Melvin Louis Venden

1901 - 1988

Melvin Venden, a singer, was widely known as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor and evangelist. He and his brother Daniel formed a team called the Venden Brothers, Gospel Singers and Evangelists, in the late 1920s and held meetings in Oregon and larger cities in Michigan and the East until 1943, when Daniel became pastor of the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

They again did evangelistic work in the late 1940s and from 1950 to 1955 held meetings in California and Arizona, at which time Melvin became a pastor in California and Daniel became president of the Central California Conference of the SDA church. Melvin pastored the Grass Valley, California, church and did evangelistic work with his two sons, Louis and Morris, for several years before retiring.

Venden was born in Washington state, the sixth child of Christine Hovrud and Nels Venden, immigrants from Norway. Melvin attended Columbia and Laurelwood academies and attended Walla Walla College before marrying and teaching for a short time. He graduated from WWC, now University, in 1929.

While in college in the early 1920s, he and his brother actively participated in the music program, both singing in the Male Glee Club, a select twelve-member ensemble. They were well known in Adventist circles for their singing and were chosen as a team to assist as choristers at the 1936 General Conference Session.

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Sources: Obituary, Adventist Review, 27 October 1988, 30; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Volume 11, Second Revised Edition, 1996, (Review and Herald Publishing Association) 831; Unpublished Vendon Family Tree, 1920 U.S. Census Records; A Great Tradition; Music at Walla Walla College 1892-1992, Dan Shultz, 43.