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Derstine, Clayton F. (1891-1967) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Derstine, Clayton F. (1891-1967)
Fuller Form: Derstine, Clayton Freed


Historical Note:

<p jquery1299627813295="17"> <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="118">Clayton</span> <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>reed <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="107">Derstine</span>, born 17 August 1891, died 31 August 1967, was the son o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> Mahlon and Mary (<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>reed) <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="108">Derstine</span> o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> Souderton, Pennsylvania. <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>ollowing his conversion in 1911, "C.<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>." <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="109">Derstine</span> joined the Souderton Mennonite congregation. His zeal in organizing cottage meetings <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>or Bible study and young peoples' Bible meetings launched him on a li<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>elong mission o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> evangelism and teaching throughout the Mennonite Church (MC) and beyond.

<p jquery1299627813295="21"> <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="110">Derstine</span> was ordained a minister in 1914. He and his <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>irst wi<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>e, Gertrude Hangey (m. 1912), served at the Mennonite Mission in Altoona, Pennsylvania, 1913-1915. Within 13 months o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> his ordination, C. <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>. preached 520 sermons, as he accepted invitations <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>rom congregations in various states to conduct evangelistic services. He served as pastor o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> the Roanoke Mennonite Church at Eureka, Illinois, 1915-1924. He was ordained a bishop in 1921. <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="111">Derstine</span> moved with his <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>amily to Ontario in 1924 in response to a call <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>rom <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>irst Mennonite Church, Kitchener, where a division had splintered the congregation. During his pastorate (1924-1964), membership quadrupled. <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="112">Derstine</span> continued his evangelistic itineraries throughout Canada and the United States. His pulpit ministry stood as the <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>ocal point o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> his contribution to the church. A<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>ter the death o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> his <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>irst wi<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>e, he married Mary Kolb in 1927.

<p jquery1299627813295="33"> His assignments in the Mennonite Con<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>erence o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> Ontario (Mennonite Church) included: con<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>erence executive committee (1925, 1930-33, 1936-30); bishop o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> the Toronto Mission (1938-1944) and o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> the Central District (1961-1966); Mennonite Mutual Bene<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>it Association board (1944-1947); Colonization Committee (1953-1955); and the Ontario Mennonite Bible School <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>aculty (1929-1948). He served the Mennonite Church (MC) general con<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>erence as associate member on the Relie<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> Committee (1944-1946) and as editor o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> the <em jquery1299627813295="38">Christian Monitor</em> (1923-29; editor o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> the "World News" section until 1953).

<p jquery1299627813295="40"> His ministry in the community included <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>ounding a Summer Vacation Bible School <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>or children, the <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>irst to be held in any denomination in Canada. With the support o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> community churches and the city o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> Kitchener, he <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>ounded the Kitchener House o<span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span> <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>riendship, a ministry <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">f</span>or the homeless.

Sources: Bergey, Lorna L. "<span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="114">Derstine</span>, <span class="highlightedSearchTerm" jquery1299627813295="119">Clayton</span> <span class="highlightedSearchTerm">F</span>reed (1891-1967)." <em jquery1299627813295="89">Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.</em> 1990. Web. 08 March 2011. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/D477ME.html.<br jquery1299627813295="90" />
Note Author: Lorna L. Bergey





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