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Bishop Ezra Benjamin Yordy b. 6 Apr 1892 Flanagan, Livingston Co., IL d. 9 Nov 1980 Bloomington, McLean Co., IL: The Schrock-Birkey Connection

Bishop Ezra Benjamin Yordy

Male 1892 - 1980  (88 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All

  • Name Ezra Benjamin Yordy  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Prefix Bishop 
    Born 6 Apr 1892  Flanagan, Livingston Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1897  Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1908  Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Baptism 21 Oct 1908  Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 6
    • East Bend Mennonite Church, by Peter Zehr
    CLER
    Education Did Not Attend High School, But Attended Bethany Bible School In Chicago In His Teens And Attended Meetings At Moody When He Worked In Chicago. 
    Occupation Farmer/Minister 
    Residence 1913  Chicago, Cook Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Worked with Home Mission on 18th Street, the so-called “bloody ward” of the city.
    Residence 1914  Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Taught Sunday school and romanced Carrie Good
    Residence 1915  Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Ordained 15 Jul 1917  Roanoke Twp., Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Minister Roanoke Mennonite Church by Bishop Andrew Schrock and Minister C.F. Derstine
    Ordained 30 Aug 1925  Roanoke Twp., Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    • Ordained Bishop by S.F. Coffman and C.F. Derstine. He was later given oversight of Maple Lawn Home; the Goodfield congregation, the Cullom Mennonite Church; Ann Street, Sheffield; Rehoboth; and the Bethel church in Chicago. He made the rounds of these churches, conducting communion and marriages.
    Religion Amish Mennonite 
    Buried Nov 1980  Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Roanoke Mennonite Cemetery
    Died 9 Nov 1980  Bloomington, McLean Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I567  Schrock-Birkey Connection
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2018 

    Father Joseph P. Yordy,   b. 7 Nov 1857, Pekin, Tazewell Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1925, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth A. Roeschley,   b. 20 Jul 1862, Spring Bay, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Feb 1953, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 1 Jan 1882  Roanoke Twp., Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    • At the Amisch Mennite Church, Roanoke, Woodford Co. by Jacob Zehr, Minister of the Gospel. Witnesses: John J. Roeschley and Joseph Wagner. Joseph was living in Roanoke Twp. at the time of marriage and Elizabeth was living in Roanoke. Witnesses to the marriage were John Roeschley and Joseph Wagner (Wagler?)
    Family ID F247  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Carrie Edna Good,   b. 2 Jan 1893, Cornell, Livingston Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jan 1993, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years) 
    Married 16 Dec 1915  East Bend Twp., Champaign Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  [6, 8
    • By Peter Zehr, at home of bride’s parents, Peter Good. Carrie’s white wedding dress and dark blue going away dress were sewn by a seamstress in Fisher, IL.
    Children 
     1. Ethel Mae Yordy,   b. 16 Feb 1917, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Aug 2011, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)
     2. Dorothy Marie Yordy,   b. 8 Dec 1918, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 2013, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)
     3. Alta Mabrae Yordy,   b. 24 Sep 1921, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Dec 2017, Normal, McLean Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 96 years)
     4. Florence Mardelle Yordy,   b. 7 Oct 1923,   d. 26 Dec 1977  (Age 54 years)
     5. Ruth Mildred Yordy,   b. 7 Mar 1927, Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Mar 2012, Fort Madison, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     6. Maurice James Yordy
    Last Modified 7 Mar 2018 
    Family ID F250  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Apr 1892 - Flanagan, Livingston Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1897 - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1908 - Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 21 Oct 1908 - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1913 - Chicago, Cook Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1914 - Fisher, Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1915 - Eureka, Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 16 Dec 1915 - East Bend Twp., Champaign Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOrdained - 15 Jul 1917 - Roanoke Twp., Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOrdained - 30 Aug 1925 - Roanoke Twp., Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - Nov 1980 - Roanoke, Woodford Co., IL Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 9 Nov 1980 - Bloomington, McLean Co., IL Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • Obit:
      Yordy, Ezra B., son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Roeschley) Yordy, was born at Flanagan, Ill., Apr. 46, 1892; died at Mennonite Hospital, Bloomington, Ill., Nov. 9, 1980; aged 88 y. On Dec. 16, 1915, he was married to Carrie E. Good, who survives. Also surviving are one son (Maurice), 4 daughters (Ethel Troyer, Alta Graber, Dorothy Yordy, and Ruth Keller), 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and one brother (Jonas). He was preceded in death by one daughter (Florence-Mrs. Orval Schrock). He was ordained to the ministry in 1917 and served at the Roanoke Mennonite Church. He was a member of Roanoke Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on Nov. 12, in charge of Norman Yutzy, Robert Harnish, Richard Yordy and Edwin Stalter; interment in the church cemetery.


      Following are remarks made by Alvin Yordy at the Joseph Yordy Reunion, June 10, 1978:
      "Ezra, the active, out-going member of the family gave many years of pastoral care to the Roanoke Mennonite Church, as well as leadership in his community and state. As a young man, he could run faster, jump higher, and shuck more corn than most anyone. He suffered a bad knee from the result of a runaway horse throwing him from his buggy. Later the leg had to be amputated. This never slowed him down. He continued to preach, farm, and travel. Not only is he remembered for his many services to mankind, but is also remembered as a great story teller and for his ability in 'witching' successful water wells. Many a thirsty person has drunk from a well 'witched' by Ezra. Much of his success was due to Carrie, his wife. She was a good manager, a hard worker, and a kind mother who gave rich guidance to her six children and many grandchildren. She also is remembered for her hospitality shown to many traveling ministers, neighbors, and relatives."


