Deaths: Frank H. Littell, Ralph D. Winter
Franklin H. Littell, who pioneered research studies on the Nazi Holocaust and on the history of Anabaptists, died at age 92 in his home in Merion Station, Pennsylvania, on May 23. His graduate seminar on the German church struggle and the Holocaust at Emory University in 1959 was said to be the first Holocaust course taught in America. His book The Crucifixion of the Jews influenced a generation of young theologians. He also taught at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and Chicago Theological Seminary before becoming professor of world religions at Temple University in 1969. After retiring from Temple in 1986, he continued an active speaking and teaching career. Littell was appointed as a founding member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council by President Carter in 1978. The author of two dozen books, who was often honored in Israel, was a visiting professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem for 25 years. Baylor University described Littell’s book The Anabaptist View of the Church as “a breakthrough in the historiography of Anabaptism” when it awarded Littell the Robert Foster Cherry chair for distinguished teaching in 1993.
Pioneering missions expert Ralph D. Winter, 84, the Presbyterian minister who coined the term unreached people for Protestant missionary goal-setting and was named one of America’s 25 most influential evangelicals by Time magazine in 2005, died of cancer May 20 in Pasadena, California. Winter issued his call to focus on the least evangelized ethnic groups in his address to the 1974 Lau sanne Congress on World Evangeli zation in Switzerland. These “unreached people groups,” he suggested, were isolated by language, ethnicity and cultural and social status that hindered introduction of the gospel. A missionary to Guatemala with his first wife, Roberta, for ten years, Winter launched there what was said to be the first long-distance theological education program. He was one of the first faculty members of Fuller Theo logical Seminary’s School of World Mission, now the School of Intercultural Studies. Win ter founded the U.S. Center for World Mission in 1976 and opened William Carey International University the next year.