Back in 1925, Monzelle was born to Everett and Margaret Brothers. Monzelle grew up on a farm just
outside the small town of Carrier Mills, Illinois. At the age of 15 she accepted Jesus as her Savior and
Lord of her life. Monzelle took her spiritual life seriously and held to her principles set out by Sunday
school and Bible teaching at the local Baptist Church in her hometown.
After high school she wanted to set out and see what the next phase in her life would bring. She and a
girlfriend went to St Louis, Missouri, to get a good-paying job at the defense plant as a Rosie-the-riveter
type. She made a good salary for about six weeks. During her time in St. Louis, she and her co-worker
would attend a revival meeting where Monzelle was filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of
speaking in other tongues. This brought about a new boldness in her life and led to ministering to
people anywhere and everywhere, even street preaching. She began to sense the call of God on her life
to be in the ministry. She had heard about a Bible college in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And after checking
out the information about North Central Bible College, she and her friend filled out the applications to
go without even knowing how they would pay for it. By faith they stepped out and quit their good-
paying jobs and went by train to another new big city and start another new adventure in life.
Soon she was attending NCBC and working at night to pay her way through school, and have food and
clothes. Her strong work ethic was instrumental in helping her stay focused and complete the many
tasks that she had daily. On weekends, Monzelle went with another student who would become her
ministry partner in college. They were assigned to a church for one year of work in their freshman year.
In the years that followed, they were to minister in various churches, as was the custom of students, in
order to help hone their skills in ministry and be a servant of God and build his church. She and her
teammate would sing and play guitar and piano to accompany their great voices as part of their
All of the experiences she had would prove invaluable throughout her life as a minister.
Monzelle met a charismatic and outgoing man at Lake Geneva Bible Camp and the friendship grew.
Robert C. Hanson was a fellow student at North Central Bible College. He had a great sense of humor
along with all his other skills. One way he got her attention was to flash the lighted bowtie that lit up by
battery-powered switch in his pocket. Robert had been to a revival meeting where he felt the call to the
ministry so strong that he quit his business school studies of training to become a CPA and transferred
to NCBC immediately. Their courtship was slow due to each of them being so busy with studies, classes,
serving, speaking out, and working to pay the bills.
When they began to talk about marriage, Monzelle made it clear that Christ and the ministry would take
first place in their lives. This is how they began their married lives together.
After graduating, they hit the road, holding evangelistic revival meetings all over the Midwest. Robert
was a man with the gift of faith, and his style of preaching was powerful and enthusiastic. Monzelle was
also a great preacher of the word, and between the two of them they were helpful in increasing the
attendance of local churches and seeing so many souls saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Back in
those days, guest speakers were many times guests at the parsonage (pastors residence), or a local
hotel. Many churches didn’t have the budget to pay a speaker, and provide housing and meals, etc. But
Robert and Monzelle had a 35-foot Royal Spartan trailer home that they towed behind their car. Yes, a
car towed the trailer, and this allowed them to live independently.
During their years on the evangelic field, they witnessed countless healings and people filled with the
Back in those days, the newspaper would have a small write up about the revival meeting taking place.
Many times the pastors would report the number of conversions, rededications, and how many filled
with the spirit. It was common to see the ads in the local papers along with the results of the revival
meetings that were taking place.
After six years on the evangelistic field, Robert and Monzelle were feeling led by the Holy Spirit to start a
church in South Minneapolis. By now they had three children, and traveling on the road takes its toll on
a family of five.
Robert and Monzelle came off the evangelistic field and founded Bethel Assemblies of God Church.
There were miracles involved with the planning and groundbreaking and all the way through its building
process God‘s hand was real and evident. Knowing that they were following God’s will for their life, they
enjoyed pastoral work. Monzelle was the first Sunday school superintendent at Bethel Assembly along
with many other hats that she wore during the time they pastored that wonderful church. Monzelle was
able to play piano for song services, and filled in playing the guitar, accordion, electric organ or even
lead song services. As the church grew, assistant pastors helped out in those roles, allowing Monzelle to
devote more time to Sunday school activities. Bethel Assemblies of God Church thrived during those
years and many lives were impacted by the ministry of Robert and Monzelle Hanson. With five children,
the Hansons were busy and happy workers in the Lord’s work.
After about 14 years as pastors, Robert was called by the Spirit to Panama. He had a vision of himself on
a street corner handing out tracts and ministering there. Afraid that people would assume him crazy,
Robert kept the experience within his closest of circle of friends. But as the months went by, the call on
the Hansons to minister in Panama grew stronger. In time they were led to resign from Bethel , which
they had founded and built into a thriving church.
Robert and Monzelle said so long for now to all their many friends in Minneapolis and moved to
Panama. By now their oldest child was independent and living on his own. With four children who were
still in school, they got busy and took over as pastors at the Assemblies of God Church at Balboa, the
Canal Zone. Monzelle took on her role as Sunday school superintendent and pianist. They continued
serving in this capacity for several years.
