Leaving after many years of service in the Holy Land

April 23, 2008
Mr. Hartmut Grossmann, left, and Mr. Glenford E. Mitchell.

HAIFA, Israel — Two members of the Universal House of Justice, the international governing body of the Baha'i Faith, are leaving after many years of service in the Holy Land.

The Universal House of Justice announced in November 2007 that it had given permission to Mr. Hartmut Grossmann and Mr. Glenford E. Mitchell to relinquish their membership, but they will continue serving until the next election of the body, scheduled for next week.

Mr. Mitchell was first elected as a member of the Universal House of Justice in 1982 and after that to successive five-year terms. Mr. Grossmann was elected in 2003. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice is located at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa.

All nine members of the Universal House of Justice are elected at the International Baha'i Convention, which is held every five years. The 10th such convention is scheduled for 29 April to 2 May in Haifa, with an expected attendance of more than 1,000 delegates.

Mr. Mitchell, 73, was born in Jamaica and has worked in the United States as an assistant editorial director for a publishing company, a magazine editor and a managing editor. He taught English and journalism at Howard University. He served as the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States from 1968 until his 1982 election to the Universal House of Justice. He and his wife, Bahia, will be returning to the United States.

Mr. Grossmann, 74, who was born in Germany, was a lecturer and head of the German Department of the Translators' Training Institute at Joensuu University in Savonlima, Finland. He has served on the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha'is of Germany and of Finland and was a member of the Baha'i Continental Board of Counsellors for Europe. In 1988, he was appointed to serve on the Baha'i International Teaching Centre in Haifa. He and his wife, Ursula, will be moving to Finland when they leave Haifa next month.