The Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church of Goessel, Kansas is a congregation affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA. Goessel is a city in Marion County, Kansas, United States. The population was 565 at the 2000 census. The Mennonite Church USA represents the largest group of Mennonite Christians in the United States The congregation has a continuous history dating from 16th century Europe.
Alexanderwohl Church families trace their roots to the Dutch Anabaptists of the 16th century. Anabaptists ( Greek ανα (again twice + βαπτιζω (baptize thus "re-baptizers" are Christians of the Radical Reformation From 1600 to 1650 these families, now called Mennonites, migrated to West Prussia, settling in the Danzig area between the Vistula and Nogat Rivers. The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496&ndash1561 though his teachings were a relatively West Prussia ( Prusy Zachodnie was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773&ndash1824 and 1878&ndash1918 which was created out of the earlier Polish Gdańsk ( Polish pronunciation; 'Danzig', Gduńsk Gedania Dantiscum is the City at the centre of the fourth-largest Metropolitan area in Poland The Nogat is a Distributary of the Vistula River in Poland. The Nogat flows into the Vistula Lagoon. The Przechowko church in West Prussia, the mother church of Alexanderwohl, was composed of Mennonites who settled near Schwetz and Culm on the Vistula River. West Prussia ( Prusy Zachodnie was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773&ndash1824 and 1878&ndash1918 which was created out of the earlier Polish Świecie (Schwetz is a Town in northern Poland with 25968 inhabitants (2006 situated in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship (since 1999 it For the concentration camp located near a village with a similar name Chełmno nad Nerem see Chełmno extermination camp. Because of growing Prussian militarism and ongoing discrimination against Mennonites, a large portion of the Przechowko Church migrated in 1820-21 under the leadership of Peter Wedel to the Molotschna Mennonite colony in South Russia. Molotschna Colony was a Russian Mennonite settlement in what is now Zaporizhia Oblast ( province) in Ukraine. In Russia they would be granted exemption from military service, the right to run their own schools and self-govern their villages. Nonresistance (or non-resistance) discourages physical resistance to an enemy and is a subdivision of Nonviolence. During this journey they met Czar Alexander I of Russia, who wished them well (German: "wohl"), prompting the naming of the new village, Alexanderwohl. Alexander I of Russia ( Russian: Александр I Павлович / Aleksandr I Pavlovich (23 December 1777 – November 19 1825 served as Emperor of 
In 1870 the Russian government issued a proclamation stating the intention to end all special privileges granted to German colonists by 1880. Alarmed at the possibility of losing control of their schools and military exemption, a delegation of Mennonite leaders, including Jacob Buller, a minister of the Alexanderwohl congregation, visited North America in 1873 to investigate resettlement possibilities. The delegates split into separate parties, with Buller traveling to Kansas and Texas. When Buller returned in September his congregation had already decided they were ready to move to North America. Over the next nine months they prepared for the trip.
In May of 1874, Eduard Totleben, representing the czar, visited the Molotschna Mennonite making verbal promises in an attempt to persuade them not to emigrate. Eduard Totleben (or Todleben) ( May 20, 1818 &ndash July 1, 1884) was a Baltic German Military engineer  Unconvinced, immigration plans proceeded. Disposing of property, they were able to get full price for grain and animals but land and other possessions went for half value or less. . Passports were obtained on 1874-07-15 and distributed in the Alexanderwohl Church on the 18th. Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1099 - First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final Travel arrangements were made on the Hamburg-American Line. The Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft ( HAPAG for short often referred to in English as Hamburg America Line, sometimes also Hamburg-Amerika The entire Alexanderwohl church membership plus other families (about 800 persons) embarked on two ships. Through the leadership and organization skills of Jacob Buller, financial arrangements were made so that even families with the least resources were able make the journey. As a result, this was the only large Mennonite group that migrated from Russia to North America as a complete congregation.  Jacob Buller departed with a group on the Cimbria on 1874-08-12 and minister Dietrich Gaeddert led 130 families on the Teutonia which departed on 1874-08-16. Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1099 - First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon - Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeat Fatimid Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1384 - The Hongwu Emperor of Ming China, Emperor Dong hears a case of a couple who tore paper money bills while fighting  The trip from Hamburg, Germany to New York lasted about 18 days and from there they proceeded in three groups to Topeka, Kansas and Nebraska. Hamburg (English, German: ˈhambʊɐk local pronunciation Low German / Low Saxon: Hamborg) is the second-largest city in Germany Topeka ( Kansa: Tó Ppí Kˀé ˌto ˈpːi ˌkˀeɪ Ioway: Dó Pí Kˀé ˌto ˈpʰi ˌkˀeɪ
Arriving in Topeka on 1874-09-10, the Gaeddert group and the Buller group which arrived soon afterward, were housed by the Santa Fe Railroad for a month while they purchased horses, cattle, farm implements, building materials, food staples and other necessities for starting a new life on the prairie. Year 1874 ( MDCCCLXXIV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde. The Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the larger railroads in the United States. The two groups had by this time separated from each other, with the Buller group settling near what is now Goessel, Kansas and the Gaeddert group settling east of Buhler, Kansas. Goessel is a city in Marion County, Kansas, United States. The population was 565 at the 2000 census. Buhler is a city in Reno County, Kansas, United States. The population was 1358 at the 2000 census.
The Santa Fe Railroad built immigrant houses in Harvey, Reno, Marion and McPherson counties for the families to stay in while houses were erected on their own land. The Gaeddert group organized a new congregation, Hoffnungsau.  Its name was derived from a comment of J. C. Dick who, upon seeing the wide-open prairie that was to be his new home, exclaimed "Dies is ja hier eine wahrhaftige Hoffnungsau" (This is here indeed a true meadow of hope). 
Two of the immigrant structures were near the middle of the section on which the Alexanderwohl church now stands. After families moved to newly built homes of their own, the immigrant houses were moved together to form a place of worship. Alexanderwohl church membership grew rapidly from 265 in 1874 to 467 in 1880.  Church leaders promoted cooperation with other Mennonites in Kansas for the purpose of creating a teacher training school and doing mission work. Toward this end, the congregation became part of the General Conference Mennonite Church in 1878. The General Conference Mennonite Church was an association of Mennonite congregations based in North America from 1860 to 2002
By the winter of 1874 the congregation had opened three schools and more followed.  On 1882-09-13 the Emmental Central School for training Mennonite teachers was opened in one of these schools. Year 1882 ( MDCCCLXXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 509 BC - The Temple of Jupiter on Rome 's Capitoline Hill is dedicated on the ides of September This school was moved to Halstead, Kansas the next year where it opened as Halstead Seminary and eventually became Bethel College. Halstead is a city in Harvey County, Kansas, United States. The population was 1873 at the 2000 census. Bethel College is a private college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.
In 1886, a new church was completed on the present site. The church building, originally built in the Dutch Mennonite style, underwent a major remodeling project in 1928. An education wing was added in 1961, and a north addition in 1983. Today, Alexanderwohl has approximately 500 members and is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA and Western District Conference. It has active programs for youth, music, education, community outreach, and missions.