Richard Thiessen is Executive Director of the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, BC. Previously he was Librarian at Mennonite Brethren Bible College / Concord College, and Library Director at Columbia Bible College. Richard's love for Mennonite history and genealogy have been the focus of much of his volunteer work. He has served as president of both the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada and the Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, and was also active for many years with the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society. For twenty years he has been involved with GAMEO: the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (www.gameo.org). He created the website www.mennonitegenealogy.com in the late 1990s to help make Mennonite genealogical resources available to the public. Richard has a deep love and commitment to the Church, and has served on a number of local, provincial, and national church committees in both Mennonite Brethren and Mennonite Church contexts. Richard and his wife Karen love to travel and to learn more about the places and people they see and meet. They have visited over 40 countries and have travelled extensively through both Canada and the United States. Over the years they have also hosted numerous exchange students in their home. Richard and Karen have three sons and a daughter-in-law. They believe that one of the best things they ever did as a family was to spend two months in Ethiopia volunteering at the Meserete Kristos College. Richard loves photography, visiting museums, listening to music, collecting stamps, growing lilies, and cheering for the Montreal Canadiens.


Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour – High Countries

Grow in your appreciation for the faith and faithfulness of Anabaptist forebears as you discover the origins of the Anabaptist movement in Switzerland, southern Germany, and France on the first leg of this epic heritage tour. Reflect at important sites as you hear the stories of Felix Manz, Pilgram Marpeck, Conrad Grebel, and other early Anabaptist leaders. Consider the contrast between Anabaptists who held fast to the principle of biblical nonresistance—even to the point of death—and radicals who turned to violence to protect their beliefs. Also, see European cultural and natural sights including the Rhine River Valley and the Köln cathedral.

Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour – Low Countries

Grow in your appreciation for the faith and faithfulness of Anabaptist forebears as you trace the historical movement of the Anabaptists from The Netherlands to northern Germany to Poland on part two of the epic heritage tour. Reflect at important sites as you hear the story of Menno Simons and other Dutch Mennonites as they spread out along the Baltic coast all the way to the Vistula Delta in Poland. Visit former Mennonite villages in Poland, where Mennonites lived for generations. Also enjoy cultural experiences in these countries including a boat ride in Amsterdam, a train ride across northern Germany, and a tour of Marlbork Castle in Poland.

Epic European Anabaptist Heritage Tour – Far Country

Grow in your appreciation for the faith and faithfulness of Anabaptist forebears as you explore the settlements of Mennonites in Ukraine on the final leg of the epic heritage tour. Reflect at important sites as you hear the stories of initial welcome of Mennonites  by Catherine the Great in the mid to late 1700s and the hostility of other political leaders generations later. Visit the former Mennonite villages of Chortitza and Molotschna where some of your ancestors may have lived, as well as historical and cultural sites in Zaporizhia and Kyiv.