April 14, 2022 – Benzonia Academy Lecture: “E. Stanley Jones: 20th Century Preacher and Social Justice Advocate”

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“E. Stanley Jones:  20th Century Preacher and Social Justice Advocate”

Presented by Jack Harnish

Thursday, April 14, 2022, 4:00 P.M.

Offered at The Mills Community House and Online

Click here for lecture link:



In his day, E. Stanley Jones was a well-known religious leader, second only to Billy Graham in popularity.  His 28 books sold world-wide and his preaching events drew huge crowds, particularly in his adopted homeland of India.  He was a counselor to FDR and Truman as well as the leaders of the Indian independence movement. A close personal friend of Gandhi, Martin Luther King credited his book about Gandhi’s non-violence movement as an inspiration.

But does an evangelist who died more than 50 year ago have anything to say to the 21st Century?   “Thirty Days with E. Stanley Jones” is an attempt to bring him into our current world and hear his voice once again.  The book includes stories of people whose lives were touched by his ministry and lifts up his passion for racial justice and world peace.  In a day when religious issues divide us, Jones’ openness to other world religions while still maintaining his convictions is an inspiration.

Rev. Dr. John E. Harnish is an ordained United Methodist pastor, the Pastor Emeritus at First United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Michigan. A native of Clarion, Pennsylvania he was ordained in the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the UMC and served churches in Western Pennsylvania and Michigan, including First UMC Ann Arbor, Michigan and First UMC Birmingham, Michigan.

For seven years, he was the Associate General Secretary for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. In that role, he worked with seminaries and
programs of clergy education and was involved in the work of the World Methodist Council around the world.

As a writer, he has published two previous books, The Orders of Ministry in the United Methodist Church and Do Not Be Afraid: Bishops and Young Clergy Share Signs of Resurrection and Words of Hope. He is a frequent columnist for MIConnect, the Michigan UM online magazine and the Record Patriot newspaper in addition to his weekly blog “Monday Memo” which can be found at JackHarnish.wordpress.com. In 2019 he received the Donn Doten Award of excellence from the United Methodist Association of Communicators.

A graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and was awarded the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award in 2013.

Jack, as he is often known, is married to Judith Harnish. They have two son makes their home on Platte Lake.

The Mills Community House is located at 891 Michigan Avenue, Benzonia (Benzonia Public Library).