When sorting through a donation to the MC USA Archives last summer, Olivia Krall came across the story of WWI conscientious objector Guy O. Graber. She shares some of her findings here.
Olivia Krall is the archives coordinator for MC USA. She strives to use the powerful history of the church to engage and inspire people. She graduated from Goshen College in 2023, with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Prior to joining the MC USA Executive Board staff, Olivia worked at the Elkhart County (Indiana) Historical Museum. Olivia grew up attending First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, a congregation within the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. She is currently looking for a church home in Elkhart, and has been attending Southside Fellowship, a congregation within the Central District Conference.
“May we keep on praying that we may be steadfast in our faith with these trials we have to meet each day.”
This line was written by Guy O. Graber in 1918, at Camp Sherman, in Chillicothe, Ohio, just after his conscription into service for World War I. I stumbled upon this sentence as I was cataloging Graber’s papers, which arrived at the Mennonite Church USA Archives last summer through a donation from his granddaughter. The emotion behind his words has stuck with me.