Seminary’s origin

Dec 7, 2015 by

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Thank you for publishing “AMBS Forerunner Began 70 Years Ago” (Nov. 23). That was a very special time, and I am grateful to Rich Preheim for writing about it.

I need to point out an error in the identification of the photo on page 2. The woman second from the right in the front row is not Katie Andres but rather my mother, Sylvia Pannabecker. I believe Andres came a little later as librarian. I don’t know why Sylvia was included in the photo, but it was probably because she served as hostess for visitors who came to stay in the main house.

The 4614 house was a fantastic building. It had belonged to a Joyce family who owned a lumber company. The third floor was a game room with a pool table. The Mennonite Biblical Seminary board thought some constituents might not take well to the idea of a pool table in the seminary, so it was removed. There was also a player piano and an Art Deco bedroom suite.

I appreciated the serious issues the article speaks of, particularly the era when the neighborhood changed from white to black and the work that Vincent Harding and Delton and Marian Franz did. It was a life-changing experience for rural white Mennonite students learning to live in a primarily black community and trying to figure out how to share Christ’s love with neighbors.

Alice Ruth Pannabecker
Ramseyer; Bluffton, Ohio


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