Frank L. Hoffman
|Frank Louis Hoffman|
|Born||Frank Louis Hoffman|
|Education||New York Theological Seminary (NYTS), Drew University Graduate Division of Religion (GDR)|
|Occupation||Christian clergyman (minister), Benefactor and philanthropist|
|Known for||Christian vegetarianism,
|Notable work(s)||The All-Creatures.org web portal for vegetarian and animal rights organizations and ideas|
|Spouse(s)||Mary T. Hoffman|
Frank Louis Hoffman is President and Trustee of the Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation, which funds communications media supporting animal advocacy and vegan living and values. He is owner of the F. L. Hoffman Corporation, which builds and operates nursing homes, and a leader in Christian vegetarianism within the United States and North America.
Hoffman was born in a Jewish family, then he acknowledged Jesus Christ as Messiah and began to work in Evangelical Christianity and studied for the Protestant ministry in both Methodist and nondenominational seminaries. He tells the story of his religious conversion while flying an airplane. Now he is a retired minister living in Athens, New York, where he heads The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation as its President and Trustee. The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation runs the All-Creatures.org website, which hosts nearly 50 other websites for vegetarian and animal rights organizations. The foundation also helps fund pro-animal vegetarian video production. He is a licensed instrument-rated aircraft private pilot, which assists the Hoffmans in their many travels, and a retired CEO of a medical construction management firm.
- 1 Methodist ministry
- 2 The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
- 3 Hoffman's message
- 4 Recognition
- 5 Media appearances
- 6 Mary T. Hoffman
- 7 Publications
- 8 Intellectual influences
- 9 Publications
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Frank Hoffman is a retired church pastor, who continues his ministry on the internet. He studied at New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) (nondenominational, evening classes) and the Drew University Graduate Division of Religion (GDR), which is historically Methodist, including both face-to-face classes and remote classes. He and his wife were ethical vegetarians during this period, during which he served for six years in a prison ministry of the United Methodist Church, where he ministered to around 500 inmates in the Coxsackie Correctional Facility maximum security prison. In 1987, he and his wife, already vegetarian for ethical reasons, became vegan, and reportedly, his prison ministry colleagues during this time noted a character change in him. He also served on Methodist Prison Ministry staff in Westchester County, New York.
Rev. Hoffman served as minister from 1987 to 1998 for the Federated Church of Athens, New York in the Hudson District North District of the Connecticut-New York Conference, and The High Hill United Methodist Church, which became an independent congregation in 1993. The Federated Church of Athens (the united church) was a Methodist-Baptist church.
Faith-based controversy around memorializing nonhumans
Hoffman's offering memorial services and funerals for companion animals who had died either through accidents or naturally - causing controversy among neighbors and local clergy - and also within his congregation - and in several denominations, though Biblical texts from Ecclesiastes are often cited at human funerals. Anthropologists have noted the human practice of memorializing nonhuman companions (and noncompanions).
Frank Hoffman's prayers on behalf of animals (both dead and living animal companions, and wildlife, and victims of human uses, such as laboratory research subjects) have been included in several compendia of prayers. The Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post featured a book review (October 16, 2004, F-1) of Bless the Beasts (2004):
From animal blessing ceremonies to animal activism, religious groups are acknowledging the spirituality of animals and their importance as God's creations. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe God appointed humans as caretakers of the animals.
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Founded in December 1997, The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation describes itself as Biblically-based, using the canon of the King James Bible. However, they maintain relationships with Catholic and Orthodox Christian groups and with non-Christian vegetarian groups. This is complementary with Frank Hoffman's membership in SERV, the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians. The Foundation endorses a vegan plant-based diet, responsible stewardship of the world as creation, and care and respect for other-than-human persons. They advocate the elimination of animal testing, the elimination of animal models in scientific research, the elimination of the use of animals for food, the elimination of commercial use of animals, and the protection of the environment from polluting and destructive practices. The foundation promotes a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and Judeo-Christian ethics.
