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Bishop Don W. Holter


Dr. Don W. Holter, the first president of Saint Paul (founded as National Methodist Theological Seminary) was a native of Kansas and a graduate of Baker University. He also had a BD degree from Garrett Biblical Institute and a PhD from the University of Chicago. 
Before World War II, Holter, his wife, Isabelle, and their two oldest daughters, Martha and Phyllis, lived in the Philippines where Holter served as the minister of Central Church and as professor and president at Union Theological Seminary in Manila. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines the family was interred in a camp on the grounds of Santo Tomas University. For three years they lived in a 15 by 26 foot bamboo shack and at times survived by making soup from the roots of banana trees. Their youngest daughter, Heather, was born in the camp. 
After returning to the states Holter lectured for the Methodist Board of Missions, was pastor of Hamline Methodist Church in Minnesota, and served on the Garrett faculty. Holter was elected president of National Methodist Theological Seminary in October 1958 by the Board of Trustees. He began in serving as president in January 1959 and was inaugurated in April. Holter continued as president of Saint Paul until 1972 when he was elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church. 
Holter wrote three books, Fire on the Prairie: Methodism in the History of Kansas (1969), Flames on the Plains: United Methodism in Nebraska (1983), Lure of Kansas: the Story of the Evangelical and United Brethren 1853-1968 (1990). In 1973 Dr. Holter was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Saint Paul School of Theology. When he died in September 1999, Holter was the oldest Bishop in the UMC at ninety-four. Isabelle Holter died November 12, 2004 in Lee's Summit, Missouri.  She was ninety-eight.
Content and Scope
Includes documents from collections of Saint Paul School of Theology, Bishop Don W. Holter's files and memorabilia received from his family at his death, and documents and copies of articles collected by his daughter, Heather Ellis.
Contents include:
American Methodism Notes
Appreciation Letter
Bethany Hospital
"Caroling through Blackouts or Daddy Is Sure Lucky" by Isabelle Holter
Central Christian Advocate, June 4, 1902
"Commencement Fisk Training School"
Commissioning Service as Missionary, October 28, 1934
Deacon's Credentials
Elder's Credentials
"Freeing Camp Santo Tomas," The American Legion, March 1995 (photocopy)
General Conference, 1984 Medal
History of Education in Kansas and Baker University
History of Saint Paul, Undated Letter
Holocaust Articles
Holter, Don W., book, Fire on the Prairie
Holter, Don W., Memorabilia
Inauguration Invitations, April 7, 1959
Inauguration Luncheon Ticket, April 7, 1959
Inauguration Program, April 7, 1959
Inauguration Service: The Addresses, April 7, 1959
Memorial Service
Methodist History: Kansas and Missouri
News Clippings:

     "Methodist Leader's View Molded by War Privations,"
    Kansas City Star, April 19, 1959
     "Holter Lists Four Demands," University News, University of Kansas City, May 8, 1963
NW Kansas Conference Program, March 24-29, 1909
Papers re: Continuing Education Program
Photos: Council of Bishops
Photos: Elected Bishop
Photos: Inauguration
Publicity for The Lure of Kansas
Reception and Dinner Honoring Bishop and Mrs. Don W. Holter, October 10, 1972
Scrapbook from Heather Holter Ellis
Sermon After Release from Interment Camp
Sermon Delivered by Eugene Frank, Oct. 3, 1989
"Under Protective Custody," by Don W. Holter
WW II in the Philippines Articles

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