Hull, Moses (1836–1906)
Moses Hull, a prominent American Spiritualist lecturer and
teacher, was born in Waldo, Ohio, in 1836. As a teenager, he
joined the Church of the United Brethren, a Methodist body
serving primarily German-Americans. He seemed destined to
be a Brethren minister, but along the way became interested in
Adventism, and joined the newly formed Seventh-day Adventist
Church (organized in 1865). In his interaction with an Adventist
minister over doubts about life after death, he was led
to Spiritualism, and there he found his home. For the last
quarter of a century of his life he was a dedicated Spiritualist.
Though not a medium himself, Hull became a forceful orator
in the Spiritualist cause and is remembered for two debates
he held with orthodox Christian ministers, the lectures being
published as the Jamieson-Hull Debate and the Hull-Covert Debate.
Hull also authored The Encyclopedia of Biblical Spiritualism
(2 vols., 1895). He emerged as an advocate of a Christian Spiritualism,
as opposed to many of the movement’s leaders who eschewed
any connection with Western religious traditions. He
used his prior training among the Brethren and Adventists to
teach the Bible from a Spiritualist perspective and argued that
many events in the Bible, such as the appearance of the longdead
Moses and Elijah with Jesus at the Transfiguration,
should be interpreted in a Spiritualist context.
During the 1890s, following the organization of the National
Spiritualist Association (now the National Spiritualist Association
of Churches), Hull became increasingly aware of the
passing of the first generation of Spiritualist leaders and the
need for a school at which all that had been learned could be
passed on. He organized a ‘‘Training School’’ at Maple dell
Park, Mantua, Ohio. He enlisted the help of his wife, Mattie
Hull, and his daughter, Alfaretta Jahnke, to assist him. He operated
the school for several years, but it eventually failed.
Then in 1901 Morris Pratt, who had built a large mansion in
Whitewater, Wisconsin, that he wished to be used as an educational
facility for Spiritualism, passed away. Hull moved to
Whitewater in 1903 and opened the Morris Pratt Institute
which he headed for the several years remaining in his life. He
died in January of 1906. The institute survived his passing and
is now the educational arm of the National Spiritualist Association
of Churches.
Sources
Hull, Moses. The Encyclopedia of Biblical Spiritualism. 2 vols.
Chicago M. Hull, 1895

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