Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dan West, Dunkers for Peace, and BVS

Dan West served as director of youth work beginning in 1930. He was active in peace education and was one of the organizers of 20,000 Dunkers for Peace in 1932 which sought commitments from those who agreed not to engage in war. He encouraged young people to participate in work camps and peace caravans.

Due in large part to his leadership, a group of young adults came to the 1948 Annual Conference to propose that "A broad plan of volunteer service be instituted for Brethren, especially those of conscription age, at once." Annual Conference approval was granted and the program began that very summer under Dan's leadership.

His many contributions to the church was summarized by W. Harold Row: "Dan West provided the ideological base and first practical demonstrations on which others have established programs. In a genuine sense (he was) our architect of brotherhood."

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia