Abraham Vereide

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Abraham Vereide in 1960

Abraham Vereide (October 7, 1886 - May 16, 1969) was a Norwegian-born Methodist western American circuit rider and clergyman and founder of Goodwill Industries of Seattle. In 1935, Vereide founded the prayer breakfast movement in the United States.

Early Days

Abraham was born in Norway in the region known as Vereide. He spent most of his young years without a mother, having lost her to illness as a child. Vereide decided to move to America to support his family and seek education that due to finance, eluded him in Norway.As an emigrant in the United States in the early 1900's, he found himself strapped with a six shooter, carrying a Bible and riding a horse in Montana under the tutelage of one Reverend N. L. Hansen, who would license him into ministry as would also preside over Abram's marriage to Hansen's daughter. They would soon move to Oregon and then to Washington State, overseeing churches that were social justice focused communities helping emigrants become citizens. Through an interesting story of the Oregon church's need to pay off their debts on their building and to modernize, Vereide met one Billy Sunday and led a gathering that financed their debt as well as launched Vereide before leaders and men of authority due to Sunday's presentation of the Gospel and men following Christ.[1]

In 1942, Vereide established International Christian Leadership, incorporated as Fellowship Foundation, in Chicago as the U.S. headquarters for the prayer breakfast movement. He was the executive director of this organization until his death. In 1953, Vereide started the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, later called the National Prayer Breakfast or the International Prayer Breakfast.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


  1. ^ Grubb, Norman, ‘’Modern Viking'’ (1961) pages 13-14, 17, 19-21, 23-40
  2. ^ Billy Graham Center, International Christian Leadership Archives-Dr. Abraham Vereide- Box 468
  3. ^ Hottel, Clarence W. , From Bethlehem to Baltimore (2001) page 155
  4. ^ Harris, Irving The Willowbank Story, Island Press Ltd. (1979) page 9
  5. ^ "'Family': Fundamentalism, Friends In High Places". NPR. July 1, 2009. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  6. ^ Sharlet, Jeff (2008). The Family: Power, Politics and Fundamentalism's Shadow Elite. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3694-2. 
  7. ^ Sharlet, Jeff (2008). The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. HarperCollins. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-06-056005-8. The man is a Norwegian immigrant named Abraham Vereide, known to most as Abram, a preacher who has found in America the stature and respectability—by way of a prestigious pulpit—that eluded him in his native Norway.