User:MaynardClark/Vern Bennom Grimsley

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Vern Bennom Grimsley (December 22, 1940-January 1, 2011) was a campus preacher in the San Francisco Bay Area, most famous for his intellectual engagement with students at University of California, Berkeley of the emerging, unfolding modern scientific worldview, and how one finds faith in a living God in that intellectual development, from which he recorded most (but not all) of his daily religious radio broadcasts. His theology was Christian theistic unitarian (small 'u'). He emphasized the centrality of personal religious experience, though in a nontrinitarian theology. Sometime in the 1970s, he discovered the Urantia Book and began preaching about Urantia, and his Urantia popularity grew considerably, despite its distinct contrasts from the theological framework of his previous message.[1] He retired in 2004 because of personal illness but continued to write and speak, completing a book of his sermons in 2010. Vern Bennom Grimsley died a few months later on January 1, 2011[2][3], at the age of 71, in the town of Oakhurst, California, where he and his wife Nancy had lived for 25 years, and from which he ran the Spiritual Renaissance® Institute, which he founded.


Vern Grimsley was born December 22, 1940, in Garden City, Kansas, to (father) and (mother), who were (denomination, religious interest). In his youth, Vern ...

In 1955, his parents sent him to a private preparatory boarding school in Culver, Indiana for (xxx).[4] In 1958, as an alumnus of Culver Military Academy, Vern later returned to Kansas to become one of the youngest radio newscasters and DJs in the nation while still finishing high school. His station - KNCO (AM) (830 AM) in Grass Valley, California - reached several states, including Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Vern won the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce speaking and essay contest, meriting a trip to Washington, D.C. where fellow Kansan Dwight D Eisenhower personally congratulated Vern in the Oval Office.

While studying (for three years - 1955-1958) in Culver, he came into contact with Rev. Dr. Meredith Justin Sprunger, who was pastor of the Grace United Church of Christ.[5] Sprunger was not hesitant to introduce The Urantia Papers to anyone who might exhibit a slight interest, and had introduced some of his parishioners to the Papers. One of those parishioners told Grimsley of the Papers, who then sought out Sprunger to learn more.

In 1963, he was graduated from the University of Kansas with the bachelor of (xxx) degree; he had been involved with the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Sigma Chi Fraternity during his years there, where he shared with his fraternity brothers his interest in The Urantia Book.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). [citation needed]

In 2004 following an illness, Vern retired, and he and his wife, Nancy, lived more flexibly in Oakhurst in the California mountains. Vern continued to write and broadcast, and his book, Fragments of Philosophy, was completed in 2010. Mr. Grimsley enjoyed playing the guitar and performed at many Oakhurst events.

Mr. Grimsley served as chairman for the Eastern Madera County Emergency Preparedness Committee, and was nominated as Oakhurst's Volunteer of the Year.[citation needed]

Vern Bennom Grimsley died Jan. 1, 2011, at the age of 71.[6]

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 at Palm Memorial Sierra Chapel in Oakhurst, California, and burial was at Oakhill Cemetery, also in Oakhurst.

He is survived by wife Nancy Smithe Grimsley of Oakhurst, California; his sister Mona Marie Grimsley (Mona Marie Hett, Mona Marie Hubert) of Topeka, Kansas; his niece Monica Marie Hubert Miller of Oakhurst, California; and three children Veronica, Cameron, and Vanessa.



  • 1982, Vern Bennom Grimsley Affair[7][8]:
May 2 -- Death of Emma Christensen, the last living contact commissioner: The death of Emma Christensen precipitated a power struggle between Martin Myers and Vern Grimsley for influence amongst the readership. Vern used his charismatic appeal to the readership as his primary tool. Martin used his knowledge of the legal system. The end result was a disaster. Vern's organization was completely destroyed in the process, and the credibility of Martin's Urantia Foundation was seriously damaged -- perhaps permanently. Each of these dedicated men was reduced to the status of pariah amongst most of the established readership. At that time, the remaining two of the original four "Christy's Boys", Richard Keeler and Hoite Caston, took over the effort to control the development of the rapidly emerging readership as well as the attempted salvage of Urantia Foundation.


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