Hostetter, Christian N., Jr. (1899-1980)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Christian N. "C. N." Hostetter, Junior was born in 1899 in Lancaster County, PA. His father, Christian Hostetter, was bishop of the Manor District of the Brethren in Christ Church and president of Messiah Bible College (later Messiah College) from 1916 to 1921. C. N. Hostetter, Jr., attended the college. After graduation in 1922, he served as pastor of the Refton congregation near the city of Lancaster. At the same time he earned a living by selling peanut butter for Mennonite minister and businessman John Moseman.

In 1934 Hostetter became president of Messiah Bible College. He served in that role until 1960, and continued to teach on a part-time basis until 1963. Following his resignation as president, he pastored the Brethren in Christ congregation at Palmyra, PA until 1970.

Hostetter was active in numerous other ways in the denomination. For nearly 50 years he was a much requested evangelist. From 1924 to 1953 he was a member of the Home Mission Board, for most of those years as secretary, the remainder as chairman. Through the 1950s he sat on the Church Review and Study Committee, a body that led the denomination in a significant transition in its life and thought. From 1959 onward he was a member of the Publication Board. He was moderator of General Conference four times, and delivered the General Conference sermon a record three times. From 1936 to 1957 he was bishop of the Grantham district (3 congregations).

In time, Hostetter became active outside the Brethren in Christ Church. He sat for two terms on the Board of Administration of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). In 1953 he was appointed to the World Relief Commission (NAE), and from 1959 to 1967 was its chairman. Hostetter brought a strong peace position to the NAE, on several occasions helping to organize sessions to facilitate dialogue between those holding opposing views on peace.

Outside his own denomination, Hostetter's most significant work was done with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). During World War II he was active in Civilian Public Service ministry. In 1948 he became the Brethren in Christ representative on MCC. From 1953 to 1967 he served as MCC chairman. Thus he was chairman of two world relief agencies,—MCC and the World Relief Commission, at the same time. He made several trips abroad for MCC as an administrator and in pastoral ministry.

C. N. Hostetter died 29 June 1980.


Sider, E. Morris. Messenger of Grace: A Biography of C. N. Hostetter, Jr. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1982.

Dyck, C. J.  Something Meaningful for God. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press,1981: 170-193.

Evangelical Visitor. (25 August 1980) : 5.

Author(s) E. Morris Sider
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Sider, E. Morris. "Hostetter, Christian N., Jr. (1899-1980)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 2 Jul 2020.,_Christian_N.,_Jr._(1899-1980)&oldid=88115.

APA style

Sider, E. Morris. (1987). Hostetter, Christian N., Jr. (1899-1980). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 2 July 2020, from,_Christian_N.,_Jr._(1899-1980)&oldid=88115.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 396. All rights reserved.

©1996-2020 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.