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Whitaker, Glenn W. (1909-1979) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Whitaker, Glenn W. (1909-1979)


Historical Note:

1909    Born January 3, Beaver Crossing, Nebraska.  Parents were John and Lydia (Steckley) Whitaker, who lived at Kalispell, Montana; Albany, Oregon; and La Habra, California, where they had an avocado and orange grove.

1935   Received diploma for Missionary Course of Study, Bible Institute of Los Angeles (later known as Biola College).  He had started his course work in 1931.  Later he also attended Goshen College.  Met future spouse, Ferne Zimmerman, who was living with her aunt and uncle, and working in Los Angeles.  They both would have attended Los Angeles Mission Church, on 73rd Street, Los Angeles.

1936   Married July 28, to Ferne Zimmerman, who was born May 13, 1908, near Crystal Springs, Kansas.  The larger town near by was Harper, Kansas.  Parents were Jacob J. and Lizzie (Troyer) Zimmerman. Father was minister at Crystal Springs Mennonite Church, and married them.

1936   Ordained minister.

1936      In October went to Portland, Oregon, to work at the Portland Mission until March 1939.  They also revived summer camps in 1937 and 1938, and also worked with boys and girls clubs.

1938    Glenn Whitaker attended Goshen College

1938     Son, Warren born, August 3

1939     March 6, left Portland and went to Los Angeles, California, to work at Los Angeles Mission.  Pastor of Los Angeles Mission Churches on 73rd Street and also on Normandie Ave.  They also worked with boys and girls clubs that included Caucasian on 73rd Street, and included African-American and Japanese on Normandie Ave.  Also held camps each summer in the area, 1939-45.

1942      Helped write and publish a Constitution of the Calvary Mennonite Church, at which point the church name then changed from the Los Angeles Mission.  Churches at both locations were called Calvary Mennonite.

1942   Fall, was director at Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #45, Luray, Virginia.

1943    Spring, went back to pastor Calvary Mennonite Church, Los Angeles, California

1945    Glenn's health broke during summer church camp, and which led to him having to give up his pastoral work. Never fully recovered from earlier surgeries, and suffered from ill health the rest of his life.

1946    Moved to La Habra, Orange County, California, to live with Glenn’s parents

1947   April 23, left California to live with Ferne's parents near Crystal Springs in Kansas.  Glenn Whitaker did some preaching at Crystal Springs Mennonite and Pleasant Valley Mennonite near Harper, Kansas, and sat on a stool behind the pulpit for delivering the sermon.

1948     Offered pastorate at Woodland Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kansas, and served there until 1951.  Began radio ministry here, and worked with a small popular music radio station, and then later moved to a larger radio station in the city.  Also worked with an integrated boys and girls club, and also began a plaque ministry.  Also held evangelistic meetings in other churches in Kansas, and during the summer at Colorado Springs, Limon, Thurman, and later at Denver, in Colorado.  During summers he also preached at Filer, Hammett (Indian Cove) and Nampa, in Idaho, and at Bloomfield, Montana, and at Sweet Home and Albany, Oregon, as well as at Western Mennonite School and Church, near Salem, Oregon.

1951    Moved to Thurman, Colorado, where Ferne taught school.  Glenn received some help from La Junta Mennonite Hospital

1952      Moved to La Junta, Colorado, where Ferne taught school at Cheraw, and later at North La Junta school.  Glenn did some preaching at Colorado Springs, where Jess Kauffman was pastor, in summer 1954, and at other Mennonite churches in Colorado.  Here he began his tape-recorded sermon ministry, with mimeographed study guides.

1959    Moved to Pueblo, Colorado where Ferne taught school.  Whitaker added illustrated slides to go along with his taped sermons.  Also wrote a book manuscript “Traveling through Ephesians” in the last years of his life.

1979     Glenn Whitaker died in Pueblo, Colorado

1999      Ferne Whitaker died in Pueblo, Colorado

Note Author: Dennis Stoesz





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