James Daniel Gingerich

James Daniel Gingerich, 89, pastor and General Conference Mennonite Church leader, died Oct. 31, 2021, at Newton Medical Center. He was born Sept. 3, 1932, to Nicholas and Dorothy (Moser) Gingerich in Harrisburg, N.Y.


He attended Eastern Mennonite College and Goshen Biblical Seminary, where he earned a bachelor of divinity degree. He met Roberta Janzen on the campus of Goshen College. They were married Aug. 25, 1956, in Mountain Lake, Minn.

He and Roberta had three children as they began their married lives traveling for pastoral positions across the country. Lynette was born in New York, Kara in Washington state and Darwin in Kansas. The family laid roots in Kansas beginning in Burrton and later permanently in Moundridge, where he was pastor of First Mennonite Church of Christian for nearly 27 years, retiring in 1997.

As a longtime leader in the GCMC, he was instrumental in the structuring of Mennonite Church USA. He served as director of Mennonite Men from 1997 to 2010, Camp Mennoscah and Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp.

In Moundridge he worked hard to start the senior citizens program, served on the Moundridge Housing Authority and Associated Churches of Moundridge. James Street was named in recognition of his dedication to improving community life.

From Holland to El Salvador, Honduras to Canada, he traveled with an eye for aid and humanitarian enrichment. His global travels inspired his work and those around him.

Walking in the way of Christ as a conscientious objector, he served his 1-W service in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Rochester, N.Y.

He mastered the art of impactful business. From building and managing an apartment complex with his brother-in-law Howard Snider, farming and trading land and cattle across the state, partnering with his son in the business of antique John Deere tractors, navigating the complexities of the stock market and negotiating mineral rights and royalties, among numerous other ventures, no challenge was too daunting.

He is survived by his wife, Roberta; two daughters, Lynette (James) Allen of Moundridge and Kara Revell of Salina; a son, Darwin (Jodi) Gingerich of Moundridge; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Marie Snider.

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