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Dr. John R. Mott

MOTT

Posted By: Allamakee co. Coordinator
Date: 3/4/2004 at 04:42:48

Dr. John R. Mott

John R. Mott was born in the state of New York in 1865, six weeks after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Later that same year, his parents moved to Postville, Iowa.

John Mott grew up in Postville and at the age of 16 enrolled at Upper Iowa University at Fayette, Iowa. He became greatly interested in debate, oratory and law, and also took great interest in the Christian activities on the campus. Upon leaving Upper Iowa University, John Mott went to Cornell University and during that time became active in the Student Christian Association. It was there that he reached the decision to "Give my whole life to Christian Service."

Every year from 1891 to 1935 he traveled all over the world. For over half a century he rivited the mind of youth on the making of a Christian world. He was the ambassador to the youth of America and to the students of Europe, Asia and Africa as well as Latin America. He was truly a World Citizen.

John R. Mott became National Secretary of the YMCA and later Secretary of the World Alliance of YMCA's. During his many years as Secretary, these organizations increased greatly in membership and facilities.

John R. Mott was also instrumental in organizing the World Student Christian Federation. These activities took him to many nations of the world, including Japan, China, Russia, Turkey, India, Egypt, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Greece, France and Germany.

Throughout his long life he was familiar with kings, presidents, diplomats, church-men and educators. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover hailed him as one of the most useful men in the world.

In 1946 he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. He richly deserved the honor because he had worked for unity within the churches, as well as between governments. He recognized that a divided church could not honestly call for a united world.

He realized that religion offered the greatest channel of hope for world peace. From the United States he received the Distinguished Service Medal.

Dr. John R. Mott passed away in Orlando, Florida in 1955 at the age of 89 years. Memorial services were held at Orlando and New York City and he was buried in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in Washington Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Dr. John R. Mott was just a layman, who throughout his long and illustrious career returned often to Postville and his people -- the spot which he called home.

- source: Phamplet by the Postville Historical Society
- transcribed by S. Ferrall


 

Allamakee Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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