Fonds CMBS Personal Papers: Unruh; Tapes: NA-1: 116 to 140; 142 to 147; 196-209; 211-212. NA-15: 30. NA-19: 1-6; 9. NA-16: 11, 12; Photographs: NP120-1 - Abraham H. Unruh (1878-1961) fonds

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Abraham H. Unruh (1878-1961) fonds

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CA CMBS CMBS Personal Papers: Unruh; Tapes: NA-1: 116 to 140; 142 to 147; 196-209; 211-212. NA-15: 30. NA-19: 1-6; 9. NA-16: 11, 12; Photographs: NP120-1

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  • 1850-1976 (Creation)

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Physical description

2.4 m textual records

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Abraham H. Unruh was born on April 5, 1878 at Timirbulat, Crimea, South Russia. He received his education in Russia and was granted a Th.B. by Tabor College and a D.D. degree by Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. In Russia he taught in the public schools, high schools, and in Bible School. After coming to Canada, he was one of the founders of the Winkler Bible School (Pniel) in 1925. He was instructor and president at Pniel from 1925 to 1942. In 1943 the need for a denominational Bible college brought him to Winnipeg where he was the founder and first president of the Mennonite Brethren Bible College. He served on numerous Conference committees such as the Board of Education and the Board of Reference and Counsel for many years. From 1936 to 1939 he was chairman of the General Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Churches of North America. In addition to being an outstanding preacher and teacher, Unruh was also a writer. He wrote the Lektionsheft and other Sunday School materials for a number of years, wrote Bible expositions and articles for various periodicals and in 1954 he published Die Geschichte der Mennoniten Bruedergemeinde. Unruh has been referred to as a "spiritual statesman among his people." A.H. Unruh died in Chilliwack, B.C. on January 15, 1961 after he went into a diabetic shock and coma while he began a sermon in the Clearbrook MB Church on Friday, January 6. -Some information is taken from "We remember Abram H. Unruh (1877-1964)" by J.W. Redekopp and J.H. Quiring. Canadian Mennonite, Centennial Issue, 13 June 1967.

Custodial history

In 1980, A.A. Unruh donated 23 tapes of A.H. Unruh's sermons. Two sixty minute tapes of Unruh's funeral were donated by Walter and Peggy Regehr in 1982 and 19 tapes of Unruh's sermons as well as 6 books were donated by Esther Unruh, B.C., in 1990. Unruh's original papers were donated by A.A. Unruh in 1981 and in 1982.

Scope and content

The A.H. Unruh fonds reflects Unruh's life as a preacher, teacher, and writer. It consists of sermons, some typed, many handwritten in the Gothic script. Most of Unruh's sermons are undated but his later sermons are recognizable by larger writing because his eye-sight was failing. Some sermons are in published form, cut out from various periodicals, many from The Voice, the MBBC periodical. In the fonds are Unruh's lecture notes from his teaching career at Pniel Bible School and at Mennonite Brethren Bible College. Records that document his writing are early Bible School textbooks, pamphlets, many articles, and his manuscript of Die Geschichte der Mennoniten-Bruedergemeinde. The book itself is in the J.A. Toews library. The CMBS audio-collection holds 46 casette tapes and 7 reel to reel tapes of Unruh's sermons. Also included are tapes of special occasions such as ordinations, the Unruhs' Golden Anniversary, and wedding sermons, and Unruh's funeral. Some of the records in this fonds are dated after Unruh's death because A.A. Unruh (son) seems to have added to the collection.

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The letters from A.A. Unruh to his children, found in this fonds, are restricted.

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2.4 m textual material, as well as 2 photographs, ca. 50 casette tapes, and 7 reel to reel tapes.


Accession Numbers: 1980-30, 1981-7, 1982-4, 1982-63, and 1990-30.

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Much German.

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  • English

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