Jesse W. Hoover on Explaining Brethren in Christ Nonresistance to Evangelicals

Jesse W. Hoover poses with a child (identity unknown) in La Ronvieré, France. During World War II, Hoover spent significant time in Europe through his work with Mennonite Central Committee. (Courtesy of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives)

In an oral interview housed in the Billy Graham Center Archives at Wheaton College, Jesse W. Hoover — a Brethren in Christ minister, evangelist, and writer, and the peace secretary for Mennonite Central Committee during World War II — comments on the response of evangelicals to the efforts at peacemaking undertaken by the Brethren in Christ during World War II and following.

Here’s a taste:

I found that a frank simple open discussion of the issues involved always brought a sympathetic response. I don’t mean to suggest that they agreed with me but I had learned, I think, by that time pretty largely that argumentation just for the sake of argumentation usually get us nowhere. And I think I learned a little about a very humble, frank, straight-forward presentation without argumentation. And I’ve appreciated the . . . the reception . . . I don’t think that I can honestly say I’ve ever encountered what I sensed as direct opposition or at least not antagonism.

The entire four-part interview deals with many issues beyond Brethren in Christ nonresistant belief, and would be a great resource for an historian researching the church’s peace activities during and after the Great War.

To read the entire interview and a brief biography of Hoover, click here. (Hoover’s comments on peacemaking during World War II are in Transcript 3.)

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About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Writer, editor, historian, blogger
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2 Responses to Jesse W. Hoover on Explaining Brethren in Christ Nonresistance to Evangelicals

  1. Beth Mark says:

    Fascinating! How did you happen to find these transcripts?

  2. Devin Manzullo-Thomas says:

    Beth: I believe I ran into Hoover’s little corner of the Billy Graham Archives some time ago, when I was researching the connection between twentieth-century evangelicals and the Brethren in Christ. I re-visited it recently, and was profoundly intrigued by this piece.

    I believe there might be other BIC connections in the BGA — I’ll have to look into it!

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