1903 Ministerial Convention Minutes



Fourteenth Annual Ministerial Convention.

The Fourteenth Annual Ministerial Convention of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ of the Pennsylvania Conference convened in the Ebenezer Church, Fourth street, Mt. Carmel, on Oct. 15, 1903.

The Chairman Elder E. N. Cassel opened the Convention at 9a.m. by singing and prayer followed by the enrollment of member, after which the minutes of last years Convention were read and received.

Elder R. L. Woodring gave an address of welcome.

Resolved, That all members of the Annual Conference be voting members and all other members present advisory members.

That the Convention bar consist of the first three pews through the church and the Amen corner on the men’s side.

Upon request the Chair appointed Elders, H. B. Musselman, C. H. Brunner and O. S. Hillegass a committee to decide which of the essays, if any, shall be published in the Gospel Banner.

The following essays were then read, discussed and received.

“The Relation of Our Church to the Home Missionary Society,” by Elder W. G. Gehman.

That there should be a connecting link between our Church and the Home Missionary Society, is implied by the subject.

It is manifest that unless there is confidence of either one in the other, the Lord’s expectations are hampered.

There ought to be some rules and regulations between the two bodies mutually agreed upon, and made out by the president of the Society and th Presiding Elder of the Church with support of the rest connected with either body.

The Society might occasionally call the Church to hold conventions at missions to be turned over to the Church, a considerable length of time beforehand, to get the mission members acquainted with the Church, and vice versa. The Church should not urge the young men to marry to qualify them as pastors without the wife making them so, if they be called to God for such work. While some who marry may never become pastors. The Society should not urge them to remain single in order to retain them as Missionaries, for married men might possibly be used in the Home Missionary Society.

“The Pastor and His Relation to His Flock,” by Elder E. T. Shick. The pastor is one who has charge of a Church or congregation whose duty it is to watch over and instruct them. Paul said in Rom. 10-15., and how shall they preach except they be sent. A divine commission is of the greatest importance to any one that will labor for the Master, if he is called, he is called forever. A pastor is as closely related to his flock as to his own family, and will suffer and die for them.

Resolved, That we elect officers for the next Ministerial Convention.

The following were elected: J. G. Shireman, Chairman, and E. T. Shick, Secretary. Committee to arrange program: W. G. Gehman, H. B. Musselman and L. F. Haas.

Resolved, That the next Ministerial Convention be held a day prior to the next Annual Conference and at the same place.

The forenoon session closed by prayer by W. J. Fretz.

Second Session, 1.30p.m.

Opened by singing and prayer by Elder William Gehman.

After the roll call the minutes of the forenoon session were read and received.

A discussion, “The Advisability of Having Two Presiding Elders,” was opened by Elder G. A. Campbell.

An essay by Elder J. G. Shireman. “The Advisability of Having Orphanages and Homes.”

The Apostles no doubt preached that it was necessary for those that had too much should share, not be selfish, but give to the poorer class and have all things common.

The time has come for us to have an orphanage and home. The subject was one of great interest and recommended to the Conference for consideration.

An essay by Elder W. J. Fretz. “Present Day Dangers and Temptations for Pastors.” One of the dangers for pastors is to preach smooth in order to have the respect of the world, and seek favor of rich men. The bread and butter temptation also is a great one. Another is to become heady and have no respect for their superiors, some are even tempted to preach Mackintosh, Spurgeon, Moody Simpson and others. We should preach the word of God.

The afternoon session closed by prayer by G. A. Campbell.

Evening Session, 7.00p.m.

Opened by singing and prayer by Elder J. G. Shireman.

After roll call, the reading of the minutes of the afternoon session. The questions were answered by Elders R. D. Dreisbach and J. C. Roth.

An essay by R. Bergstresser, “Camp Meetings, and How to Conduct Them.”

A camp meeting should be concluded by the Presiding Elder or one appointed by him who is very spiritual and should be for no other purpose than for the salvation of souls. Camp meetings of last year were conducted in a very good manner by our Presiding Elder. A volume of voices arose in praise to God for noble work done.

An essay by Elder R. L. Woodring, “An Outline of Bible Doctrine.” Salvation by faith in Lord Jesus Christ is our standard. True repentance is called for first, second, sanctification or deeper life in Christ follows. Baptism is the sealing of our profession, feet washing is also a command. And such who fully obey God in all things, trust him for body and soul constitute the bride of Christ at his coming.

A liberal collection for the labor and expense of the Secretary was lifted amounting to $5.36. Thanks.

The Committee on Publication ordered the essays of J. G. Shireman and R. L. Woodring to be published in the Gospel Banner. The report was received.

Resolved, That we tender hearty thanks, by a rising vote to the members of the Mount Carmel Class for their hospitality shown us during this Convention Session.

The session closed by prayer by R. D. Dreisbach.

E. N. Cassel, Chairman.

R. L. Woodring, Secretary.


H. B. Musselman,

E. T. Shick,

C. H. Brunner.

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