Gleason Ledyard’s early call

Downtown Fort Wayne, as seen from Freimann Square.
Downtown Fort Wayne, as seen from Freimann Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There isn’t much out there on Gleason Ledyard, the translator for the New Life Bible.  There is a PDF on the Wikipedia page but in case that gets destroyed or lost, I’ve copied it.  Here is the translation’s copyright page.

As for who is Gleason Ledyard, here is some info from the aforementioned pdf.

Gleason Ledyard   knew  from  his  boyhood  that   he was  to be a missionary   to  the   Eskimos.    But  he  had   no  idea   that   a  Bible translation   in easy-to-read  English  would  be his main  ministry   to the  world.  God’s  plans   went  far  beyond  anything    he  could  have dreamed.

Born  and  reared   in Ashland,  Ohio,  Gleason Ledyard   was  the  son of a Sunday   school  teacher   in the  Evangelical  Church.   His young  life almost  ended  when  he was  two years  old when a  peanut   hull  lodged  in his  trachea.  Surgeons   were  unable   to  remove   it  in  several attempts and so in desperation  his mother  prayed  that  God would either take  her  near-lifeless  son or spare  his life for Christian service  to which  she was  dedicating him. A few minutes   after  her  prayer Gleason  started   resting   comfortably, and  several   days  later  the hull  was  coughed  up.

Ledyard’s father  died when he was thirteen   years  old. This turn of events  delayed his formal preparation  for missionary service until he was in his mid-twenties as he had responsibility to his mother and family.  It was though with  a clear  sense  of call to missionary work he enrolled in the training  program  at Fort Wayne Bible College, Fort  Wayne  Indiana,   where  met and  was profoundly influenced by  Dr.  S. A. Witmer., its spiritual leader.

His  Fort Wayne   experience    helped   him  to  further    affirm   the   calling   to the ministry for as a  a young  boy he had felt the  call  to  the  Arctic and  in 1957, Dr. Witmer  accompanied   Gleason  on an extensive   ministry   trip  around  northern   Hudson  Bay.  He had already been studying flying a biplane, which he knew was the only way to reach the desolate areas of the Canadian Arctic, but he had been forced to abandon that endeavor because he had ran out of money and instead had turned to Bible College.

Now it was his very mentor at that college that was accompanying him to the Arctic and this proved to Gleason that it was the right choice.

The Ft Wayne Bible College was originally the Bethany bible College in 1895.  From its inception it has always had a missionary bent.  It was then renamed again, in 1996, at Summit Christian College, which was acquired by Taylor University, of Upland Indiana.

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