Tag Archives: Bethel Junior College

WACs sorting army mail in France in 1945

Letters To (and From) Bethel: A Baptist Conscientious Objector

From late 1943 through the end of World War II, junior college dean Emery Johnson and other Bethel staff regularly wrote letters of greeting and encouragement to former Bethel students and the sons and daughters of Swedish Baptist General Conference churches serving in the military. Dozens wrote back, most to request copies of the denominational magazine, […]

1945 Bethel men's basketball team — Walfred Peterson in bottom-left corner

Two Walfreds

One of the more popular posts at this blog was Fletcher’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the assassinations of Austrian crown prince Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie: the sparks that lit the fuse that set off World War I. He called it “Two Shots.” In hopes of similar popularity, but mostly out of a […]

Worship service on the U.S.S. South Dakota, June 1944

“We have among us very many Christian softies…”

In his posts on the Vietnam War, Fletcher has noted that Bethel-educated chaplains like Kenneth Carlson received a great deal of publicity from the Baptist General Conference. In the pages of the BGC’s chief publication, The Standard, these uniformed pastors were both “the primary mediators of the war to Conference laity” and “front-line soldiers in the global struggle against atheistic communism.” […]

"Kid in Upper 4" cover of the Nov 1943 Bethel Bulletin

“The Kid in Upper 4”: Further Thoughts on Bethel Fundraising during WWII

Earlier this month I noted how “as the [Second World] war went on, ‘Loyalty’ began to be used in Bethel publications in such a way that loyalty to country and loyalty to God were put in service of loyalty to Bethel, and its desire for better facilities.” Starting in late 1942, the prewar practice of designating February […]

1915 illustration of the Battle of Agincourt

Christians at War: Introduction

I am afeard there are few die well that die in battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Henry V, IV, i They occupy indeed a higher place before God who, abandoning all these secular employments, serve Him with the strictest chastity; but “every one,” as the […]

Cover of the July 1942 Bethel Bulletin: a "Victory Number"

On Loyalty and Fundraising

In July of 1942 a special issue of the Bulletin of Bethel Institute arrived in the mailboxes of alumni and other subscribers. Here’s a photo of the cover: It isn’t all that surprising that an American college would wrap itself in the colors during a war, especially in the month of July. Now, whether a Baptist […]

Nursing cadets being sworn in at the University of Minnesota, 1944

WWII on Twin Cities Campuses

A couple weeks ago I looked at how some of Bethel’s neighboring colleges and universities in the Twin Cities experienced the First World War. Today I’ll turn to the Second World War, again pulling some tidbits from Merrill Jarchow’s history of private colleges in Minnesota but here broadening a bit to see how the Twin Cities’ […]

Somme American Cemetery in Bony, France

Introductions: World War I and World War II

While this project is a collaboration with Fletcher — indeed, it’s probably the most collaborative research project I’ve ever attempted — we’ll each take primary responsibility for two of the four wars in Bethel’s past century of warfare. Fletcher will handle the more recent history, focusing on the Vietnam War and the War on Terror. Which leaves me with […]