October 16, 2014

Caring Custodians

      Also known as Sextons, by definition: a church officer or employee in charge of building maintenance, taking care of the property. Performs minor related duties such as ringing the bell for services, and supervising burials in the churchyard if there is a cemetery onsite.
Julius Bates
(pictured at the door to our Church bell tower)

     Former Sextons of our early congregation include Julius Bates, Frank Kuck, Henry Sutzman, Philip Dinkel, Robert Keller, Michael Keller, E.C. Long, Peter Leppla, John Schnabel, Daniel Wilhelm, John Zullinger, Claude Emerson, Ralph Dunifon, Edmund Decker, and Dale Peters.         

October 2, 2014

Pastor Profile

Rev. Paul H. Graeser
Our Twelfth Pastor
(1939 - 1952)

     Paul H. Graeser was born at St. Louis, Missouri on October 6, 1896. 
     Following his father's vocation, he graduated from the Mission House Seminary located at Plymouth, Wisconsin, and was ordained on July 8, 1923. Rev. Graeser immediately began his pastoral career at Wausau, Wisconsin where he remained until 1935. 
     He married Miss Ruth Sager on September 15, 1923, at Kaukama, Wisconsin. Their children are Robert, Janice, and Richard.
     After serving the Salem Evangelical & Reformed Church at Ft. Wayne, Indiana from 1935-1939, he accepted the call to our church. 
     During his pastorate in Lima, there were traditional changes and advancements of our congregation. Under the shadow of World War II, the German language was finally terminated during church services. And the basement was enlarged in the Sunday School area later in his term. 
     Rev. Graeser made many acquaintances in the Lima community, and was active with several worthwhile civic and humanitarian organizations. Past President of the Allen County Ministerial Association, he was also a delegate to the Synod of our denomination.
     Ministering to our congregation for 13 years, he left to serve the Evangelical & Reformed Church at Van Wert, Ohio, until 1960. 
     In 1963, following a leave of absence due to illness, Rev. Graeser resumed ministry at Lake Helen, Florida. There he received the distinguished "Pastor Emeritus" honor with the Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.