Stoltzfus, Grant Moses (1916-1974)

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Grant Stoltzfus, 1969.
Scan courtesy Mennonite Church USA Archives-Goshen HM 4-299

Grant Moses Stoltzfus was a professor of sociology and church history at Eastern Mennonite College and Seminary, 1957-1974. Born 12 February 1916 at Elverson, Pennsylvania, he was the son of Sylvanus and Lydia Hartz Stoltzfus. He married Ruth Brunk of Denbigh, Virginia on 17 June 1941. Together they raised a family of three daughters and two sons.

A graduate of Goshen College (BA), University of Pittsburgh (MA), and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. (BD and ThD), Stoltzfus served the church as a teacher in the classroom and in numerous conferences, frequently with Ruth, on the theme of strengthening family life; as a historian and the author of the well-regarded Mennonites of the Ohio and Eastern Conference (1969); as a member of several local and bi-national committees including Park View Mennonite Church and the Historical Committee (MC); as editor of the Mennonite Community Magazine (1947-1953); and as administrator of Civilian Public Service units for Mennonite Central Committee (1941-1946).

Stoltzfus pioneered in recovering the early history of the Amish in colonial Pennsylvania. His concern for religious freedom and civil liberties inspired his work for conscientious objectors and the mentally handicapped during World War II. At the time of his death he was writing a history of the origins of alternative service for conscientious objectors in the United States. He was active in the National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom and the civil rights movement in Virginia. As the inscription on his tombstone observes, he indeed "loved the truth and peace."

Grant Stoltzfus died suddenly of a heart attack on 21 July 1974.


Keim, Albert N. and Grant M. Stoltzfus. The politics of conscience : the historic peace churches and America at war, 1917-1955. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1988.

Springer, Nelson and A.J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: II, p. 507.

Stoltzfus, Grant M. History of the first Amish Mennonite communities in America. Morgantown, PA: Masthof Press, 2002.

Stoltzfus, Grant M. Mennonites of the Ohio and Eastern Conference : from the colonial period in Pennsylvania to 1968. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1969.

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 235.

Author(s) John A Lapp
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Lapp, John A. "Stoltzfus, Grant Moses (1916-1974)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 16 Jul 2024.,_Grant_Moses_(1916-1974)&oldid=118750.

APA style

Lapp, John A. (1989). Stoltzfus, Grant Moses (1916-1974). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 July 2024, from,_Grant_Moses_(1916-1974)&oldid=118750.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 860. All rights reserved.

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