Brother Levi Whisner
Sept 8, 2013
Brother Levi Whisner went home to be with the Lord September 8, 2013.
Levi Whisner was a member of the BMA for many years. He was pastor of a church in Ohio.
He was probably most famous for his early work in Christian education starting the American Christian School environment.
Just before the close of the Lord’s day, Sept. 8, 2013, this old soldier of the cross gently laid down his burden and caught a scheduled flight to Glory.
“Brother Levi” (as he was affectionately called) was a preacher of the gospel until his last breath. Most of his ministry was in the church he founded in Bradford, Ohio.
It was there that he took a stand for Christian schools in the court case Ohio vs. Whisner. The unanimous decision by the Ohio Supreme Court purchased freedoms for churches and Christian schools all across the nation.
Levi Whisner was born May 27, 1923, in Great Cacapon, W.Va., to Raymond T. and Nellie Whisner. He graduated from God’s Bible School with a Bachelor of Theology degree.
Levi was a U.S. Army WWII veteran, serving in the army under General Patton. On June 3, 1949, he married the love of his life, Phyllis Leanna Hughes, and they joyfully labored in the ministry together for 48 years.
In 1997, Phyllis suddenly went home to be with the Lord, where she has waited to be reunited with her Levi.
Brother Levi left an indelible imprint on his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Rev. Dan Whisner, now approaching 50, remembers well the battles which his father, Pastor Levi Whisner of God's Tabernacle, fought with the local school board and prosecutor in Darke County over his church school.
The state and local public school officials wanted to control every aspect of the private church school, even requiring a license to operate.
But Levi Whisner had a different view of education. He wanted to provide for his own children and for other children in his church school a Bible-based, Christ centered education untainted by the humanistic philosophy of the state education system.
As a matter of faith, he didn't want the state's money, and he didn't want the state's control.
When he was prosecuted for violating the state's education laws, Levi Whisner did not back down, and ultimately the Ohio Supreme Court backed him up, ruling that the state's education regulation were stifling freedom of religion and the parents' freedom to educate their children.
The court, citing a 19th Century case, borrowed the phrase "hands off," ordering the state to keep its "hands off" of church schools.
Pastor Levi Whisner's heroics inspired his son Dan to start Ohio Legislative Watch, which has been helping to guard our state's liberties in Ohio's legislature for the last twenty years. As we honor Levi Whisner and the 30th anniversary of his great legal victory, we ask and pray: Who will be the "hands off" hero in the next generation?