Continuation Committee of the Historic Peace Churches

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The Continuation Committee of the Historic Peace Churches was created at the 1935 Conference of Historic Peace Churches (Mennonites, Brethren, and Friends) held at Newton, Kansas, to consider ways and means to strengthen and coordinate the peace position and testimony of the three groups in the face of approaching World War II. This committee, composed of three representatives, one chosen by the Mennonite Central Committee, one by the Brethren Service Committee, and one informally by the Friends, was the channel for calling occasional leader-conferences of 25-100 persons representing the three groups to continue the type of effort begun in the 1935 conference. These conferences were held about once per year, usually in the Chicago area. Orie O. Miller was the continuous Mennonite Central Committee representative; the Brethren representative were Harold Row, preceded by M. R. Zigler, and initially C. Ray Keim. The first Friends representative was Robert W. Balderston, followed by Errol Elliott.

In 1947 a similar Continuation Committee was set up in Europe under the initiation of M. R. Zigler, also composed of one from the Mennonite Central Committee European staff (Robert Kreider, H. S. Bender, G. F. Hershberger, Irvin Horst, John Howard Yoder in order), one English Friend (Eric Tucker), and one from the Brethren Service Committee European staff (M. R. Zigler). This committee held conferences annually or oftener, the annual conferences meeting in Heerewegen (Zeist), Holland. Later the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (Percy Bartlett) joined this group.

Neither committee had any official status or authority, but both served frequently to stimulate thinking and action either for the groups individually or together. The European committee was the channel for the formulation of a coordinated parallel statement of the four groups to the World Council of Churches, giving their peace testimony under the title War is Contrary to the Will of God, printed in 1951, German edition in 1952. It also provided a similar but integrated statement, Peace Is the Will of God (1953), prepared for the World Council meeting of 1954 at Evanston, Illinois.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Continuation Committee of the Historic Peace Churches." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 2 Jul 2022.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1953). Continuation Committee of the Historic Peace Churches. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 703-704. All rights reserved.

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