Theodore Epp

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Theodore H. Epp
Theodore Epp.jpg
Born (1907-01-27)January 27, 1907
Oraibi, Arizona, U.S.
Died October 13, 1985(1985-10-13) (aged 78)
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
Spouse(s) Matilda Schmidt
Children Gerald, Eleanor, Herbert, Berniece, Marilyn and Virginia
Parent(s) Jacob B. Epp and Agnetha Harms
Church Mennonite
Congregations served
Back to the Bible
weekly radio program (1939–1985)

Theodore H. Epp (January 27, 1907 - October 13, 1985) was an American Christian clergyman, writer, and a radio evangelist. Epp was the founding director and speaker of the Back to the Bible broadcasts between 1939–1985, heard worldwide on eight hundred stations in eight languages.[1]

Early years and education[edit]

Epp was born in Oraibi, Arizona, the son of Russian Mennonite immigrants.[2] His parents were missionaries to the Hopi Indians there. After graduating from Oklahoma Bible Academy, Epp attended Hesston College, Hesston, Kansas and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now, Biola University), Epp received a ThM degree in 1932 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.


He started his ministry as a pastor and radio preacher in Goltry, Oklahoma and then relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he established the Back to the Bible radio program.[2] It was first broadcast May 1, 1939, on a local station and was eventually syndicated as a daily, 30-minute program to more than 800 radio stations worldwide by the time of his retirement in 1985.[1][2][3]

Under Epp's direction, the broadcasts were also noted for music by the Back to the Bible Choir and quartet. Several popular recordings were made by the choir in the 1940s and 1950s. Back to the Bible also had a weekly youth program, featuring a youth choir and serialized adventures with a Christian theme.[4] Both the music and youth program have since been discontinued. Epp wrote nearly 70 books and magazine articles.[1]

Theodore Epp died in 1985 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and is buried at Lincoln Memorial Park there.[5]

The Back to the Bible program continues under Interim Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe to broadcast worldwide from its headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska.


  1. ^ a b c "700 Famous Nebraskans". Nebraska Press Association. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Balmer, Randall (2001-02-19). "The Wireless Gospel". 45 (3). Christianity Today. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  3. ^ Theodore H. Epp biography, Mennonite Encyclopedia online
  4. ^ Back to the Bible, God at work 40 Years, Lincoln, Nebraska: Back to the Bible (1979)
  5. ^ "Theodore H. Epp". Lincoln Journal Star. 1985-10-15. p. 18. 

External links[edit]