JON: John Oliver Nelson and the Movement for Power in the Church – 2012

Available on Amazon, iUniverse, and Kindle


John Oliver Nelson, born to wealth and privilege, spent much of his life giving that wealth away. In this biography, author Rita M. Yeasted narrates the details of Nelson’s life as he fulfilled the Gospel’s mandate of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless.

JON: John Oliver Nelson and the Movement for Power in the Church tells the life story of this man, known as a quick-witted, intelligent, and charming visionary and dreamer, from his birth in 1909 until his death in 1990. A lover of liturgy, music, and fine arts, Nelson is best known as a national leader for the subtle re-empowering of the Church in our culture and for the founding of the nation’s first Protestant retreat center, Kirkridge, in the Appalachian Mountains in Bangor, Pennsylvania, in 1942. Begun as a center for the renewal of clergy, Kirkridge soon attracted laity of all faiths.

Jack Nelson’s influence extended to thousands over his years as Yale Divinity professor, director of Kirkridge, retreat leader, and spiritual director. Scion of one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent Presbyterian families, Jack died in poverty, but rich in friends. With photographs included, JON and the story it tells presents his legacy to the world.

ALSO PUBLISHED: Grapes of Wrath: A Curriculum Unit, Center for Learning/William C. Brown