      Written material follows from the Joseph Yordy family members:
      Ezra B. Yordy 1892-1980 and Carrie Good Yordy
      Ezra B. Yordy was ordained to the ministry July 15, 1917, after being selected by a vote of the Roanoke congregation. Bishop Andrew Schrock and C. F. Derstine officiated at the ordination. He was ordained bishop by the voice of the congregation on August 30, 1925. Bishops S. F. Coffman and C. F. Derstine officiated at the ordination. Ezra served the congregation until his retirement in 1957. His wife, Carrie, was a faithful servant of the church, and at his side during all these years of ministry.
      It is interesting to note that both Ezra and Carrie were born in Livingston Co., IL During their early childhood years they both moved with their families to Champaign Co., IL. They worshipped at the East Bend Mennonite Church at Fisher, and were baptized by Bishop Peter Zehr of that congregation. Later, Ezra returned to Woodford Co. and lived on a farm south of Secor. As a young man he went to Chicago to study at Bethany Bible School. During this time he lived at the Mennonite Home Mission and became acquainted with city mission work under the guidance of A. H. Lehman, who was superintendent of the mission at the time. Bishop Lehman had a great influence on Ezra’s life and wanted to develop him into an urban missionary. The tug of country life was deeply ingrained in Ezra, so he returned to life on the farm. His family worshipped at the Roanoke congregation and Ezra became active in the Sunday school. It was this assignment and the experiences that accompanied it that eventually led him to be chosen as a minister in the church. His love for spirited horses and an accident involving a run-away team during this era eventually resulted in the loss of his right leg. It was obvious that this trauma had a profound impact on his physical involvement throughout the rest of his life.
      Even though Ezra had left the Fisher area, he continued to nurture a friendship with Carrie Good. This led to their marriage on December 15, 1915, at the home of the bride’s parents, Peter and Mary Naffziger Good of Rantoul, IL. They were married by Bishop Peter Zehr of the East Bend congregation and they requested permission to have the Roeschley brothers male quartet, Ezra’s cousins from Waldo, at Flanagan, sing at their wedding. This was considered to be a real plus at the time, and they were also given permission to wear corsages for the wedding.
      They first lived on a farm at the north edge of Eureka, just across from the present Maple Lawn Homes. Later, they moved to a farm several miles east of Eureka on 4-H Road--a farm that was owned by DeBolt Householter of the Roanoke congregation. From there they moved to their farm home south of Eureka and that is where they continued to live until their retirement. They raised their family of six children on this farm. There were five girls and one son. During this era Mennonite ministers provided for most of their livelihood, so Ezra’s disability meant that Carrie shouldered many of the farm activities involving care of the livestock during morning and evening chore times. The children were also called upon to share in these activities prior to leaving for school each day.
      The Yordy home was often the place where visiting evangelists, missionaries, church workers, and others often found hospitality and rest. Ezra was a gregarious person and loved to share his stories and visit with others. Carrie was more reserved in nature and found her role of quietly serving others to be the one that she enjoyed. She was a loyal and faithful minister’s wife and carried her responsibilities with trust and dignity. Ezra and Carrie loved their family very much and supported them with quiet resolve. The years of the Great Depression in the early 1930s were not without trauma and it was during this time that Ezra had his right leg amputated as a result of the injury from the accident with horses during his teen years. Various members of the Roanoke congregation and the community provided assistance in numerous ways.
      Ezra had many friends in the local community and developed a strong relationship with local pastors from other denominations in the Eureka area. He also enjoyed a close fellowship with other Illinois conference ministers as they worked together and often traveled to various church-wide meetings, such as state and national conferences of the Mennonite Church.
      During his tenure at Roanoke, Ezra served the church in other ways outside the local congregation. He often ministered to the residents of Maple Lawn Homes and was a very close friend to J. D. Smith, the first superintendent. He served as a bishop in the oversight of several area churches and enjoyed working with other ministers in these assignments. When James and Rowena Lark were called to pastor the first black church in the Illinois conference in Chicago, he served as their bishop. This involved numerous trips to Chicago as the work developed in that city. During his ministry, Ezra did some traveling as an evangelist, served as the moderator of the Illinois Conference, and was president of the Illinois District Mission Board for ten years.
      Ezra often quoted some lines written by Edgar A. Guest, that seemed to fit his outgoing personality. They are, “Let me live by the side of the road and be a friend to man.” In all of his experiences in life he shared his great love for people, his faithful devotion to the Mennonite Church, and his abiding faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Sources 
    1. [S19] Joseph Yordy Family Record.

    2. [S397] Biographies of Mennonite Leaders: Samuel S. Zehr, E. Jack Stalter.

    3. [S523] Ezra Yordy: A Man of Many Facets, Thomas Yoder.

    4. [S1018] {“Union in a Common Faith” published in Mennonite Life, March 1993, by V. Gordon Oyer}, {Harold Zehr} .

    5. [S1] Personal knowledge and family records, Donna Schrock Birkey , Family Bible.

    6. [S225] East Bend Mennonite Church Records, Peter Zehr.

    7. [S375] Joseph P. Yordy and Lizzie A. Roeschley-Marriage license .

    8. [S1060] Find-A-Grave, FAG into gives the year as 1916 - https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49083702/carrie-e.-yordy.


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