History of

Strength for Service, Inc.

Strength for Service To God and Country is a devotional book specifically created to provide spiritual support to armed forces personnel during World War II and the Korean conflict. Tailored for military personnel, this book provides a source of comfort and spiritual strength, making it an enduring and valuable resource for military personnel navigating the challenges of war throughout history.

During times of war, individuals called to serve others frequently seek solace and inner fortitude from spiritual sources. Today, there continues to be a pressing and heightened demand for published materials that provide insights into life’s profound inquiries.

Expanded in 2000 by a United Methodist men’s group, Strength for Service, Inc. has evolved into a non-denominational 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing daily spiritual solace to those who tirelessly safeguard our well-being and security.


The Beginning

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war, the Methodist Publishing House wanted to do something to support the thousands of people enlisting in the Armed Services.

The Nashville-based publishing agency asked Norman Nygaard, a World War I Army chaplain, to recruit 365 religious leaders of all denominations to write one-page devotions for each day of the year.


Distribution of the Book Ends

By this time Strength for Service to God and Country had been published and distributed to more than one million military troops before it went out of print following the 1953 Korean armistice.

One Man's Faithfulness

Eugene Hunsberger, a corpsman in the U.S. Navy, received a copy of Strength for Service to God and Country while serving in World War II.

He not only read daily devotions for his own spiritual enrichment, but when words failed him, he would read sections of the book to sailors after attending to their wounds.

He kept the book during his service in Korea. Following his discharge, Eugene read the book to his Scout troop at meetings and camp outs. In his later years, he carried the book in his breast pocket to read to folks in the hospital as a volunteer guild member.


The Mission Was Revived

In 1998, Evan Hunsberger, the grandson of Eugene, noticed a tattered copy of the book of daily devotions at his grandfathers’ bedside.

In need of an Eagle Scout project, Evan asked his grandfather if it would be a good idea to republish the book as his Eagle project.


The The Book Was Republished

The General Commission on United Methodist Men, the agency responsible for scouting ministries, helped Evan secure the publishing rights from the United Methodist Publishing House.

They assisted in adding 50 meditations from contemporary religious leaders to create a second edition of Strength for Service to God and Country.

The commission received the support of the Pentagon and launched a fund-raising campaign resulting in the publication and distribution of 530,000 copies of the updated book.


Post 9/11

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) has been actively raising awareness and financial support to supply a copy to our military personnel serving in the U.S. armed forces worldwide.


To God and Community

While distributing most of the 400-page book to military chaplains to give to their troops, copies were also given to firefighters and police officers.

While these public servants were grateful, the members of GCUMM were aware the meditations were written for the military personnel. This provided an opportunity to serve more people.

In 2013, the Strength for Service team created Strength for Service to God and Community, a 365-page book of daily devotions for first responders and all those in the service of others.


Nonprofit Began

Noting both books are designed for Christians from all denominations, the commission created a 12-member non-denominational board of directors and secured non-profit status from Internal Revenue Service.

We Serve As An Ongoing Resource

The board continues to send Strength For Service to God and Country to chaplains upon request. Churches and civic organizations are encouraged to provide community books to members of fire stations, law enforcement agencies, and first responders from many emergency disciplines. Delivery of Strength for Service books are especially important following acts of violence and natural disasters.

The story that began in 1942 reintroduced in 2000 and expanded in 2013, has become a promise to future generations.

We invite your support and encourage you to order a copy of the book, donate to our annual fund, or host an event to promote the continued publication of Strength for Service at this critical time in our nation’s history.

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