The Foundation promotes through education the elimination of the use of animals in biomedical research and testing, their use as food, or their use for any and all commercial purposes; and to protect the environment so that no living beings suffer from its destruction or pollution." 
Hosting the all-creatures.org website with its animal advocacy and related dietary, environmental, spiritual/ethical/religious issues is the role of the Foundation. The library includes over 75,000 documents with pro-animal pro-vegan essays, animal-friendly photography and photos of animal abuse and exploitation, educational materials, other literature, and vegan recipes. On this website, which draws large amounts of web traffic through hosting large numbers of related sites whose traffic complement one another in search engines, the foundation provides a library of educational materials for teachers and students on cruelty free living.
The Family Foundation also supports a grass roots and nonprofit vegetarian, vegan, animal rights and pro-animal, and environmental organizations by publishing, maintaining and hosting these organizations' websites without cost to them. Organizations hosted by the Hoffman Family foundation include: Creation's Cry Christian Animal Rights and Environmental Ministry, God's Creatures Ministry (Christian Animal Rights Ministry), The Compassionate Writings of Vasu Murti, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN), and the Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA). Frank Hoffman describes the All-Creatures.org website as the majority of his current work.
Frank Hoffman produces and electronically distributes a weekly sermon and eNewsletter that promotes compassion towards all sentient beings and a fully vegan lifestyle and teaches that church silence on the oppression of other-than-human sentient beings is a form of promoting violence - systemic violence. The weekly electronic newsletter tracks issues related to animal welfare and rights and includes action alerts for news and pro-animal campaigns.
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation has funded several pro-animal pro-vegan educational videos. Titles include:
- Peaceable Kingdom
- A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal The World
- The Witness
- Mad Cowboy: The Documentary
- Honoring God’s Creation
- Christian Concern for All God's Animals by God’s Creatures Ministry
Frank Hoffman's theology can be characterized as Wesleyan Methodism (from Greek: μέθοδος - methodos, "pursuit of knowledge"), which includes the Methodist doctrines of sanctification, which led to the Christian temperance movement. Methodist beliefs in 'moral preconditions to (religious and other) knowing' can trace their position through Augustine and into the Middle Ages.
- The proper focus of human attention is on God’s Divine Character and in manifesting God’s character through loving service to others. We thereby become more nearly perfect, in harmony with the teaching of Matthew 5:48.
- Believers should realize this unconditional love by loving every other person unconditionally. Service to others is preaching the Gospel to every creature, as St. Francis taught.
- All persons should be vegan,that is, to neither eat animal products, nor consume, wear, or endorse the production of anything that involves the suffering or involuntary use of another person, particularly nonhumans.
- Ideas are far less important (in one's relationship with God) than is effective love. Doctrinal issues are existentially positional, seen best by understanding the position or life context in which they are held. God is not concerned about our doctrine but is concerned with our heart, our lives, our devotion, and our service. Right thinking has a place in one's personal, practical, and intellectual life, but for Hoffman's Wesleyan Methodism, it is morally and religiously irrelevant, unlike the higher role of 'right thinking' in classical Ch'an Buddhism. Hoffman's God is a Person, not a transcendent state, an Absolute, or an impersonal ultimate reality.
Recognition by evangelical Christian groups
Frank Hoffman was ordained a Methodist minister after seminary training. He has stood with a conservative but loving reading of Christian Scripture. He was called by the Federated Church of Athens, a federated Methodist and Baptist local congregation united denominationally at the local level. A number of online websites carry some of Frank Hoffman's more Evangelical-sounding sermons.
Jewish vegetarian recognition
Dr. Richard Schwartz of the Jewish Vegetarian Society of North America is involved closely with Frank Hoffman in The Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians, and The Frank and Mary Hoffman Family Foundation has helped fund Dr. Schwartz's "A Sacred Duty" DVD, which is distributed free on the Internet and as a mailed-out DVD. Rev. Hoffman frequently cites both his Jewish heritage and his role as a believing Jew in affirming under God the personhood of all sentient beings.
