Zook, John Roel (1857-1919)

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John Roel Zook was an evangelist and holiness advocate in the Brethren in Christ Church. He was born near Morrison, IL. He taught school for several years and studied law briefly. Around 1896 he was ordained a minister. In the same year he moved to Des Moines, Iowa, to take charge of a mission which had been turned over to the Brethren in Christ by Charles Good, a member of a small group similar to Zook's church.

Zook early gained prominence in the Brethren in Christ Church as an evangelist. He conducted numerous revival meetings each year in the United States and Canada. Children's meetings were a marked feature of these services, with the result that child conversions, in addition to adult conversions, became common in the denomintion.

He was a strong advocate of the doctrine of holiness that was beginning to make its way into the denomination in Zook's time. He was the leader of those who persuaded General Conference in 1910 to declare holiness to be a doctrine taught by the Brethren in Christ Church.

Zook also had a prominent role in his church as a member of the Foreign Mission Board. He served on that board from 1896 to 1919, the last fifteen years as chairman. At the time of his death he was leading a fundraising campaign for missions and was preparing to travel to the church's mission areas.

He also campaigned for a church school. He wanted to establish one in Des Moines as a training school for future mission workers. In this, however, he failed, and the school, Messiah Bible College and Missionary Training Home (now Messiah College), was established in Pennsylvania. Zook, however, served as chairman of its first Board of Managers.


Climenhaga, Asa W. History of the Brethren in Christ Church. Nappanee, IN, 1942: 170-171.

Evangelical Visitor (22 December 1919): 9.

Sider, E. Morris. Nine Portraits. Nappanee, IN, 1978: 120-155.

Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1978: 240-241, 291- 294.

Author(s) E. Morris Sider
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Sider, E. Morris. "Zook, John Roel (1857-1919)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 12 May 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zook,_John_Roel_(1857-1919)&oldid=122611.

APA style

Sider, E. Morris. (1989). Zook, John Roel (1857-1919). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 May 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Zook,_John_Roel_(1857-1919)&oldid=122611.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 960-961. All rights reserved.

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