Tag Archives: Emery Johnson

Mass on Saipan in June 1944

Letters To (and From) Bethel: Chaplains as “Spiritual Pillars”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the letters sent back to Bethel during World War II by former students and members of its denomination who were serving in the military, it’s this: complaining about one’s pastor is as common in war as in peace. I did attend both Protestant chapel services, and my first impression was […]

The "Eagle's Nest" above Berchtesgaden

Letters To (and From) Bethel: “Praise God for beauty in nature!”

Even a cursory glance at the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the American combat soldiers [in World War II] reveals that their view of the Old World focused first and foremost on the natural surroundings…. the GIs had a love-hate relationship with nature. That’s the somewhat surprising start to the body of Peter Schrijvers’ illuminating […]

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, […]

Tweeting a Visit to the Archives

As our #bethelatwar work continues, I'm up in the archives of @BethelU and @convergeww. http://t.co/fBvIpykQQo — Chris Gehrz (@cgehrz) August 5, 2014 As the summer continues, I’ve become increasingly interested in integrating social media into our digital history project, as a way of breaking down some of the barriers traditionally separating scholar and audience. Not just to share […]

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.” […]

Cartoon of a G.I. reading the Bethel student newspaper, The Clarion

The G.I. Bill Turns 70

Seventy years ago this past Sunday, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen’s Adjustment Act of 1944. While World War II still had over ten months to go in Europe, and over a year in the Pacific, the so-called “G.I. Bill” made possible dramatic changes in postwar America. Pres. Barack Obama summarized them […]