Grubb, Kenneth George (1900-1980)
Anglican layman, missionary explorer, and public servant
Grubb, born in Oxton, England, spent the years prior to World War II traveling and researching throughout Latin America, first on behalf of the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade and then for the World Dominion Press. This unique experience led to his appointment as director of the Latin American section of the Ministry of Information, set up by the British government at the outbreak of World War II, and later to his promotion to Overseas Controller of the Ministry of Information, a position he held with growing influence and distinction until 1946. Two years earlier he had accepted the invitation of Canon Max Warren to become president of the Church Missionary Society, supervising its development for the next quarter of a century. In 1946 Grubb was invited to become the first chairman of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, and in partnership with Frederick Nolde he played a decisive role in the World Council of Churches throughout the period up to the fourth assembly in Uppsala in 1968. Later he added to his responsibilities by thrice accepting election as chairman of the House of Laity in the Assembly of the Church of England. He also continued to accept government assignments, as secretary general of the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Councils, and as chairman of the high level Committee on Strategic Studies in Britain. In recognition of his public service as well as his service to the church he was awarded a knighthood by the queen.
Grubb did not find personal relations easy. By temperament he was a loner, an authoritarian who found it difficult to suffer fools gladly. With his deep Christian convictions he battled successfully to overcome this through his public life. It may be said of him that he was probably the most influential Protestant layman in the world mission of the church in the postwar years.
Clifford, Paul R., “Grubb, Kenneth George,” in Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed. Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1998), 265.
This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Grubb, Kenneth George. A Layman Looks at the Church. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964.
_____. An Advancing Church in Latin America. London: World Dominion Press, 1936.
_____. Amazon and Andes. London: Methuen, 1930.
_____. Crypts of Power: An Autobiography. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1971.
_____. From Pacific to Atlantic. London: Methuen & co. ltd., 1933.
_____. Religion in Central America. London, New York: Methuen & co. ltd., 1933.
_____. The Lowland Indians of Amazonia. London: World Dominion Press, 1927.
_____. The Need for Non-Professional Missionaries. London: World Dominion Press, 1931.
_____. The Northern Republics of South America. London, New York: World Dominion Press, 1931.
_____. The West Coast Republics of South America. London, New York: World Dominion Press, 1939.
_____. South America: Land of the Future. London, New York: World Dominion Press, 1931.
Grubb, Kenneth G., and E. J. Bingle. World Christian Handbook. London: World Dominion Press, 1949.
Grubb, Kenneth G., and H. Wakelin Coxill. World Christian Handbook 1968. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967.
“Sir Kenneth G. Grubb,” World Council of Churches Archives.