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Crissie Yoder Shank, the oldest of three children of John A. and Sadie Yoder, was born 7 January 1888 near Holden, Missouri. In early childhood she moved with her parents to Wayne County, Ohio, where she grew up and taught in the public school system. After receiving a BA degree from Goshen College (1909), she taught English and was dean of women at Bethel College, KS. In 1914 she married Charles L. Shank.

In 1915 the Shanks went to Dhamtari, Madhya Pradesh, India, under appointment by the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (Mennonite Church). Due to a daughter's illness they returned to the United States after only four years of service. Crissie captured the drama and meaning of these years in a book for young readers, Letters from Mary. She was a gifted speaker and writer with global and ecumenical concerns and she used her gifts to promote missions. She helped organize the Mennonite General Women's and Girl's Missionary Society and edited its publication, Monthly Letter (later Voice). Crissie Yoder Shank died 12 October 1929.


American Mennonite MC Mission, Dhamtari, India. Building on the Rock. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House, 1926: 184.

Gospel Herald (24 October 1929): 623.

Interview with Mary Royer.

Klingelsmith, Sharon. "Women in the Mennonite Church, 1900-1930." Mennonite Quarterly Review 54 (1980): 163-207.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 138-140.

Shank, Crissie. Letters from Mary. Scottdale: Mennonite Publishing House, 1924.

Springer, Nelson and A.J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: 243-28, 243-79.

Author(s) John A Friesen
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Friesen, John A. "Shank, Crissie Yoder (1888-1929)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 25 Apr 2017.,_Crissie_Yoder_(1888-1929)&oldid=77745.

APA style

Friesen, John A. (1989). Shank, Crissie Yoder (1888-1929). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 April 2017, from,_Crissie_Yoder_(1888-1929)&oldid=77745.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Kitchener, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 817-818. All rights reserved.

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