Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Church Peace Mission Records, 1950-1967

Collection: DG 177

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator)
Fax: 610-690-5728
Email: wchmiel@swarthmore.edu (curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Church Peace Mission
Church Peace Mission Records
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
DG 177

Language of Materials
Materials in English
5.4 linear feet [papers only]
The Church Peace Mission began as an outgrowth of a conference on the "Church and War," held in Detroit in May 1950, with its purpose being to disseminate the findings of the conference to as many churches and seminaries as possible in the next six months. Its objective was to challenge the various peace groups "to face anew their responsibility to Christ, to his Church, and to mankind," by appealing to Christians not to make or use weapons of war and to "devote their energies to the removal of the social, economic and moral causes of . . . war." Established religious peace groups, such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation was instrumental in the creation and continuation of the CPM. Affiliated groups included the American Friends Service Committee, the Brethren Service Committee, the Baptist Pacifist Fellowship, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the Friends General Conference. The CPM disbanded in 1967

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Yes Boxes stored off site. Please contact SCPC staff at least two weeks in advance of visit to arrange for retrieval of this collection.
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Given by General Board of Church and Society, The United Methodist Church (bulk); John Howard Yoder, 1993-1994
Processing Information
Processed by Anne Yoder, 1995
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Church Peace Mission Records (DG 177), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record

Historical Background
The Church Peace Mission began as an outgrowth of a conference on the "Church and War," held in Detroit in May 1950, with its purpose being to disseminate the findings of the conference to as many churches and seminaries as possible in the next six months. Its objective was to challenge the various peace groups "to face anew their responsibility to Christ, to his Church, and to mankind," by appealing to Christians not to make or use weapons of war and to "devote their energies to the removal of the social, economic and moral causes of . . . war."

Robert Weiskotten became the first Director, having received a sabbatical from his pastorate at St. John's Lutheran Church for the half year the program was to be in effect. A.J. Muste, later an executive at Fellowship of Reconciliation, was appointed as Missioner. By February 1951, conferences had been held in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, Nashville, Springfield (OH), Indianapolis, Columbus, Buffalo, Toronto, and Boston. In addition to Weiskotten and Muste, leadership at these events was provided by Paul Scherer, Henry Hitt Crane and John Oliver Nelson.

The conferences engendered much enthusiasm and it was decided in April 1951 that the CPM should stay in existence for another two years. Martin England was chosen as the new Director (continuing in this role until the end of 1952), and an office was opened at 513 West 166th Street, New York City. The practice of holding regional seminars for pastors and laity was continued and pamphlet literature was developed. A concern for youth was a focus during this time, with a conference on "Christian Youth and War" held in October 1951, regional conferences geared primarily for them offered, and a CPM Youth Section proposed. In addition, the CPM increasingly saw itself as an umbrella organization for the historic peace churches (Brethren, Friends, Mennonites), the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and peace and pacifist groups in numerous denominations in the United States and Canada, by providing a forum for "genuine dialogue on controversial issues - and hence mutual repentance - through beginning with a common ground in the Gospel."

In 1953, J. Harold Sherk became the Secretary of CPM and he stayed in this post until 1961 (while still an official at the National Service Board for Religious Objectors). A.J. Muste continued as Missioner. During these years the CPM offered "missions" to seminaries; solicited sermons in a contest on the Christian peace position; held conferences, one being in preparation for the World Council of Churches Assembly which dealt with the problem of nuclear war and others with the relevancy of pacifism; put together resources; and conducted meetings with discussions of such topics as global peace, nuclear weapons testing, Russia, China, and the Christian nation-state. An attempt was made to establish a commission of Christian pacifists and non-pacifists to study the theme of "agape" in its relation to peace, but this project was later abandoned. The CPM rented an office at the InterChurch Center, 475 Riverside Drive, New York City.