Frank Hoffman is active in SERV, the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians, which focuses its networking and advocacy work on advancing vegan diets and promoting the recognition of human stewardship responsibilities towards animals. At the annual NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest, Rev. Frank Hoffman has led a nondenominational interfaith worship service early on Sunday mornings before breakfast and has delivered several talks on Christian vegetarianism.
Most of the larger animal rights groups have All-Creatures.org listed, and they have been mentioned in several books and several newspapers that attempt to catalog pro-animal and vegetarian resources. He helped found and has been active in the Christian Vegetarian Association and the more ecumenical SERV, the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians. He has been a regular speaker at [http://www.VegetarianSummerfest.org the annual NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest, often held in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Hoffman is also a speaker at local vegetarian society meetings that are within a day's drive or flight. However, the presence of vegetarian Seventh-day Adventists (following the Millerites) since the mid-19th century (their founder, Ellen G. White, was vegetarian or vegan), the idea of Christian vegetarianism was largely dismissed until the rise of the Christian Vegetarian Association, which followed Frank Hoffman's development of the All-Creatures.org web portal.
Frank Hoffman has appeared as an interviewee on vegetarian radio shows across the United States and on SMTV in Europe and Asia to address the "hardness of heart" of actual Christian practice, and to explore his role in founding the Christian Vegetarian Association and the consistent philosophy of nonviolence that underlies CVA. A number of these radio interviews have been archived and are available for later listening by wider audiences. His most recent appearance is on Veganpalooz a (11–15 July 2012).
Mary T. Hoffman
Mary T. Hoffman is the vegan homemaker influence in the All-Creatures.org web portal. Frank and Mary met while in college at the University of Pittsburgh. Both have science and healthcare backgrounds. Mary worked in the labs as a medical technologist, while Frank, trained professionally as a chemist, spent six years as a medic in the U.S. Air Force. Frank was Jewish, and Mary was Greek Orthodox. They believed they were brought together by God to help restore forgotten elements in Christian faith, so they married July 7, 1961, and have been Christian vegan animal activists together since 1986, promoting both human rights and animal rights.
They encourage discovery of the health, compassion, and environmental blessings - or benefits - of a vegan lifestyle. Mary's hobbies are vegan cooking, rollerblading and other energetic outdoor sports, and painting of animals and vegan food. Mary is a professional watercolor artist, and some of her paintings are posted on the website, God's Creation in Art. The All-Creatures.org web portal is filled with thousands of vegan food dishes.
- Sermons, fully archived; Scriptural index of sermons
- Weekly eNewsletters, fully archived
- "Bless the Beasts" (2004) - Memorial services for animals, since God appointed humans as caretakers for animals.
Frank Hoffman had studied chemistry and other natural sciences and had served on the US Air Force as a medic. He also had studied the Bible and the Hebrew language, or Biblical Hebrew, prior to his adoption of Christianity by recognizing Jesus as Yeshua Messiah, the Messiah of Israel, and of all nations. His studies in two well-known seminaries had nondenominational influences. Drew, though Methodist, was the intellectual home of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible, yet has a nonsectarian influence, as does New York Theological Seminary, with a tradition for thinking outside the box theologically. Today, he cites the influence of Rabbi Schmuel Asher, a Karaite scholar, who taught "that most Judeo-Christians are deeply misinformed on all levels of Hebrew history and experience, and needed help." The vegetarian Adventists used the calendar of the Karaite Jews.
- Shanahan, N. B. (2005). Animal Prayer Guide: A Book Based on Bible Scripture. Pete Publishing.
- Animals and the environment in Jewish ethics
- Christian Vegetarian Association
- Compassion and Responsibility for Animals
- Karaite Judaism
- Parable of the Good Samaritan
- Second Epistle to the Corinthians
- The Blessings of the Beasts (2007) by Ethel Pochocki, Barry Moser (Illustrator), Hal M. Helms, religious fiction, ISBN 9781557255020, Publisher: Paraclete Press, Publication date: 5/28/2007
- Photos of Frank and Mary Hoffman
- 2011 photo Frank and Mary Hoffman
- Frank L. Hoffman Facebook page
- "NYS Dept. of Corrections Facility list". NYS Dept. of Corrections. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- “You’re talking with a softer, more peaceful and loving attitude.”
