Christian 03

Glenn Forrest Chesnut Jr.

June 28, 1939 ~ July 27, 2020 (age 81)


The Rev. Dr. Glenn Forrest Chesnut, was born June 28, 1939 in Springfield, Ohio, to Glenn Forrest Chesnut, Sr., and Glynn Hind Chesnut. He moved south at a young age and spent the rest of his childhood and youth in Kentucky (Louisville) and Texas (San Antonio and Dallas). Glenn was married to Miriam Sue Messersmith Chesnut, and had one brother; John Hind Chesnut. Glenn was a loving father to four children: Benjamin Thomas Chesnut, Donald Rogers, Esa Ehmen-Krause and Anna Chesnut Trodglen, and four grandchildren: Eila, Gabriela, Dylan, and Jaimison.

     A lifelong scholar, Glenn received a B.S. in physical chemistry and atomic physics from the University of Louisville in 1960, graduating second in his class. Studying at Southern Methodist University, he earned a B.D. from Perkins School of Theology in 1964, and finally a D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1971. Professor Chesnut taught at the University of Virginia, at Boston University, and from 1970 on at Indiana University South Bend, where he retired as Professor of History and Religious Studies in 2003. Glenn was the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Oxford, with Dempster and Rockefeller Fellowships there, a Prix de Rome which allowed him to spend a year as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a Herman Frederic Lieber teaching award at Indiana University.

     Glenn’s book on The First Christian Histories in 1977 became a classic and is still in print today. Beginning in 1996, he also wrote and edited a long series of books on alcoholism, drug addiction, and the history of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement, plus studies on philosophy and spirituality. Glenn Chesnut died peacefully at home on July 27, 2020 in South Bend, Indiana.

     There will be no visitation or services.  Palmer Funeral Home - Welsheimer Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.  Contributions can be made in Glenn’s memory to the Upper Room Recovery Community, 333 N. Main St., South Bend, IN 46601, or  Family and friends may leave email condolences at

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Upper Room Recovery Community
333 N. Main St., South Bend IN 46601

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