BVS Marks Milestones of Unit 300, 65th Year

Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is marked by two key milestones in 2013: the 65th anniversary of the program’s enactment by Annual Conference, and the volunteer Unit 300.

Starting orientation at Camp Ithiel in Florida on Sunday, Unit 300 is composed of eight volunteers. The new unit will complete orientation on Feb. 15. BVS friends and alumni are invited to a potluck with Unit 300 at Camp Ithiel at 6 p.m. on Feb. 5.

The new recruits bring to approximately 7,000 the number of individuals who have entered BVS since its inaugural in 1948. Currently 80 BVS workers are on assignment throughout the US and in a number of countries around the world including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Japan, and South Sudan. Four are based at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., serving in the workcamp ministry, the Youth and Young Adult Office, and in the BVS office.

Establishing a record at the BVS helm is Dan McFadden, who has begun his 18th year as director. Of the 10 leaders who have headed the program, McFadden holds by far the longest tenure. His staff coworkers include Kristin Flory, who has served for 25 years as coordinator of Brethren Service in Europe; Callie Surber, who has served for five years as coordinator of orientation; Todd Bauer, representing BVS in Latin America; and Emily Tyler, BVS recruitment staff who also is coordinator of the workcamp ministry.

BVS directors since 1948 (although all who held this position directed BVS, the title has varied over the years):
Ora Huston, 1948-59
Joel Thompson, 1960
Rodney Davis, 1961-64
Wilbur Mullen, 1965-69
Charles Boyer, 1970-76
Joanne Nesler, 1977-80
Joyce Stolzfus, 1981-87
Jan Schrock, 1987-94
Ivan Fry (interim), 1994-95
Dan McFadden, 1995 to present.

BVS orientation or training leaders since 1948:
Ed Crill, 1948-51
Rodney Davis, 1951-52
Dale Aukerman, 1952-53
Ivan Fry, 1953-57
Robert Mock, 1958-60
Albert Huston, 1961
Don Snider, 1961-69
Ron Hanft, 1969-73
Willard Dulabaum, 1974-77
Jan Mason, 1977-79
Beverly Weaver, 1979-83
Joe Detrick, 1984-88
Debbie Eisenbise, 1989-92
Tammy Krause, 1992-94
Todd Reish, 1994-98
Sue Grubb, 1998-2002
Karen Roberts, 2002-04
Genelle Wine, 2004-07
Callie Surber, 2007 to present.

— Howard Royer is retired from many years on the staff of the Church of the Brethren. He wrote this article originally for the Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren newsletter. Dan McFadden provided the lists of BVS directors and orientation/training leaders.