February 1, 1854, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

February 6, 1936, Freeport, Illinois.

Freeport Mennonite Church Cemetery, Freeport, Illinois.

Joseph was the son of Benjamin Ziegler Shoemaker & Frances Shellenberger Shoemaker. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Stephenson County, Illinois, where he spent the rest of his life. He married Elizabeth Sechrist Brubaker in 1887.

Shoemaker joined the Mennonite denomination as a young man, and was ordained to the ministry in June, 1892. On December 17, 1902, he was ordained a bishop. He worked as an evangelist, instructor in Bible conferences, and was a leader in various church activities. For a short time he was president of the Mennonite Evangelizing and Benevolent Board, and for many years as Secretary of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. When the Mennonite Publication Board was organized in 1908, he was chosen as its president.

He wrote frequently for church periodicals, and edited the Mennonite Advanced Lesson Quarterly for several years. His works include:

  1. Father, We Come in Jesus’ Name
  2. We Now Have Met to Worship Thee
  1. Freeport
  2. Stephenson

where to get a good quality portrait of Shoemaker