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Collection 319 Oral History Interview with Jesse W. Hoover

Identifier: CN 319

Scope and Contents

Oral history interview with Jesse Wilbert Hoover (1908-2002) in which he discuesses his pietistic background and beliefs, his education at Messiah and Wheaton Colleges, his involvement in Mennonite relief work in Europe and the Far East and his evangelistic work in Canada. The time period covered by the interviews is 1908-1947.

Jesse W. Hoover was interviewed by Paul Ericksen on October 7, 1985 in Greenfield, Indiana.


  • Created: 1985

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical Information

Jesse Hoover was born July 7, 1908 in Miami County, Ohio to E.B. and Lydia Hoover. The family were members of the Brethren in Christ denomination, in which Hoover stayed all his life. He graduated from Randolph Township High School in Englewood, Ohio in May 1926 and enrolled in Messiah College, then in Grantham, Pennsylvania, the next year. While there his Christian faith was renewed and he had a call to Christian service. He intended to become a teacher. In 1931 Hoover transferred to Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, partly because his favorite professor from Messiah, Charles Eavey, had moved to Wheaton. Hoover graduated in 1932 with a BA in Education. The same year he married fellow graduate Esther Naomi Stump and they eventually had one child.

After graduating he worked for a year for his father-in-law on his farm, but then developed tuberculous and it was several years before he completely recovered. When he did he again worked with his father-in-law in a grain elevator business. He was also becoming more involved in the affairs of the Brethren in Christ. He served as a temporary pastor at some rural churches and also held evangelistic meetings, including a series of meetings in the Northwestern Territory of Canada in 1939. He also spent four years as the volunteer pastor of a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He volunteered to go to Europe in 1941 for the Mennonite Central Committee as a relief food administrator. He spent most of his time in France, helping to feed people who had become refugees because of the war. When he returned to the United States in about ten months, he traveled throughout the country to talk about the relief program. He also became editor-in-chief of the Brethren in Christ's publications. When America entered the war, he became secretary of the peace section of the Mennonite Central Committee and acted as a liaison with government officials in negotiations about the draft status of conscientious objectors among Mennonite youth.

In 1947 he led a tour of young people to Mennonite relief programs in the Philippines, China, Indonesia and India. While there he was also involved in assisting in different ways the work of the relief programs. Upon his return to the United States, he started a hardware business in Indiana. When he retired, he and his wife continued to lived in that state, in the town of Greenfield.


4.00 Audio Tapes

192 Minutes

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The materials for this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by Jesse Hoover in October 1985.

Acc: 85-135

March 5, 1993

Robert Shuster

K. Cox

Collection 319 Oral History Interview with Jesse W. Hoover
Bob Shuster
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US