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     Ralph S. Geiman

 

The term "Pastor Emeritus" is used by a local church of the United Church of Christ to honor a person who has served that local church long and well at the time of that person's retirement.  Pastor Emeritus is an honorary title, not a functional position.

 

On February 4, 1996, Ralph S. Geiman received recognition as Pastor Emeritus at Grace United Church of Christ.  Rev. Geiman was called as Pastor of Grace Church in the spring of 1967.  He accepted the call and the Geimans moved into the parsonage on June first.   One of his first tasks as minister was planning the dedication service after the completion of the social hall.  The service took place on January 21, 1968, in the new Christian educational facility.  

One of the first community joint church endeavors Rev. Geiman became involved in was the radio programs featured over radio station WKSL, which came into being a few months prior to his acceptance to preach in Greencastle.  These radio programs lasted for a period of twenty years.  During Rev. Geiman's twenty-eight year pastorate, many "firsts" in the life of Grace church were initiated. Among them was a joint Lenten Bible Study shared by the members of Lutheran, Presbyterian and Reformed Churches.  The first Mother-Daughter banquet was observed in the form of a covered dish social. 

The Greencastle-Antrim Senior Citizens first met in the social hall. The first Christmas workshop was observed and the first church pictorial was composed.  A hand bell choir was formed. A scholarship committee was organized, and a public address system was installed in the sanctuary.  Youth Sunday was first observed and the first candlelight communion was celebrated. A festival of the Christian Home was observed, introduction of Family Thank Offering, Dial-A-Prayer, a Greencastle-Antrim Area joint endeavor, was introduced.  Early summer worship services at 9:00 AM were initiated.  Deaconesses were allowed on consistory and an inclinator was installed to the sanctuary.

Rev. Geiman served Grace Church for 28 years, submitting his resignation in April of 1995, in order to retire.  He conducted his final service on May 21st.   When Rev. Geiman declared his intent to retire, a retirement banquet was observed on June 3rd, 1995 at the Kauffman Ruritan Center.

 


Rev. Geiman and his wife Ruby now reside in Waynesboro
where they are members of Trinity UCC.

 



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