Joey Jeter church historian and theologian dies

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Joey Jeter, church historian and theologian, recently died after a long and distinguished career as a preacher and teacher.

Jeter was familiar to First Christian Church of Independence because he wrote his dissertation on the life of Alexander Procter who was minister of the church for a 40-year period.

His academic work was later published in a volume titled Alexander Procter: The Sage of Independence.

An editorial review of the book said this:

“A Missouri preacher, Procter was a significant force among the Disciples of Christ movement during the last three decades of the nineteenth century. Widely respected and loved, Procter had an impact far beyond his frontier home. The standard history of the Disciples, by Tucker and McAllister, calls Procter "perhaps... the preeminent preacher in the Disciples between the Civil War and the turn of the last century." Looking beyond the Disciples, we may also say that Procter stood shoulder to shoulder with such pulpit giants as Horace Bushnell and Henry Ward Beecher -- although he was never as well known as they were -- in preparing the American church for religious liberalism.”

Jeter did extensive research in the community to understand the historical context of Procter’s extraordinary minister and his extensive influence as a religious leader. That included visiting and preaching at First Christian Church of several occasions.

Here’s a full obituary.

Here’s a diagram showing Procter and the overall growth of Christian Churches in Missouri.