The Foundry

J. Waskom Pickett Collection

J. Waskom Pickett Collection


Biographical note: Bishop Jarrell Waskom Pickett was born in 1890 in northeast Texas. Soon after Waskom's birth the family moved to Columbia, South Carolina, and four years later they moved to Wilmore, Kentucky, where Waskom was reared. He completed his studies at Asbury College in 1907, graduating in the same class as E. Stanley Jones. He then taught Greek at a college in Villonia, Arkansas, and at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. In February, 1910, he went to India to begin a ministry which would last 46 years. After serving as pastor and district superintendent, he was consecrated a bishop of the Methodist Church in 1936, and he retired in 1956. During his time in India he completed the research for and wrote a definitive study, Christian Mass Movements in India (1933). He authored Christ's Way to India's Heart (1938) and The Dynamics of Church Growth (1963). He also contributed several chapters to Church Growth and Group Conversion (1956). Bishop Pickett was acquainted with many world leaders. He was a confidant of Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, and he met with then-President Eisenhower to ask for help from the U. S. to send wheat to aid India during the famine in 1953. In 1916 he married the former Ruth Robinson, and they had four children. After retiring, the Picketts lived in California and in Michigan, finally settling in Columbus, Ohio. Bishop Pickett maintained an active interest in India and its affairs, raising millions of dollars for Ludhiana Christian Medical College and supporting the cause of India by contacting senators and congressmen and in articles, editorials and speeches. He died in August, 1981, in Columbus Ohio, and he is buried in the Wilmore Cemetery. The J. Waskom Pickett Collection consists of 9.1 linear feet of papers including family historical material; correspondence; materials having to do with the Methodist Church in India and the United States; manuscripts of books, speeches, sermons and articles; and scrapbooks, photos, slides, and artifacts. The collection was given to the college by Bishop and Mrs. Pickett's children on August 2, 1982.

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