Sunday, May 25, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Memorial Day 2014 Edition

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.

One of the benefits of friends knowing you are interested in ephemera is that they send you interesting pieces to research. Today's Church Record Sunday is a copy of Strength for Service to God and Country. Daily Devotional Messages for Those in the Services. Edited by Chaplain Norman E. Nygaard (1942).

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.

On first glance, I was focusing on the presentation page, thinking about researching the names inscribed.

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.

Notice the comment at the bottom of this page, warning the reader not to include any identification about their unit or where the soldier or sailor is serving.

It was after taking a closer look at this book I realized that a name, church name and place were listed at the bottom of each devotional page. According to a history found on The United Methodist Church Global Ministries page, "In early 1942, the Methodist Publishing House wanted to provide devotional material for soldiers and sailors departing U.S. soil for battles across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They asked Army Chaplain Norman Nygaard to recruit 365 church leaders to write one-page devotions..."

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.

Here's a look at some of those names from this book, starting with the month of January:

James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, D.C., Episcopal
T. Roland Philips, Arlington Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Md.
Henry H. Crane, Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Mich.
Victor M. Rhein, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Oak Park, Ill.
Bernard Iddings Bell, St. John’s Cathedral, Episcopal, Providence, R. I.
Karl P. Buswell, Chaplain, U.S. Naval Reserve
C. Gordon Brownville, Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Boston, Mass.
Oliver J Hart, Bishop Coadjutor of Pennsylvania, Episcopal on leave as Chaplain, Fort Dix, N. J.
Arthur Braden, Wilshire Christian Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jacob J. Sessler, First Reformed Church, College Point, N.Y.
Joseph Marquis Ewing, First Presbyterian Church, Fresno, Calif.
Cleland B. McAfee, Noted Bible Teacher, Former Moderator, Presbyterian General Assembly
Daniel A. Poling, Baptist Temple, Philadelphia, Pa.
Samuel W. Marble, Trinity Methodist Church, Denver, Colo.
Howard P. Powell, Dilworth Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.
Francis Shunk Downs, First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, Calif.
John Curry Walker, Second Congregational Church, Waterbury, Conn.
E. C. McCown, Mount Lebanon United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pa.
William E Brooks, First Presbyterian Church, Morgantown, W. Va.
Paul Calhoun, First Presbyterian Church, Spokane, Wash.
Roy L. Minich, First Church in Malden, Malden, Mass.
Charles Gerlinger, First Congregational Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.
O. James Sowell, University Place Christian Church, Oklahoma City
George R. Davis, First Christian Church, Chickasha, Okla.
J. George Dorn, Hollywood Lutheran Church, Hollywood, Calif.
George Hunter Hall, First United Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
George M. Gibson, United Church of Hyde Park, Chicago
John Newton Garst, First Baptist Church, Schenectady, N. Y.
Willsie Martin, Wilshire Methodist Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
Wendell L. Miller, University Methodist Church, Los Angeles
Thomas R. Niven, First Presbyterian Church, Omaha, Neb.

Looking through newspapers by searching on the name of Norman E. Nygaard I found another mention of this book and the assertion that it was used by a million and a half soldiers and sailors in World War II. This newspaper clipping is from and promotes a presentation Nygaard was giving in Southern California. (Click on the link for an enlarged view of the article.)

Rev. Norman E Nygaard, The Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) 9 August 1951

The legacy of this book continues on today. An Eagle Scout, Evan Hunsberger decided to make it his project to get the book republished after finding his grandfather's copy from World War II. You can read more about Evan's project and the new revised edition on the website Strength for Service.

Did your World War II or Korean War era soldier carry Strength for Service? Was your minister family member one that contributed a devotional to this book?

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