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Robert Elliott Speer

1867-1947. Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, a post he held for forty- six years. Born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, he was one of the early Student Volunteers and traveled for a year for the movement. After becoming mission secretary, he made six extended visits to the fields, four to Asia and two to Latin America. A prolific writer, he authored sixty-seven books, many on missions. During World War I he was on the advisory committee on religious and moral activities of the army and navy, and was chairman of the General Wartime Committee of Churches. He chaired the Committee on Cooperation in Latin America from its inception until his retirement in 1937. He served as president of the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, as well as one term as president of the Federal Council of Churches. In 1927 he became the second layman to be elected moderator in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.