January 27, 2012

Consistory History

     Annual congregational meetings of First E&R Church are held in January.
At this time we review highlights of the past year, discuss new business, and elect nominees to the Consistory (Church Board); primarily consisting of Elders, Deacons, and Trustees.           

"Consistories of Yester-year"
100th Anniversary Booklet ~ 1963 
(click on image to enlarge) 

     These photos are an example of "Chairmen of the Board" since women were not permitted to serve as Officers of the Church. It wasn't until 1971, women were nominated for positions on the Consistory. Although they were not elected, this marked a significant step in the history of our Church. Eventually by the early-1980's, women were elected to serve as Deacons and Trustees. Over the past few decades, a multitude of ladies have dutifully fulfilled these offices.
    The most reverent office of Elder remains reserved for men.  
    To serve on the Consistory is regarded as a great honor and privilege. We respect all these leaders following in the footsteps of our founders.

January 17, 2012

"Hail Mary"...!!?

     Rather out of the ordinary regarding our staunch German Protestant history, but this is for the benefit of sports fans in the final throes of football season. 
     Rev. Tillman W. Hoernemann was our 10th Pastor, with the distinction of serving the second longest ministerial term at our Church 1914-1929. We will pay our due respects in a future post. But thru his Pastorate, our Church connected with one of the greatest coaches of all time!       

Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann
       Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann, was the son of Rev. & Mrs. (Bertha) Hoernemann. Born in Lima, he was a teen-ager when his father left our Church to assume a position in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Paul was a 1938 graduate of Heidelberg College (founded in 1850 by the German Reformed Church), where he would return as Head Football Coach 1946-1959. During his 14-year career he lost only 18 games (his overall record being 102-18); consisting of 16 & 17-game winning streaks and two undefeated seasons. While he was Coach, the Heidelberg "Student Princes" won the Ohio Conference in 1948, 1952, 1954, and 1956. The Ohio Conference later established the Hoernemann Trophy, awarded to the best defensive lineman. And during those days, an article featured in Sports Illustrated listed Coach Hoernemann #7, topped by the infamous Knut Rockne from Notre Dame leading the roster.   
      In 1997, Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  
     To my knowledge it is a mystery how he earned his nickname. But I'll make the call, and say it was due to his cunning coaching expertise!   

January 5, 2012

Ladies to the Rescue

     On January 3, 1867, a group of women met at the home of Rev. & Mrs. William H. Fenneman. Among these ladies were: Lizzie Naas Badertscher, Adeline Frail, Marie Rothe, Katherine Schnug, Rosa Schnug, and Katherine Stueber. 
     The cornerstone of the new building at Wayne & West Streets had been laid the preceding August, and construction had begun. 
     The women were determined to form an organization within the Church to raise funds covering the debt, bring Spiritual enrichment, and encourage good works.   
     A Constitution was written on that day, their mission accomplished.  
     This group would be called "Der Frauen-Verien" which translates to The Ladies Aid Society. Formed 4-months before the dedication of the first building, this is the oldest  organization in our Church. 
     The Ladies Aid Society remains active to this day; holding regular monthly meetings, promoting worthy projects, and supporting Spiritual growth. We greatly appreciate the devotion of these virtuous women.  

"She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy." 
~Proverbs 31:20 (NIV)