- Mary Thurston, The History of Pet Burials
- Mary Elizabeth Thursday, The Lost History of the Canine Race: Our Fifteen-Thousand-Year Love Affair with Dogs, 1996, Andrews and McMeel, Avon Books (P) December 1997, 978-0380730490
- Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post book review (October 16, 2004, F-1) of Bless the Beasts
- LinkedIn profile for Frank L. Hoffman
- Teen Bloggers Volunteer To Make World A Better Place
- Discussion of 'dominion'
- About Our Mission and Purpose, all-creatures.org, July 2007
- About Our Philosophy, all-creatures.org, June 2012
- All Things Vegan ~ Show Notes ~ July 24, 2012
- Animal Exploitation Photo Gallery
- Working for a Peaceful World for Humans, Animals and the Environment, all-creatures.org, June 2012
- About Our Mission and Purpose, all-creatures.org, June 2012
- Hosted Websites, all-creatures.org, June 2012
- Creation's Cry Christian Animal Rights and Environmental Ministry
- God's Creatures Christian Animal Rights Ministry
- The Compassionate Writings of Vasudev Murti
- Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation, Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed June 2012
- Welcome to the CVA!, Christian Vegetarian Association, accessed June 2012
- Response to online questionnaire from vegan activist Butterflies Katz.
- Frank Hoffman's weekly eNewsletter
- Acknowledgement of the financial support for each DVD is run during 'credits' at the end of the video sequence.
- μέθοδος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- A theory of divine illumination serves as the precondition of all human knowledge in St. Augustine and can be traced through the writings of Augustine of Hippo, Anselm of Canterbury (famous for the ontological argument), Bonaventure, Aquinas, and John Duns Scotus
- Recently Frank Hoffman has turned to Biblical themes of Christian perfection, in the Wesleyan tradition
- Exemplary sermon: Belief is passive - Faith is active (Scripture-based)
- The Road to Hell
- What Does It Mean To Keep The Sabbath Day Holy?
- A selection of articles on religious vegetarianism
- Animals Today Radio interview with Frank Hoffman and Dr. Richard Schwartz
- Murti, V. (August 18, 2010, 7:18 PM), Comment, in Feel my Faith, commenting on 8/16/2010 Time magazine article, "What Animals Think"
- Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter of July 16, 2009
- Addresses nonsectarian crowds at 2010 NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest, cited in Summerfest program
- 2011 NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest program, see pages 9, 15, and 19
- 2010 NAVS Vegetarian Summerfest program - Search For Frank Hoffman on page 7 of the program.
- Frank L. Hoffman speaks at a meeting of the Berkshire Vegetarian Network.
- Interview on Animals Today Radio There are several errors in the references to Frank Hoffman's middle initial.
- About 90% of these recipes come from Frank Hoffman and 10% from Mary Hoffman.
- About Mary and Frank Hoffman
- Amazon.com author bio for Schmuel Asher
- 'Bless the Beasts', (October 16, 2004). Courier Post, Cherry Hill, NJ, F1
- CVA: Official Site
- Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (sister organization)
- Christian Religion and Vegetarian Resources
- Revolution and Liberation of Animals from Kill Shelters - Hoffman Foundation Campaign website
- Indian Vegan
- Islamic Concern
- Jesus Veg
- Jewish Vegetarians of North America
- Seventh Day Adventist Dietetic Association
- Sermon on the Mount
- Shabkar (Buddhist)
- Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (Interfaith)
- Vegetarian Friends (Quaker)
- LinkedIn page for Frank L. Hoffman
Contrary Views on Biblical Vegetarianism within the Vegetarian Movement
- Christian Vegetarianism - an archive: Highlights from British publications since the 1800s
- "Biblical Vegetarianism" by Henry S. Salt