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1926 Leland 2013

Leland Harder

July 1, 1926 — March 21, 2013

Leland D. Harder, 86, retired minister and seminary professor died March 21, 2013 at the Kidron-Bethel Retirement Center in North Newton.

He was born July 1, 1926, in Hillsboro to Menno S. and Katherine Wiens Harder. He married Bertha Fast on August 8, 1951, in Mountain Lake, MN.

Leland was a graduate of Bethel College (1948), Michigan State University (M.A., 1950), Bethany Biblical Seminary (B.D., 1952), and Northwestern University (PhD, 1962). He was pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Chicago (1952-1957) and taught at the Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN (1958-1983). He was a member of the Commission on Home Ministries for the General Conference Mennonite Church. He and a colleague were the authors of a sociological study of the members of five Mennonite denominations, Anabaptists Four Centuries Later. He was also the author of a major book in Anabaptist studies, The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism. He retired in North Newton in 1983, where he was a part-time director of the Great Plains Seminary Education Program, served as Conference Minister for the South Central (Mennonite) Conference, and was deeply involved in family history research and writing. He was an active member of the Bethel College Mennonite Church.

Preceding him in death were his two parents; a brother Marvin Harder; sister Lois Hiebert; wife Bertha; and daughter-in-law Julie (Wieler).

He is survived by son John (Windsor, ONT) and granddaughters Chani and Leah; son Tom (Wichita), daughter-in-law Lois (Nofsinger), and granddaughters Hillary, Madeline and Anna; and his sister Joan (Kaufman, Winfield).

Memorial services will be held at Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, Saturday April 6 at 3:00 p.m., preceded by a private internment at the Gnadenau Mennonite Cemetery south of Hillsboro.

A memorial fund has been established with the Bethel College Mennonite Church Foundation, contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, Ks. 67114.

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.
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