Through the years there was discussion about finding an executive secretary, someone who would devote his full attention to the work of the CPM. This did not take place until 1962 when Paul Peachey was appointed to the post (this appointment coinciding with the retirement of A.J. Muste as Missioner and coordinator of activities). Peachey was a Mennonite theologian, who received a Ph.D. in history and sociology in Zurich. He moved the office of the CPM to Washington, D.C. (4102 Brandywine Street NW). Peachey taught classes in seminaries, met with Catholic leaders (such as Daniel Berrigan) to learn their views, wrote articles, corresponded extensively with other pacifists, and visited Europe to gain understanding of the peace movement there.

During the five years the CPM was under Peachey's leadership, scholars and theologians made significant contributions to the CPM's impact in the realm of pacifist thought. Literature was developed that provided a scholarly look at the national and international understanding of justice and peace. As in previous years, conferences were planned. Peachey wrote that his role was to "probe at the frontiers of the churches' concerns with international questions. The technique [used] is conferences or seminars involving social scientists and theologians in dialogue, the former to elucidate the social realities, the latter to speak to them in terms of their own disciplines." A number of such conferences were offered, though several had to be canceled due to low registration.

There is little evidence that the CPM was involved in activism or that it had much impact on lay leaders in the church, particularly in the later years. Instead, its significance lies in its pushing its member organizations to re-think their traditional, often limited, views on peace. It encouraged them to find spiritual sustenance in their desire to bring healing and reconciliation in the world, and created out of their dialogue definitive statements on which they could build for the future.

Paul Peachey resigned as Executive Secretary in 1966, though agreeing to the appointment of Secretary for a time. In 1967 the CPM voted to disband.

Collection Overview
The papers of the Church Peace Mission consist of meeting minutes, financial records, administrative files, reports and correspondence of its leaders, conference preparation and proceedings, and publications. Very little exists from the early years. The bulk of the material was generated while Paul Peachey was Executive Secretary. His major correspondents include A.J. Muste, John Howard Yoder, John C. Heidbrink, John Oliver Nelson, John Nevin Sayre, and Glen Smiley.

Arrangement of Collection
Most of the papers in the Church Peace Mission collection were found in a filing cabinet in the basement of the Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. and donated to the SCPC by the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. The material was in good order, though a certain amount of reorganization was required for easier access. Correspondence was sorted and individual and organization/group correspondents identified (background material is found in these folders as well). Correspondence that did not fit into these categories is arranged by date. Most of the conference files were given the same folder names as originally designated by the creator. A small amount of material was donated by John Howard Yoder and incorporated into the other files.

John Heidbrink and other officials at the Fellowship of Reconciliation were heavily involved in the creation and continuation of the CPM. Series F (DG 13) in the FOR papers is devoted to the CPM. Minutes and publications were removed from there to complete the CPM collection. Attached is a list of other files that relate to the CPM that were left in the FOR collection.

Re-File Box, additional miscellaneous material received in 1997-1998, after the collection was processed.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1 [stored off site]
Annual meetings, 1953-1964
Executive Committee meetings, 1950-1962
Administrative Committee meetings, 1962-1966
National Committee meetings, 1954-1965
Committee on Issues &; Direction meetings, 1965-1966
Committee on Study Program meetings, 1963
Other committee meetings, 1951-1963

Box 2 [stored off site]
Finances, 1950-1966
Audits, 1957-1961
Fundraising, 1962-1963
Contributions to CPM, 1955-1958
Financial correspondence (general), 1955-1967
Financial correspondence of Winslow Ames,
Treasurer, 1962-1967

Box 2 (cont.)
General files, 1950-1967

Box 3 [stored off site]
Correspondence of J. Harold Sherk, 1957-1961
Correspondence of A.J. Muste, Missioner, 1957-1961
Reports of A.J. Muste, Missioner, [1958]-1961
Box 3 (cont.)
Correspondence (general) of Paul Peachey, 1962-1964

