not have been able to find a place to stand or to sit. In Rotterdam, we didn't have to stay for a longer time. Soon our big steamer reached the North Sea. After entering the boat in Rotterdam, I noticed at once many small wooden tubs, and soon I found out for what special occasion they are used. Later, I also noticed the harmony and union with which 2 or 3 people used one tub together in case they were sea-sick and all food eaten came up again. Mother and I weren't quite exempted from this sickness, but we had to suffer from it only a few times at the very beginning of our voyage. Then it was over for us two at least. But Elisabeth and Barbara had very much to suffer from it. Not only when we sailed on the North Sea, but also on the ocean until the end of our passage.

It took us not quite 34 days to get to New York. The travel on the open sea was so that I myself always thought we had one storm after the other, because cases and boxes were thrown around on top of the deck. We, ourselves, had to hold to our beds in order not to be thrown out. Other people who passed the ocean already for several times, told me that we would have no storm as long as the masts were not pulled down. I remember that we once got such a shock that we were unable to think for a few minutes. I was in bed sleeping, when suddenly I heard voices shouting, "Fire, fire!" I opened my eyes and could see from my bed the place where flames blazed up. But the Lord was with us. Soon the fire was stopped. A drunk man caused this accident. He tried to light a horny lantern. He succeeded in doing so and threw the lighted lantern on the floor. They arrested him because of his carelessness and took away his wine from him. Since that accident, two lights burn on deck every night and eight men were on guard, four before and four after midnight.

There was still another difficulty. We had enough foodstuff, but there was nobody who could prepare and cook for us. Elisabeth and Barbara were supposed to stay most of the time in bed. Moreover, there was only one kitchen for 500 people. You can imagine how difficult it was to get to cook at all. The strongest and roughest among us were the masters. But nevertheless, we finally reached New York. We stayed there for two days to rest for a while. We had to pay 15 Dutch guilders for this stay.

From New York some people went by steamer to St. Louis, others by train and again others by tow boats. The travel from New York to St. Louis took $52.50 for ad- ditional baggage. As I later found out, the latter was not justified and I had been the victim of dishonesty. The agent in New York promised me that each person could take with him 200 pounds without any additional cost, and that I would have to pay for the rest, $2.50 for 100 pounds. But we finally were dropped off in Albany and I was allowed to take only 40 pounds without duty and had to pay for the rest, $3.50 per 100 pounds. So $52.50 were gone. In St. Louis I paid $5.00 to continue our travel to Fort Madison. But we had to leave the boat already in Keokuk, because the river was so small and low that we would have had to go over rocks. In Keokuk, we visited Mr. Schowalter, the lumberman from Assenheim and stayed in his house overnight. From Keokuk we rode 27 miles by wagon and finally arrived happy and in good health at West Point on October 19, 1850. There we first of all, thanked God for His gracious protection on such a dangerous travel.

What concerns the fertility and other features of the land, I am not able, as yet, to give any details, as we have not had our first harvest here in West Point. Should I live longer, I wquld like to tell you more about that later. I would also like to ask you to let all our friends know, in Eppstein and Friesenheim, what our new home looks like and that we are all in good health and have enough to eat. Please say hello in our name to all, especially Christian Jotter in Eppstein, and Jacob Eicher in Friesenheim. I could write much more, but this page is full and there are many other things to do. Please say hello to Jacob Ellenberger and his family.

Finally, l would like to mention one other important fact. Namely, I think that it requires a thorough-going, firm decision to undertake such a voyage. Once more, our most sincere greetings to all of you. We all wish that you might enjoy such a good health as wt do. fortunately.

Heinrich Ellenberger

Please write me as soon as possible how things are going in Germany, and whether youhavenow a lasting peace there? Here in West Point you get to hear so many, very different views about Germany that it is impossible to get the right picture of what is really true.


We appreciate receiving this poem-from Paul G. Hirschler who is a great-grandson of Henry Ellenberger and also for his copying and translating the following poem, "Words of Farewell," written by Henry Ellenberger and printed in the

FRIEDENSBOTEN (Peace-Messenger).

Words of Farewell
All Believers, fathers, mothers,
As well as children, sisters, brothers,
Be always loyal to the LORD,
Do not allow anything or anybody
To separate you from the LORD,
Whom we know,
Follow Him, our morning-star.

Then the sun will arise for you,
A morning breeze will meet you,
Which will refresh your heart.
Peace will then surround you,
You will enjoy only the good things,
Every pain has then to leave.

Oh, how we will rejoice,
When we see each other again,
At the end of this world.
Then no partings will separate us,
We will know in the Light,
Why that all has happened so.

Joyfulness will then welcome us,
We will enjoy salvation in abundance,
For the sufferings of this time,
We then will bring the offerings,
And sing to the LORD Hosanna,
For the complete salvation.

This booklet is prepared and published by a great-great grandson, Howard Raid, of Bluffton College, Bluffton, Ohio, in heartfelt appreciation and deep gratitude for the Mennonite Heritage that was passed to us and to the generations to come by this and other forebearers.