An effective public speaker, Graber exerted wide influence in the Mennonite Church (MC) in support of missions. He came into leadership at the beginning of a period of rapid growth both at home and overseas. He is credited with the slogan "Every church a mission outpost," which caught the imagination of many congregations across North America, resulting in a dispersion of motivated young people, primarily lay people. Alert to the issues being debated in mission circles, he exerted strong influence on the mission philosophy and policies applied overseas. Keenly conscious of the implications of the movement for political independence sweeping across the non-Western world, he advocated the dismantling of colonial mission structures and adoption of an approach attuned to current sociopolitical realities (indigenization). Graber was the most prolific Mennonite writer on missions prior to 1967. Graber's Conrad Grebel Lectures for 1959 (published as The Church Apostolic, 1960) present the essentials of his philosophy of missions. He was a part-time instructor in missions at Goshen Biblical Seminary, 1955-1963. He died at Goshen, IN on 25 January 1978.
Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 90;
Reschly Steven D. and Barbara Nelson, comps., Bibliography of J. D. Graber's Printed Writings. Elkhart, IN: Mennonite Board of Missions, 1980.
Being God's Missionary Community: Essays in Honor of J. D. and Minnie Graber. Elkhart, IN: Mennonite Board of Missions, 1975.
|Author(s)||Wilbert R Shenk|
 Cite This Article
Shenk, Wilbert R. "Graber, Joseph Daniel (1900-1978)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 23 Oct 2016. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Graber,_Joseph_Daniel_(1900-1978)&oldid=91944.
Shenk, Wilbert R. (1987). Graber, Joseph Daniel (1900-1978). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2016, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Graber,_Joseph_Daniel_(1900-1978)&oldid=91944.
©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.