Unruh, A.H. (Abraham Heinrich), 1878-1961

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Unruh, A.H. (Abraham Heinrich), 1878-1961

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Unruh, Abraham H.

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Abraham H. Unruh: an outstanding Mennonite Brethren minister, teacher, and Bible expositor; born in Timir-Bulat, Crimea, South Russia to Heinrich Benjamin Unruh and Elisabeth Wal. Abraham married Katharina Toews and they had six children. He received his teacher's certificate at the age of 17 and began his teaching career in the elementary school of Menlertschik, 1895-1903. He taught in both the Barvenkovo elementary school and Kommerzschule (business school), 1903-1915.

Following two years of Red Cross service, 1915-17, he moved back to Barvenkovo, but anti-German sentiment ran high, and so he moved his family back to the Crimea where he accepted the position of principal of the Zentralschule (secondary school) in Karassan. In 1920 Abraham was asked to join the new-founded Bible School in Tschongraw. He taught Bible in this school until it was forced by Soviet authorities to close in 1924.

The closing of the school convinced him to migrate to Canada in January 1925. That fall, inspired by the Tschongraw experience, he rented several rooms in Winkler, Manitoba, and began a Bible school. He was soon joined by two other Tschongraw teachers, Gerhard Reimer and Johann G. Wiens. For 19 years Abraham led what became the Winkler Bible Institute, edited a small paper titled Die Antwort (The Answer), and preached in Mennonite communities both in Canada and the United States. Conference educational concerns soon led to the call for a school of higher education for Mennonite Brethren in Canada.

In 1944 the Canadian Mennonite Brethren Conference established a new school in Winnipeg: Mennonite Brethren Bible College (later Concord College). Abraham Unruh was asked to be its first president. Concerned that the school needed a president who could relate more to English-speaking members of the Mennonite Brethren churches, he resigned after one year as president, though he continued as professor of biblical studies for 10 years. Upon retirement at age 76, Abraham had served the church for some 50 years.

During his years of ministry Abraham wrote numerous books. Among them were: Die Mennonitische Bibelschule in Tschongraw, Eine Einleitung für die Lehrer der Sontagsschule; Leitfaden für den Religionsunterricht, Nikodemus, Gottes Wort als Wegweiser fuer die Gemeindezucht; Des Herrn Mahnung an die Gemeinde der Endzeit, Der ewige Sohn Gottes; Der Prophet Jesaja; Die Geschichte der Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

GRANDMA ID: 213418

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Unruh, Katharina (Toews), 1876-1963 (1876-1963)

Identifier of the related entity


Category of the relationship


Type of relationship

Unruh, Katharina (Toews), 1876-1963

is the spouse of

Unruh, A.H. (Abraham Heinrich), 1878-1961

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Updated by CDS April 18, 2016.
Updated by DMH December 12, 2017




Reddig, Ken and Richard D. Thiessen. "Unruh, Abraham H. (1878-1961)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2007. Web. 13 Oct 2017.

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places