Alumni of the Year 1976: B. Charles and Grace (Brackbill) Hostetter

Charles (C 48, S 54) and Grace B. (HS 36, Cng38) Hostetter were named joint recipients of Eastern Mennonite College’s tenth “alumnus-of-the-year” award dur­ing the Alumni Association’s homecoming April 24.

The Hostetters completed six years of mission work in West Africa this month under the auspices of the Mennonite Board of Missions, Elkhart, Ind. They went to Lagos, Nigeria in 1970 to help a large independent church, “ The Church of the Lord (Aladura),” start a theological school for pastors. More recently they taught at the school.

The award was accepted by the Hostetter’s oldest son, Doug (C 66), who is a resource special­ist on peace and Asia for the United Methodist Church’s United Nations office in New York City. Dr. Linford K. Gehman (C 58), Alumni Associa­tion president, made the presenta­tion.

The award cited Hostetter for his work as a minister, evangelist, and conference speaker “of unusual balance and perception” and for his achievements as a teacher, radio pastor, and writer.

The citation commended Mrs. Hostetter “as an extraordinary companion and helper to her hus­band, as a resourceful mother of eight children, and as pastor-counterpart and churchwoman.” She has led retreats and other church meetings and taught Bible classes in a variety of settings.

Mrs. Hostetter is the former Grace Brackbill of Malvern, Pa.

Hostetter, a native of Manheim, Pa., taught Bible courses and was student pastor at EMC from 1947 to 1955. In 1951 he was one of several ministers who spoke on a Harrisonburg radio broadcast which a year later be­came “The Mennonite Hour.” Hostetter became regular speaker on the program in 1953 and served in that capacity until 1966.

He has written several books and pamphlets on practical Chris­tian living—the best-known entitled “How to Build a Happy Home,” published in 1960.

Two other Hostetter children are EMC alumni —Patricia Martin (Cng63) Paoli, Pa.; and Miriam King (Cng61), Hickory, N.C. A son, Darrel, is a junior at EMC.

In August the Hostetters will begin a one-year assignment as pastor-couple at Souderton (Pa.) Mennonite Church. The present pastor, Richard C. Detweiler (C 49), will be interim dean at Eastern Mennonite Seminary for the 1976-77 academic year.

Published 1976 in Crossroads.

Posted on August 18, 2016