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Nikolas/Nikolai Hiebert

Taken from a Who's Who Book on Missionaries

Sent in by Paul Hiebert

Hiebert, N(ikolas) N(ikolai) (1874-1957), Mennonite Brethren missionary and mission administrator.

Born in the village of Lichtfelde, Molotschna, Ukraine, Hiebert came to the United States with his Mennonite Brethren parents when he was an infant. The family settled near Mountain Lake, Minnesota, where he grew up in a church with a missionary emphasis; he pursued studies at McPherson College in Kansas.

Following several years of teaching, Hiebert was ordained a minister of the gospel in January 1899 and married Susanna Wiebe in May. That same year he stood at the Mennonite Brethren annual conference to recite Luke 4:18-19 as his call to missions. He and his wife were commissioned as the first American Mennonite Brethren missionaries to India, traveling to their destination via the churches in Russia, which had sent their first missionaries to India in 1889. Illness forced the Hieberts to return to the United States within two years. Despite ongoing health problems, Hiebert made major contributions to Mennonite Brethren mission work as secretary of the mission board (1901-1936), Bible teacher, itinerant preacher, writer (1901-1947) and pastor in Mountain Lake (1918-1930) at the church that had shaped his missions perspective.

(Bibliography: Hiebert's correspondence, papers, and notes are in the archives of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Fresno, California. They include his unpublished manuscript "A Brief Survey of My Life" (1874-1945); a tribute by his children, "N. N. Hiebert," Zionsbote, October, 1947, p. 15; Missions-Album aus der Mission der Mennoniten Bruedergemeinde von Nord Amerika (1914); and Der Mitarbeiter: Ein Organ im Interesse der Reichsgottesarbeit (n.d.). - by Hans Kasdorf)