Box 4 [stored off site]
Correspondence (general) of Paul Peachey, 1965-1967
Correspondence of Paul Peachey with individuals:
- Aukerman, Dale
- Cooper, Dr. Wilmer (Earlham College)
- Dietrich, Dr. Wendell (Brown University)
- Douglas, Dr. Jim (Bellarmine College)
- Dyck, Dr. Cornelius J. (Institute of Mennonite Studies)
- Edwards, Dr. George (Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary)
- Friedman, Maurice (Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Gottwald, Dr. Norman (Andover Newton Theological School)
- Hassler, Alfred (Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Heidbrink, John C. (Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Box 5 [stored off site]
- Hershberger, Dr. Guy F. (Mennonite Quarterly Review)
- Lassere, Rev. Jean
- Morrison, Dr. Clinton (McCormick Theological Seminary)
- Muste, A.J. (Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Nelson, Dr. John Oliver (Yale University)
- Ove, Rev. Robert (Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd)
- Sayre, John Nevin (Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Smiley, Glenn (Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Smylie, Dr. John (Occidental College)
- Snyder, Dr. Graydon (Bethany Biblical Seminary)
- Vincent, Dr. John (Rochdale Methodist Mission)
- Whiston, Dr. Lionel (Eden Theological Seminary)
- Will, Dr. Herman (General Board of Christian Social Concern, The Methodist Church)
- Yoder, John Howard (Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities)
Correspondence of Paul Peachey with organizations/groups:
- Church of the Brethren, General Brotherhood Board
- Columbia, Maryland Mission Development Committee
- Council on Religion and International Affairs
- Episcopal Peace/Pacifist Fellowship
- Inter-Religious Committee on Peace

Box 6 [stored off site]
- Mennonite Central Committee
- National Council of Churches
- Turn Toward Peace
- Union Theological Seminary Assignment of Paul Peachey as Executive Secretary, 1961-1962
Memos by Paul Peachey
Reports by Paul Peachey
Articles/speeches by Paul Peachey
CPM member groups
Joint CPM/Christian Action Project, 1955-1956
- Revisions to The Relationship of Agape, The Essential Christian Ethic, to the Socio-Political Structure
- Papers assembled
CPM Chicago Informal Group
CPM Study Commission on "The Biblical Witness in Social Ethics" [proposed; later abandoned], 1963

Box 7 [stored off site]
CPM Administrative Committee reports and correspondence
CPM Committee on Issues and Directions reports and correspondence
CPM Committee on Study Program reports and correspondence
CPM questionnaire "What is the pacifist task in America today?," 1962
CPM evaluations re: future, 1962
CPM re-evaluation re: future, 1964
Speaking tours of Dr. Joseph Smolik (Prague, Czechoslovakia) and K.K. Chandy (Manganam, India), 1963 (February-March)
Speaking tours of Jan Millie Lochman (Prague, Czechoslovakia) and Dr. Heinrich Kloppenburg (Germany), 1964 (February-April)
Speaking tour of Dr. Joan Tooke (Leicester College, England), October-December 1964

Box 8 [stored off site]
CPM Conference "The Word of God in the Nuclear Age," 1959 (April 20 - 23)
Third National CPM Conference, Evanston, 1959
- General information
- Correspondence re: participation
- Correspondence re: Basic Study Papers
- Correspondence re: resource persons
- Correspondence re: representatives
- Promotion
- Follow-up
Fourth National CPM Conference [canceled], 1961
- Incoming correspondence
- Outgoing correspondence
CPM Kerygma conference and study document
- Preparation and preliminary study, 1961-1962
- Correspondence, 1961-1962
CPM Conference "Kerygma and Ethos in the Nuclear Age," McLean, VA, 1962 (June 4-7)
- General information
- Correspondence

Box 9 [stored off site]
CPM Conference "Kerygma and Ethos in the Nuclear Age," McLean, VA,1962 (June 4-7)
- Papers read
Lutheran Ethics Colloquy: presentation by Paul Peachey at Valparaiso University, 1962 (December 7)
CPM Consultation "Church and Nation-State in the East-West Conflict," Oberlin College, OH, 1963 (April 26-28)
- General information
- Correspondence
Seminar "The Evangelical Christian and Modern War," Winona Lake, IN, 1963( August 26-28)
- General information
- Study papers
Puidoux Conference/Committee, 1962-1963
Nuclear War Institute, West Baden College, 11/08-09/63
CPM Conference "Revolution, Nonviolence and the Church," Black Mt., NC, 1963 (December 9-12)
- General file

