Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium Web Archive

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The People of the Godmobiles
MRIC 2012/13

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"The People of the Godmobiles"

D. Nels Reese
Professor Emeritus of Architecture

Mary Ann Reese
Former editor for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

April 16- 12:30 p.m.
Whitewater Room, Idaho Commons

Abstract: Our speakers were children and grandchildren of itinerant tent evangelists who traveled the Western United States preaching the gospel and founding some 20 churches from Arizona to California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Their congregations met and worked together from the 1920s to several surviving today. The evangelists and many of their congregants chose to wear their faith on their automobiles. From 1917 to the present, they artfully painted Bible verses on their cars and trailers in a specially-designed old-English font readable at highway speeds. Church leaders never solicited money, were unsalaried, and “lived by faith.” The Reese brother and sister will share what it was like growing up with The People of the Godmobiles, title of their book project and potential Web and museum exhibits.

Biography D. Nels Reese taught urban planning and design at the University of Idaho between 1987 and 2008. Before that he was the university’s director of facilities for seven years. Mary Ann Reese edited the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences magazine, Programs & People, and other college publications from 2003 to 2012. Both siblings worked in Europe, Nels as art director for Army in Europe magazine and Mary Ann as staff writer and then London Bureau Chief of the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Their academic backgrounds include American Studies, and they will present a talk later this week at the Pacific Northwest American Studies Association Conference in Seattle

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