Echoes of Service Candidate Books

Scope and Content

Facsimile copies of the Echoes of Service 'Candidate Books', where those seeking commendation for missionary work were assessed and commended or denied commendation. The original books were loaned to Christian Brethren Archive, where they were digitised.

The collection consists of a DVD with copies of the books in both pdf format, and low resolution jpg images, along with 10 bound and printed copies of the volumes.

The books are all handwritten with the exception of Book 1, which is in typescript and is different and quite distinctive from the other volumes.


Book 1, unlike the other volumes, is described inside as the "Labourers Book". The pages are numbered, and on the first page there is a note stating that the volume "was retyped as the original hand-written publication disintegrated". It also states that the other volumes are known as "Candidate Books". This volume "gives personal information about the Lord's servants from 1830 onwards." As the Echoes of Service organisation was not established until the late nineteenth century, this volume is more wide ranging and inclusive than the other volumes, although in attempting to go back to the 1830s, it presumably includes individuals broadly conceived as belonging to the Brethren tradition, rather than those linked with Brethren assemblies as in the other volumes. It provides detailed personal information about the individuals mentioned - dates of birth and death, parents, spouses, children, original occupation, bouts of illness, along with dates of departure to the mission field, and dates of return.

Towards the back of the volume is a report from Donald Ross dated 2 Nov 1897 providing a list of preachers in America with addresses and comments on their character. There is a list of marriages between 1895 and 1915 listing place of marriage, names of both parties and date of marriage (pp. 516-523); a list of births (1895-1916) giving date, place, name and sex (pp. 523-540); and a list of deaths (1874-1916) with dates, places and names (pp. 541-552).

BOOKS 2-10

All of the other volumes follow the same format: they are all handwritten, contain an A-Z index at the front of the volume, and are paginated. They are composed of character sketches of the individual candidates for the mission field with comments about their suitability or otherwise. There are references and commendations from individuals and assemblies. Many (though not all) contain detailed facts and figures about the individuals concerned including dates of birth, dates of conversion, details of occupations and parents occupations, along with comments on the religious background of the parents. Includes negative appraisals as well as positive (e.g. 'I think she lacks the needful stability of character.' and: 'Very slow in everything, but industrious & a plodder, a very good Christian girl.') In the main the comments relate to the suitability for missionary work: when converted, preaching and teaching skills, and language abilities. In many cases the text of letters from applicants is also reproduced.

[NB Facsimile of volume 10 has been incorrectly bound, so that first page is at the back of the volume.]


The collection is arranges as follows:

  • EOS/2/1 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 1 (1830-1890s)
  • EOS/2/2 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 2 (1890-1895)
  • EOS/2/3 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 3 (1895-1903)
  • EOS/2/4 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 4 (1905-1907)
  • EOS/2/5 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 5 (1907-1911)
  • EOS/2/6 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 6 (1911-1919)
  • EOS/2/7 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 7 (1919-1924)
  • EOS/2/8 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 8 (1924-1832)
  • EOS/2/9 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 9 (1934-1945)
  • EOS/2/10 - Echoes of Service Candidate Book 10 (1939-1945)
  • EOS/2/11 - DVD of digitised versions of Echoes of Service Candidate Books

Location of Originals

Echoes International, 124 Wells Road, Bath BA2 3AH