Box 10 [stored off site]
CPM Conference "Revolution, Nonviolence and the Church," Black Mt., NC, 11963 (December 9-12)
- Correspondence
- Publication of Everett Tilson's paper
CPM exploratory colloquies on power, 1963-1964
CPM Seminars on ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, 1963-1964
Paul Peachey visit to Europe, 1964 [includes CPM correspondence with groups/individuals in Europe, 1962-1964]
CPM Colloquy "Kirchenkampf," 06/01/64
CPM Conference "Just War Doctrine and Nuclear Disarmament," 10/09-10/64 (co-sponsored by Hamma Divinity School)
CPM Consultation with Catholics, 1964 (December 10)
CPM Second Black Mt. Conference [canceled], 1964-1965
CPM Conference for Pittsburgh Clergy [canceled], 1965 (January 12-14)
Religious Leaders Conference on Peace, NYC, 1965 (January 12-14)
Fellowship of Reconciliation "Peace on Earth" Consultation, 1965 (March 1- 3)
Seminar "U.S.-Chinese Relations," NYC, 1965 (April 9-11)

Box 11 [stored off site]
CPM National Committee Retreat, Pendle Hill, PA, 1965 (September 23-25)
Sixth World Order Study Conference, St. Louis, MO, 1965 (October 20-23)
- General information
- Dag Hammarskjold lectures
CPM Conference "Christian Responses in the Conflict of Nations [canceled], 1965 (November)
CPM Conference "Nonviolence and the Freedom Movement [canceled], 1966 (November)
United States Committee for the Christian Peace Conference, 1966-1967

Box 12 [stored off site]
Christian Century
Christianity and Crisis
Christianity Today
Mennonite Life [special issue on peace]
The Washington Post
Decatur Press
Fellowship of Reconciliation Publications [Press]
Libertarian Press
Mennonite Publishing House [Herald Press]/Provident Bookstore
Turnpike Press
CPM newsletter War-Church-Nation, 1963-1966
Correspondence re: War-Church-Nation
CPM brochures:
- CPM poster
- Program brochure, 1950
- "An Affirmation and Appeal," 1950 [a petition/refusal to make or use weapons of war]
- "An Appeal to Christian Youth: Message of the Christian Youth Conference on War," 1952
- "War and the World Council: Extracts from The Christian Conscience and War," [1953- 1954?]
- "Martin Niemoller: The Way of Peace," 1954
- "About the Church Peace Mission: An Account of its Purposes and Progress," [1956?]
- "A Mission and Its Immediate Message," 1960
- "The Witness of the Church Peace Mission," [1962?]
- "The Witness of the Church Peace Mission," 1963
- "Biblical Realism Confronts the Nation," [1963], [promotional brochure for book]
- "War and the Christian Ethic: Theses and Questions" by Jean Lasserre [1963]
CPM pamphlets/booklets:
- "The Christian Conscience and War," 1950
- "The Christian Faith and Modern War" by Paul Scherer, 1951
- "Christian Pacifism Today" by A.J. Muste, 1952
- "A Positive Christian Approach for Peace Action" by George Miles Gibson, [1954?]
- "The Word of God in the Nuclear Age," 1959
- "A Christian Approach to Nuclear War," 1960
- "Reinhold Neibuhr and Christian Pacifism" by John H. Yoder, 1961
- "The Christian Conscience and War," 1963 reprint
- "Your Church and Your Nation" by Paul Peachey, 1963
- "The Christian Church and National Ethos" by John Smylie, 1963
- "The Mission of the Church and Civil Government" by Clinton Morrison, 1964
- "The Pacifism of Karl Barth," by John H. Yoder, 1964
Publication of CPM booklet "A Christian Approach to Nuclear War"
Publicity for CPM book Biblical Realism Confronts the Nation
Correspondence and revisions for Biblical Realism Confronts the Nation

SERIES G: War/Nation/Church Study Group, 1967-
Box 12 [continued]
War/Nation/Church Study Group, 1967-

Box 13 [stored off site]
Signatory cards for statement "A Christian Approach to Nuclear War"

Re-File Box
Material from Re-File Box, 1997
Material from Re-File Box, 1998

This file was last updated on July 14, 2016