John R. Mott (1865-1955), evangelist and pioneer in the ecumenical movement, was born in Livingston Manor, New York but raised in Iowa. Mott was Educated at Upper Iowa University and Cornell University where he became a leader in the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, a branch of the YMCA. Between 1888 and 1920 he was the chairman of the World Student Christian Federation and in 1893 he chaired the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910. Additionally, he helped found the World Council of Churches and was appointed the honorary president of the organization in 1946. By the end of his career as a mobilizer for mission, over 20,000 members of the student movement had embarked upon overseas missionary service. Mott’s evangelism embraced the concerns of the Social Gospel and the practical piety of Methodism, believing a life devoted to Christ would lead people to become morally just individuals. For his lifelong ecumenical efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946.
For further reading see C.H. Hopkins, John R. Mott, 1865-1955: A Biography (Eerdmans, 1979).