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At 3:00 pm on Sunday, August 10, 2008 two leaders from the past who for many years served as teachers
and pastors in Mennonite churches in Saskatchewan will be recognized in honour by the Mennonite Historical Society of
Saskatchewan. The program will take place in the Bethany Manor Fellowship Centre, 110 LaRonge Rd., Saskatoon.
Jacob H. Epp (1910 - 1993) spent part of his youth (1916-1921) in China with his parents; this experience indelibly influenced his future. In 1937, Jake accepted the invitation to teach at Bethany Bible Institute, Hepburn, Saskatchewan. During the summer months he was field director of the fledgling Western Children's Mission that engaged in clubs, vacation Bible schools and the development of camp work. In 1939 Jake and Alvena Kruger were married and from 1941 to 1944 worked at the Mennonite Brethren Bible School in Yarrow, British Colombia. They returned to Hepburn and for the next 20 years he served as teacher and then Principal at what now has become Bethany College. Mandatory retirement followed eleven years serving on the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions and Service in Hillsboro, Kansas.
John G. Rempel (1890 - 1963) was born in Nieder Chortitza, Ukraine where he chose to become a teacher till
the outbreak of World War I in 1914. During the war he served as a nurse aid on a hospital train before returning to a career in
teaching; like many Mennonite teachers he was elected as a minister. In 1920 John and Susanna Epp were married; three years
later with their two young sons they immigrated to Canada to minister at Langham, Saskatchewan. A decade later he began
teaching at the German English Academy (Rosthern Junior College) and for a number of years at the Rosthern Bible School
while ministering with the Rosenort churches. In 1946 John G. Rempel was ordained as Elder in the Rosenort Gemeinde to
succeed Elder David Toews; the congregations of the Rosenort Gemeinde stretched for 250 km from Capisan in the north to
Aberdeen in the south. In addition he served as Secretary-treasurer of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada for seventeen
years and wrote Children's Bible stories for "Der Bote" In 1952, while attending the Mennonite World Conference in Basel,
Switzerland, Rev. Rempel suffered a stroke which reduced the amount of service he was able to render.
The Sunday afternoon program will also include a time of special recognition to the host of volunteers who continue to contribute time and resources so generously to the work of our Historical Society.