After they returned to live in the United States, Robert and Monzelle made many trips to Panama and
ministered in so many works throughout the country, in remote areas of the interior and also in Costa
Rica. They helped plant churches and place and train pastors and help Bible students establish church
Upon returning from the mission field, at the request of the superintendent of the Minnesota District,
they took over as pastors at Chisago City Assemblies of God Church. They were called to help rebuild a
church struggling due to many inherent problems. After a couple of years and the with the church back
on its feet, Robert and Monzelle went to Iron Mountain in the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan.
Robert could be close to a business investment and engage in evangelistic opportunities in the five-state
area. During the time in Michigan, they also helped out at the local Assembly of God Church from time
With two of their children still living at home, they felt the call of God to move to Minnesota and pastor
at Southwest Assemblies of God Church in Southwest Minneapolis. This was another church in need of a
seasoned pastor who could deal with special problems that Robert and Monzelle had experience with in
their ministry. Southwest proved to be a difficult 40 acres to plow, but they were people of faith who
knew God can do anything.
After pastoring there for about ten years, Robert and Monzelle felt it was time to retire from pastoring
and move to Southern Illinois to Carrier Mills, the small town where Monzelle grew up. They began to
refurbish the farm house that Monzelle had lived in most of her childhood. While they enjoyed their
semi-retirement, it didn’t take long before their help was needed at the local Assembly of God. Once
again they took on the pastoring of another church in need of a seasoned pair of pastors/shepherds.
Robert used to say you never really retire from being a minister.
During this time, Robert and Monzelle also began working in prison ministry. They were also training
others to do the work of teaching and preaching at the prison. As the prison ministry and guest speaking
at various churches kept them increasingly busy, they felt it was time to let someone else take over the
helm at the church.. Robert was slowing down a little bit now as a result of congestive heart failure.
On July 3, 1995, Robert suffered a major cardiac episode that was fatal. He died instantly and the Angels
of the Lord took that soldier of the Cross home to be with his Lord and Savior.
It was a shock to the family that had learned to lean on him for help and spiritual leadership. It was a
tough loss for the family and many close friends. It was hard for Monzelle to not have her partner
involved in decisions as the team they always had been.
Monzelle took time to mourn and grieve the loss of her sweetheart and partner in ministry. She was
speaking out once again when Larry Griswold became the Illinois District Superintendent of the
Assemblies of God. Larry had trained as an assistant pastor under Bob and Monzelle’s ministry at Bethel
As time passed, Monzelle felt she could be of help in ministry at Teen Challenge ministries in
Minneapolis. She moved from the farm in Illinois into a small apartment at their headquarters in
Minneapolis. She taught classes to the teen girls’ groups and even drove a big van, taking her students
to appointments etc. Suffice it to say she was very busy and happy doing another form of ministry for
her Lord and Savior.
By this time Monzelle was in her 80s and even though she still had energy to perform her duties, she felt
led to leave Teen Challenge and move back to the home she and Robert had refurbished and slow her
pace just a bit. God still had work for her, so back to the prison ministry she went, and speaking out
when she was needed to fill in at various churches.
One evening, while teaching a classs of juvenile prisoners, Monzelle began experiencing unbearable pain
in her leg and was rushed to the hospital in Harrisburg. “Blood clot,” the doctor said. “We need to get
you to Evansville, Indiana and perform surgery.” Monzelle survived a harrowing trip of about eighy miles
of pure agony. After a successful surgery, she went to rehab. She also spent time in Minnesota
recovering at her daughter’s home and the home of one of her sons too. In time she was able to return
to the prison ministry in Illinois once again.
Eventually her family nagged her enough to move to one of their homes and let them dote on her. She
finally agreed to move to Florida to live with her son and his wife and two ankle-biter dogs. That son is
me, and Mom recently told me she never thought she’d be in the kind of services she’s enjoying at Life
Church in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The pastor and his wife remind me so much of my mom and dad. They
have such a heavy anointing of the Holy Spirit on their ministry. Monzelle loves attending Life Church.
She’s had a few health challenges since moving to Florida, but as soon as she’s able to she would like to
be active doing work for the Kingdom of God. In biblical terms, “the fields are white unto harvest,” and
many souls need to hear the good news.
Monzelle will turn 94 years young in July this year. Someone once said, when you’re a minister you
never really retire.
By Bobby Hanson
She is survived by her sons, Keith Hanson of White Bear, MN., Bradley Hanson of Minneapolis, MN., Robert Hanson
of San Antonio, FL., and Kevin Hanson of Flower Mound, TX.; her daughter, Gayleen Asleson of Apple Valley, MN.;
her sister and brother-in-law, Layetta (Bruce) Pope of St. Peter, MN. Also surviving are 13 grandchildren,
14 great-grandchildren with another to arrive by Christmas; 1 great-great grandchild and several nieces, nephews and cousins too numerous to mention.
Monzelle was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret abd Everett Brothers of Carrier Mills, IL.,
her beloved husband, Reverend Robert C. Hanson of over 49 years and her brother, Jack Brothers, her sister, Virginia and Rev James Gast of Tomah, WI.