Alumni of the Year 1974: John M. and Betty (Keener) Drescher

A Scottdale, Pa., couple who has devoted years of service to church work was named joint recipients of the eighth “alumnus-of-the-year” award during Eastern Mennonite College’s Alumni Association homecoming banquet April 27.

John M. (C 51, 53) and Betty K. (CngSO) Drescher accepted the award from Fred L. Den­linger (C 58), president of EMC’s Alumni Association.

“It is hard to measure the meaning of EMC to our lives,” Drescher said upon receiving the award. “ It was here that I received an enlarged vision of the meaning of the church and of my calling in Christ to service in the life of the church,” he added.

The alumni citation noted three particular qualities of the Dreschers:

—“ They have raised five chil­dren, commending them to Christ and the way of love;

—“ maintained a relationship of love and respect for one another;

—“sought to serve more than to be served and thus have demonstrated the spirit of East­ern Mennonite College.”

Drescher, who is currently pastor of the 185-member Scottdale Mennonite Church, is best known for his work as editor of Gospel Herald, the official weekly magazine of the Mennonite Church. He was named to this position by the Mennonite Publication Board in 1962 and resigned in 1973.

During his eleven years as editor the magazine climbed to a circulation of 25,000—the highest in its 66-year history.

Drescher’s assignment also took him on speaking engage­ments in churches and con­ferences across North America.

Prior to this, the Lancaster County, Pa., native was pastor of Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Rittman, Ohio, from 1954 to 1962. He has been a bishop in the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference and was president of the Ohio and Eastern Mission Board.

He is the author of five books, including Meditations for the Newly Married and Now is the Time to Love.

The alumni award cited Mrs. Drescher for assistance to her husband in his varied church responsibilities.

The couple’s children are: John Ronald, 19; Sandra Kay, 16; Rose Marie, 14; Joseph Dean, 11; and David Carl, 9.

Published 1974 in Crossroads.

Posted on August 18, 2016