Herman A. Hoyt: A Biographical Sketch -- By: Ronald T. Clutter

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 06:2 (Fall 1985)
Article: Herman A. Hoyt: A Biographical Sketch
Author: Ronald T. Clutter


Herman A. Hoyt:
A Biographical Sketch

Ronald T. Clutter

In 1936, Herman Arthur Hoyt penned words which expressed the convictions which have been the hub of his life and ministry for nearly five decades. He affirmed:

There is no greater authority than the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no more ample faith than the whole Bible with every doctrine it contains. There is no more complete life than the life which appropriates the blessings of God, presents itself to God, separates from the world, and is transformed in His presence. There is no more perfect set of ordinances than those of the Word.1

Born in Greenfield, Iowa, on March 12, 1909, as the first child of Clarence Lyman and Anna Leola Dorsey Hoyt, he grew up in Dallas Center, Iowa, where he became a member of The Brethren Church. There Hoyt began his excellent academic career, graduating as valedictorian of the Dallas Center High School class of 1927.2 He played for his high school football team which in 1925 went undefeated and did not even allow another team to score.

After a year of teaching in a country school, Hoyt entered Ashland College in the fall of 1928. He chose to attend Ashland due to the influence of respected pastors.3 As in high school, Hoyt distinguished himself as a superior student. He graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1932.4 In 1930, during the course of his college studies, he married Harriet L. Fritz of Dallas Center. To this couple were born two sons, Joseph Paul and Edwin Max.

Next Hoyt entered graduate theological study at Ashland Theological Seminary, which had been established in 1930 as a result of the vision and influence of Alva J. McClain. The relationship established

between McClain and Hoyt would have far-reaching influence in the decades to follow. During his senior year of seminary Hoyt assumed the task of teaching Greek at Ashland College. He graduated with highest honors from the seminary in 1935.5 He wrote a 210-page thesis titled “The Place and Meaning of Death in the Bible Especially in Its Relation to Sin.” J. Allen Miller, a highly respected NT professor at Ashland, “pronounced Professor Hoyt the ablest Greek student he ever had in his classes.”6 Hoyt was Miller’s choice as his successor in NT studies and, therefore, upon graduation he was added to the faculty at Ashland Seminary. He enrolled in the graduate program ...

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