New book chronicles educators, church leaders from WWII generation

Story by Jim Bishop

They were born in the Depression, grew up during World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and Vietnam. All moved from more rural to professional settings and made major impacts on the Mennonite Church, its institutions and the larger society.
Reflections and stories from these 16 educators and church leaders form the basis of Making Sense of the Journey: The Geography of Our Faith, a 350-page paperback. The volume, with a foreward by EMU president Loren Swartzendruber, is edited by Mennonite educators and church leaders Robert and Nancy V. Lee.

The book, published by the Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society at Eastern Mennonite University and distributed by Herald Press of Scottdale, Pa., will be released at a book signing and celebration to be held Dec. 6 at 3:50 p.m. in Martin Chapel of the seminary building at EMU. The authors will be present at the unveiling.

ACRS is a recently-formed group affiliated with EMU that embodies the growing realization that retirement from the classroom offers new and ongoing possibilities for creative intellectual interaction and support of the larger university, church and society.

The writers are: Esther K. and Myron S. Augsburger, Titus W. Bender, James R. Bomberger, Gerald R. Brunk, Ray Gingerich, Samuel L. Horst, Albert N. Keim, C. Norman Kraus, Nancy V. Lee, Harold D. Lehman, John R. Martin, Paul Peachey, Calvin W. Redekop, Calvin E. Shenk and Edward B. Stoltzfus.

Nearly all have been faculty members at one time or other at Eastern Mennonite University or Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

According to Dr. Keim, professor emeritus of history at EMU, “These remarkable accounts reflect the experiences and stories similar to hundreds of other Mennonites whose lives were changed during this disruptive era. … By confronting their own beliefs and faith practices, they gradually transformed the Mennonite Church.

The book is available at the University Bookstore, other area bookstore outlets and at


Jim Bishop is a regular contributor to The Augusta Free Press.


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