Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Members of the Church at Alexadradar

In my review of the Review of January 21, 2010, I posted this picture of the members of the Adventist Church in Alexandradar Russia. It was taken 1914 and 1915, just before the church and its members became a casualtyies of the Russian revolution. The names of some of those pictured are listed below, thanks to the work of Louesa Peters, Betty Christianson, and Bernard Penner.

(This is a retyping of the notes, for clarity, that John G. Jacques wrote to his son, 1967, which is the key to the people in the picture of the Alexandrodar Church in Russia. Betty Christianson, Bernard Penner and I have figured out that as close as we can determine the date of the picture is around 1914-15.)

This photo is of our home church group at Alexandrodar, Caucasus, Russia. The name Alexandrodar of our village is derived from the emperor Alexander, the father of the last, the ill-fated Nicolai.

It is true, my grandfather Isaac furnished land and facilities for the Adventist church. He was a constant, faithful S.D.A., some wavered, but he remained true, come what may. I am sorry, grandpa Isaac is not in this photo, for he has already gone to his rest in death, soon after my return from the four years in Friedensau, Germany, 1910.

There are seven rows in this photo. (beginning with the bottom, and always from the left to right: In the first two rows I could only guess any of the kids, so I will pass them up. So starting with the third row:

1. Jakob Heinrichs, living now in Canada and good S.D.A.
2 & 3. X (his wife) very earnest Christians
4. Sister Jokob Berg (a very mother in Israel, wife of Jakob Berg just above her in the photo.
5. My dear grandmother Isaac, in whos bedroom I was secreted for one night for fear of the local detectives. She made the bed quilt for my escape journey during the night with the help of aunt Margaret the quilt was made in that night. We still have the quilt with a slip on it to preserve it. I wrapped it about myself during some winter steps in Manchuria.
6. Aunt Agatha, my mother’s sister, younger than mother.
7. Sister A. Heinrichs, wife of man just above her. I always remember him as one of the local church elders. (Quite a preacher too).
8. Sister X
9. Sister Neufeld, whose husband was a drunkard, but desiring to be delivered at times. (her husband is the man in row five from below, has a Russian cap on, he is first in the line five at left end.
10. Sister X

Row four:

11. Heinrich Koehn, first elder of the church much of my remembrance time
12. Sister Kornelia (Freisen) Kuntz (her husband just above her, a shoe cobbler living just across the street from us in my childhood days
13. Christian Xanke, good and faithful elder
14. Jakob Berg (husband of lady below him) choir leader in our church
15. & 16. John Xanke and wife (wife besid him at his left) His wife is my mother’s youngest sister.
18. Sister Heirichs, always faith but timid to speak words in church
19. Neufeld girl a member
20. A Heirichs, frequently one of the church elders. (quite a good speaker)
21. A child
22.& 23. Brother & sister Jakob Helver (a servant of Jakob Berg, but very true in church affairs, and could preach)
24. Sister Maria Isaac (a cousin of mine)
25. Sister Broeckel (the mother of the Broekels in New Jersey, Philip.

Row Five:

26. Enslaved brother (?) Neufeld, struggling with liquor habit.
27. Brother kuntz the cobbler.
28. & 29. Lad and sister of brother Xanke just below them
30. Marie Xanke, a fine girl, whom I was to have married had I not gone into exile to Siberia. I never quite agreed with my ideas of marriage because my mother’s sister Helena (Number 16 in this photo) became Marie’s mother by second marriage of John Xanke. For to me it would have seemed almost like marrying your own sister!
31. Sister X
32. & 33. Brother and sister Henry Heinrichs (His wife is the only daughter of choir director Jakob Berg (Number 14)
34,35,36. Neufeld girls, etc.X
37. Agatha Froesen, daughter of my Aunt Agattha (Number 6.) a timid girl

Row Six:

37. Jakob Friesen one of the five baptized converts of mine from my first evangelistic meeting in our village after return from Germany, Friedensau.
38. John Froese (cousin of mine (son of Aunt Agatha)
39. & 40. Brother & sister Gerhard Isaac (my cousins)
41,42. Brother and sister John Isaac, my mother’s youngest brother. Probably the most read man in our church. His temper caused frequent and embarrassing repentances in the church. His wife is the daughter of Elder Loebsack (the cousin of the chief Russian leader Loebsack) the former Elder Loebsack baptized me in thr River Cuban that flows from the Caucasian mountain Elbruz.
43,44. Brother Bernard Penner, brother of uncle Leonard Penner of Oklahoma, whom & whose sons you well know. (Who is #44, his wife?)
45. Sister X (forgot her name, though I know her.
46. My own Sister Lora (or Leonora) oldest member of our family, Now dead
47,48. Brother and sister Mitzoff (a cobbler by trade, but very active and earnest man in church activities. His wife beside him is the sister of Elder Loebsack, our chief leader in Russia till his death in Moscow prison.

Row seven:

49. Boy X
50. Henry Froese another son of Aunt Agatha, my mother’s sister.
51. John Isaac my cousin (His father not in photo; had been a faithful member, but took offense at other’s doings and went to drink and smoking, etc.) All children became good members.
52. Broeckkel (Philip, now in New Jersey & must be an old man himself now
53. Peter Isaac another son of Peter Isaac, my mother’s brother.
54. John Penner, son of uncle Bernard Penner, his father is just below his right hand, #43
55,56.57 Boys whom I can not identify.

Dear Oliver, Mama & Papa are very happy about what you said concerning the progress you are making with the book. I know the Lord is blessing you in this enterprise. It will bring pleasure to you after you get it in print. Hundreds of persons, daily almost, inquire about my book, of course, they mean the old one. I tell them that soon a new edition will be forthcoming. May the dear Lord Jesus keep and preserve your strength and steadfast view at the Great Author and Shepherd. (Signature—Love, Daddy)

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