Brethren Bits for September 10, 2016

The “Sinking of the Zam Zam” is the latest “hidden gem” from the Brethren Historical Library and Archives. Archive intern Fred Miller has pulled together the story of three Church of the Brethren nurses who were captured by the Nazis. “The date was March 27, 1941, eight months before the USA entered World War Two. The ZamZam was a rickety Egyptian freighter, sailing from New York bound for Alexandria by way of the Cape of Good Hope…. Three Brethren nurses boarded at Recife, Brazil on April 9, on their way to Nigeria; Alice Engel, Sylvia Oiness, and Ruth Utz….” Read the story at .

Corrections: The Newsline report on the “Legacy of the China Mission” and the history of the Church of the Brethren mission that began in Pingding, China, included a few factual errors. We are endebted to Eric Miller for these corrections: The current Friendship Hospital was inspired by the work of the mission hospital and took the name You’ai/Friendship hospital, but has no direct ties to the original mission hospital. The mission house that is still standing is at the mission site in Shouyang, but was built by English Baptists who turned over the site to the Brethren.

Remembrance: Carroll M. (Kaydo) Petry, a former district executive for the Church of the Brethren who also served in the Nigeria mission of the church, died early Thursday morning, Sept. 8. He served as the first district executive of South/Central Indiana District, after the merging of the Southern and Middle Indiana Districts in 1971, and had been the secretary for the Restructuring Committee that merged the two districts. He retired from the district executive position on Sept. 1, 1993. His mission service in Nigeria with his wife, Margaret (Margie), took place from 1963-69 and included a term teaching at Kulp Bible School (now Kulp Bible College) where he was principal for a year. The Petrys also worked at a mission station in the village of Shafa. During his time in Nigeria he was literature secretary for the Lardin Gabas Church (now Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, known as EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). In 1977, the Petrys returned to Nigeria for a sabbatical during which he as assistant to EYN general secretary Wasinda Mshelia, who had lived in Shafa at the time the Petrys served there as mission workers. In other service to the church, Petry pastored congregations in Indiana and Illinois. He was born in Pittsburg, Ohio, on Aug. 20, 1931, to Wilmer A. and Lucile Petry. He grew up in Akron, Ohio, where his father pastored Eastwood Church of the Brethren for 28 years. He married Margaret James in 1950. He held degrees from Manchester College, now Manchester University, and from Bethany Seminary. A memorial service will be held at Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester, Ind., on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, at 2 p.m., with a time of visitation following the service.

Remembrance: P. David Leatherman, 71, a former director of Human Resources for the Church of the Brethren denomination, died Aug. 22 at his home in Oshkosh, Wis. He was born in 1944 in Chicago, Ill., the son of Paul and Victoria Leatherman, and was a graduate of Eastern Illinois University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He worked in Human Resources at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., for several years, beginning in 1987 when he was hired as staff for personnel relations and development. His professional career also included work for the City of Elgin, the Elgin Metal Casket Company, and Lyon Metal Products in Aurora, Ill. He is survived by his wife, Joy Leatherman, whom he married in 1987; daughter Carrie Leatherman; step children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Funeral services were held on Aug. 27 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, where he had been a member.

Terry Goodger on Sept. 2 ended her service as office coordinator in Material Resources, at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She has been instrumental in facilitating a smooth running office in Material Resources, working with both employees and external program partners. She has been especially helpful with many of the Material Resources compliance issues with local, state, and federal governmental authorities. Goodger has been an employee of the Church of the Brethren since Sept. 13, 2006.

Bethany Theological Seminary welcomed nine new students this fall, as they met for orientation on Aug. 22-23. “Ranging from recent college graduates to career professionals in their fifties,” said a release, “members of the new class are pursuing the master of divinity, Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies (CATS), and the Theopoetics and Theological Imagination certificate, one of three new graduate certificates Bethany is offering this year. One person is enrolled as an occasional student.” The new students are Mary Garvey, Huntingdon, Pa.; Jason Haldeman, Bethel, Pa.; Emily Hollenberg, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Kindra Kreislers, Saginaw, Mich.; Jan Orndorff, Woodstock, Va.;Steven Petersheim, Richmond, Ind.; Jacob Pilipski, Bristow, Va.; Timothy Troyer, Huntington, Ind.; Evan Underbrink, Durham, N.C. The release notes the wide experience and academic background of this group of students, which includes members who currently teach or have taught at the undergraduate level, and who have been in congregational ministry, college administrative support, and professional writing.

A walking team in honor of Ted Studebaker, a Church of the Brethren martyr for peace during the Vietnam War era, is being put together by Bethany students in the seminary’s Peace Studies Program joining with Studebaker family members and other Ohio Brethren. The team will honor Studebaker’s life and witness at the Peace Heroes Walk sponsored by the Dayton (Ohio) Peace Museum this Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Riverscape Park in Dayton. Onsite registration opens at 12 noon. More information is at

“Pray for program volunteers Linda and Robert Shank as they return for their twelfth semester of educational service with the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology…. Pray for good health and continued relationship-building,” said a prayer request from Global Mission and Service this week. Robert Shank serves as dean of the agricultural department at the university in North Korea, and teaches courses such as genetics and plant breeding. Linda Shank provides support instructional support in English and zoology..

Johnson City (Tenn.) Church of the Brethren is planning a dedication service for an addition to its worship center. “Please mark your calendars for a special dedication service, 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 18,” said an announcement from Southeastern District. “There will be great fellowship, singing, honoring the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and refreshments.”

Bridgewater (Va.) College is seeing record enrollment for 2016-2017, said a release from the school. “Enrollment at Bridgewater College is higher than at any other time in its history, with the college’s office of institutional research reporting overall total enrollment at 1,894,” the release said. “Bridgewater is also welcoming its largest-ever incoming class of 601 freshmen for the 2016-2017 academic year.” In the release, president David W. Bushman attributed the success to ongoing investment in the success of students including “additions to our historically robust commitment to the liberal arts, highlighted by the dedication of our Center for Engaged Learning and the upcoming launch of the college’s first graduate program…. Our strong enrollment indicates these initiatives are resonating with prospective students and their families across the state and around the region.” Of the 601 first-time freshmen, 32 percent are from out of state and 31 percent are from diverse backgrounds. Women make up 54 percent of the class. The class’ top five academic majors are business administration, biology, athletic training, health and exercise science, and psychology.

Episode 13 of the Dunker Punks podcast created by Brethren young adults “goes back to camp,” reports Suzanne Lay of Arlington (Va.) Church of the Brethren, which sponsors and hosts the podcasts. “Sarah Ullom-Minnich interviews counselors at Camp Colorado about how the beloved community is built when we come together for a week in the summer, and Jacob Crouse unveils a toe-tapping new tune, covering an old camp favorite. Explore how we find faith and footing through Christian community by listening to ‘Communitas’ on the Dunker Punks Podcast.” Find the show and links to listening on iTunes or Stitcher at



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