Quote of the Day

“If, as it appears to this writer, the structures and decision-making processes of our church life are overwhelmingly male dominated, is it not time to consider why this is so and whether it is desirable in the degree to which it prevails? Should we not face squarely the possibility that the contemporary situation may be an affront to the dignity and a waste of the talents of Brethren in Christ women?”

Carlton O. Wittlinger, twentieth century Brethren in Christ church leader and historian, in a December 1970 issue of the Evangelical Visitor.

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About Devin Manzullo-Thomas

Father to Lucas. Husband to Katie. Prof and administrator at Messiah College. PhD student at Temple University. Member of Grantham BIC.
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5 Responses to Quote of the Day

  1. Amen, Brother Carlton. Thank you, Devin, for highlighting this affirming statement. I wonder what this BIC saint would think, could he see our churches today. Have we faced squarely the contemporary situation? I feel we’ve made progress, but I fear that talents continue to be wasted — of both women and men.

  2. Harriet Bicksler says:

    Another reason why I so respected Carlton Wittlinger, and why I still consider him one of my mentors! He was a great friend to me when I was a college student and in the years following before his untimely death.

  3. Devin, with all due respecdt to Bro. Lafayette Shoalts who baptismal image had appear on you banner, I’m glad you are now featuring and image of the sisters on your banner.

  4. Prof. Wittlinger was famously one of the lone Democrats on a campus dominated by Republicans. He used to give a lecture “Why I am a Democrat” (or some such title). Do you know if there is a printed version of it anywhere?

  5. Karen D. says:

    Dr. Wittlinger was one of my heroes. I was privileged to work for him in the Archives office during my senior year at Messiah College. My little desk with the big electric typewriter was positioned only a few feet from his desk. He would often interrupt my assignments with a chuckle, and then say, “Karen, you will be interested in this…” Then he would read part of a letter he had received or one he was writing to the newspaper, or launch into an interesting bit about something he had just received for the Archives. At times he would moan about some backward situation, or speak glowingly of how things could be. He often apologized for taking up my time. I didn’t mind at all! There I was getting paid to listen to his interesting stories and opinions!

    When I was typing the beginning chapters of his manuscript for Quest for Piety and Obedience, I would “cut and paste” using actual scissors and lots of rubber cement until the pages got so thick, I would run upstairs to xerox them and start again. He would apologize when he asked me to return a paragraph back to the original version. And he would laugh when he found an oft repeated typo where the “United Brethren” became the “Untied Brethren.” I really appreciated his generous spirit and sense of humor.

    It made me feel important to have him ask my opinion on things. He would say something like, “Karen, you have a keen sense of these things because you come from a long line of Brethren In Christ ancestors, so what do you think of this?” He also encouraged me in my conscientious objector stand and participation in the peace movement.

    As I looked at the date of this article in the Evangelical Visitor, I realized it was written a year prior to my work-study job in the Archives. Perhaps Dr. Wittlinger chose to hire me in order to enhance my dignity and help develop the talents of a young Brethren in Christ woman.

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