Hartzler, Raymond Livingston (1893-1988)

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Born 28 November 1893 near Topeka, IN to Rufus and Nettie Byler Hartzler, Raymond Livingston "R. L." Hartzler married Nora Burkholder, daughter of Simon and Emma Musser Burkholder of Wayne County, Ohio, on 12 February 1919. He had graduated from Topeka High School (1911) and Goshen College (BA, 1918). Hartzler taught school and farmed. Baptized on 1 April 1906, he committed himself to Christian service at a YMCA retreat at Lake Geneva, WI in 1912. He was ordained as a minister (1916) and elder (1931). His pastorates included Maple Grove Mennonite Church (Topeka, Indiana), 1916-1928; Carlock Mennonite Church (Illinois), 1928-1941; and several interim pastorates.

Hartzler served the Central Conference Mennonite Church in a variety of capacities after 1927. He was conference secretary, 1928-1937, and served on many boards (Mennonite Hospital Association, 1933-1960; Central Conference Home and Foreign Missions, 1934-1957; Publication Board, 1938-1957; Congo Inland Mission, 1938-75; Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 1943-59). He edited the Yearbook of the Central Conference of Mennonites, 1937-1957 and The Christian Evangel, 1938-1957.

From 1941 to 1944 Hartzler served with Civilian Public Service as director of two camps and as area counselor for the central United States (1943). He was instrumental in the affiliation of the Central Conference Mennonite Church with the General Conference Mennonite Church (1946) and the merger of the Central Conference with the Middle District Conference in 1957 to form the Central District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church. He served the new district as conference minister, 1957-1964. He was a member of the Committee on the Ministry (GCM), 1954-62.

He adapted the words for the hymn "Africa," which was published in 1940. The R. L. Hartzler Health Complex was dedicated in his honor in Bloomington, IL in 1977. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Bluffton College (Ohio) in 1987. He died 27 June 1988 at Bloomington.


Hassan, W. Richard. "R. L. Hartzler Reviews Central Conference Growth." Mennonite Heritage 3 (1976): 1, 9-11.

Author(s) Steven R Estes
Date Published 1988

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MLA style

Estes, Steven R. "Hartzler, Raymond Livingston (1893-1988)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1988. Web. 6 Dec 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hartzler,_Raymond_Livingston_(1893-1988)&oldid=87988.

APA style

Estes, Steven R. (1988). Hartzler, Raymond Livingston (1893-1988). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hartzler,_Raymond_Livingston_(1893-1988)&oldid=87988.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 363-364. All rights reserved.

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