The Elders

Geschichtbuch listing elders of the Hutterian Church. Listed are Klaus Braidl (from Hesse): 1583-1611; Sebastian Dietrich (from Württemberg): 1611-1619; Ulrich Jaussling (from Switzerland): 1619-1621; and Valentin Winter (from Württenberg): 1622-1631

Current Elders of the Hutterian Brethren Church

All three groups have their own Ältistor or elder, who is responsible for the spiritual leadership of the various communities within his leut. The term Vorsteher (leader) was used in the past to describe the role of the elder.  Historically, there was only one Vorsteher for all the Hutterites, but upon immigrating to America in the 19th century, each of the groups eventually selected their own elder, typically by majority vote of all the married male members of the Church. For some of the Leut, this model has changed in recent years to a model where only pastors are involved in the Elder election proceedings.

1. Schmiedeleut

Hutterian Brethren (Group 1 or SL1)
(Current Elder: Arnold Hofer, Acadia Colony, MB)

Group 2 Hutterites
(Current Elder: Leonard Kleinsasser, Delta Colony, MB)
Schmiedeleut Group 2 (SL2) did not have an elder since they created & ratified a new church constitution in the mid 90s. They were “governed” by a committee of Prediger appointed by the older ministers.
In October of 2022, most of the SL2 pastors from the USA and Canada elected an elder at a special meeting.)

The Schmiedelut subdivided into two groups, Group 1 and Group 2, in 1992.

2. Dariusleut

(Current Elder: Joseph Wurtz, Hillsvale Colony, Sk)

3. Lehrerleut

(Current Elder: Michel Hofer, Kyle, SK)

Historical List of Elders

The first Vorsteher of the Hutterian Brethren was Jakob Hutter, from whom the Hutterites get their name.  He was executed in Innsbruck, Austria in 1536.

Jakob Hutter (from Tirol) -1536
Hans Amon (from Bavaria): 1536-1542
Leonhard Lanzenstiel (from Bavaria): 1542-1565
Peter Riedemann (from Silesia): 1542-1556
Peter Walpot (from Tirol): 1565-1578
Hans Kräl (from Kitzbühel): 1578-1583
Klaus Braidl (from Hesse): 1583-1611
Sebastian Dietrich (from Württemberg): 1611-1619
Ulrich Jaussling (from Switzerland): 1619-1621
Valentin Winter (from Württenberg): 1622-1631
Heinrich Hartmann: 1631-1639
Andreas Ehrenpreis: 1639-1662
Johannes Rücker: 1662-1687
Johannes Milder: 1687-1688
Caspar Eglauch: 1688-1693
Tobias Bersch: 1693-1701
Community of goods given up .
Jonas Roth/Mathias Helm> 1701-1724
Jakob Pollman: 1724-1734
Jorgl Franckh: 1734-1746
Zacharias Walter: 1746-1761
Heinrich Müller: 1762
Hänsel Kleinsasser (from Carinthia): 1762-1779
Joseph Kuhr (from Alwinz): 1779-1794
Johannes Waldner (from Carinthia): 1794-1824
Jakob Walter (from Sabatisch): 1824-1855
Jörg Waldner: 1846-1857
Michel Waldner (Bon Homme, SD): 1876-1889

Schmiedeleut Elders

Michael Waldner, Bon Homme, SD: (1876-1889) – Also, elected joint Elder of Dariusleut.
No Elder from 1889-1934
Joseph Kleinsasser, Milltown, MB (1934-1947)
Joseph Waldner, Huron, MB (1947-1951)
Peter Hofer, Miami, MB (1951-1967)
Joseph Kleinsasser, Sunny Side, MB (1967-1978)
Jacob Kleinsasser, Crystal Spring, MB (1978-2017)
Arnold Hofer, Acadia, MB (2017 – )

Leherleut Elders

Michel Hofer, Kyle, SK (2017 – )
Peter Enns, Crystal Spring Colony, AB (…2017)

Dariusleut Elders

Darius Walter, Wolfcreek, SD
Mike Stahl, Tscetter, SD
Elias Walter, Wlson, AB (1928 – 1930)
Chris Waldner, Raley, Ab (1928 – 1937)
Elias Walter, Standoff, Ab (1928 – 1937)
David Hofer, East Cardston, AB (1937 – 1945)
Paul Stahl, Beisiker (1937 – 1945)
Chris Waldner, Raley, AB (1928 – 1937)
John Wurz, Wilson, AB (1945 – 1960)
Chris Tschetter, Fairview, AB (1960 – 1962)
David Waldner, Stahlville, AB (1969 – 1971)
John Wurz, Wilson, AB (1971 -1990)
Martin Walter, Spring Point, AB (2001 – 2017)
Mike Stahl, Byemore, AB (1990 – 2000)
John Stahl, Lougheed, AB (2006 – 2013)
Joseph Wurtz, Hillsvale Colony, Sk (2014- )