Monday, April 19, 2021

Recommended Reading: Richard Deats Life Story

Although many in the contemporary United Methodist Church may not be familiar with him, the life and work of Richard Deats shows just what a wide impact the work of Methodist mission can have. Deats was a product of Methodist higher education (MacMurry College, Perkins School of Theology, and Boston University), the Methodist Student Movement, and a missionary in the Philippines for the Methodist Church's Board of Missions. While in college, he was introduced to the philosophy of nonviolence by Muriel Lester, founder of the interfaith nonviolence organization Fellowship of Reconciliation. That introduction led to a lifetime of work for nonviolence. Deats was a central figure in that movement and connected to many of the other central figures: Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Howard Thurman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Walter Wink, and others. He worked for decades for Fellowship of Reconciliation. Deats died on April 7th, and this obituary and this additional obituary gives testimony to the full scope of his amazing work.


  1. Thanks very much for lifting up Richard Deats' life and immense legacy. The link in your tribute to an obit does not work for me; you might want to replace it with this link:

    1. Thanks, Ethan. I've fixed the original link and added the one you recommended.