1904 Ministerial Convention Minutes



Fifteenth Annual Ministerial Convention

The proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Ministerial Convention of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ of the Pennsylvania Conference convened in Bethel Church, Gordon Street, Allentown, Pa., Oct. 26, 1904.

The Chairman, Elder J. G. Shireman, opened the Convention at 9 a. m., by singing and prayer followed by enrollment of members and roll call, after which the minutes were read and received.

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

Resolved, That the Convention bar consist of the first two pews and Amen corners.

Resolved. That no speaker be allowed more than ten minutes nor speak the second time except by permission of the Chair.

Resolved, That Elder W. S. Hottel serve as time keeper.

Resolved, That Elder R. L. Woodring act as reporter.

The following essays were then read, discussed and received.

“Call to the Ministry,” By Elder W. S. Steinmetz.

The Ministers call is of God, it is a supernatural call, and a powerful call to one who will not shrink when persecuted or tortured. A call that is distinctive and definite. Paul could say, “Woe is Unto Me If I Preach Not the Gospel.” It requires Heaven born men–such are often not understood by the world.

Second, “Deacons, Their qualifications and Influence For Good,” By Elder Geo. A. Campbell.

The Deacon is an officer in the Church of Jesus Christ to assist the pastor in temporal affairs so he can give more of his time to the word. A man of sound judgment in financial affairs, not double tongued or two sided, and should have a home to entertain strangers. It is a permanent office. First proven, and then ordained.

Resolved, That we receive this essay to be published in the Gospel Banner.

Third, “The Pastor in the Pulpit,” By Elder J. G. Shireman.

This may imply names, words, dress and jestures; his face beaming in every look; voice quivering with emotion; his language shall not be barroom or smutty talk, but divinely inspired messages–simple, plain effective; not looking for praise or applause, but deliver his message in the fear of the Lord.

Adjourned by prayer by Elder C. H. Brunner. Benediction by Elder H. B. Musselman.

Second Session, 1.30 p. m.

Opened by singing and prayer by Elder L. B. Taylor.

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

The questions were answered by Elders W. J. Fretz and R. Bergstresser.

Resolved, That we hold another Ministerial Convention next year, a day prior to the Annual Conference and at the same place.

The following officers were elected: J. C. Roth, Chairman, W. J. Fretz, Secretary.

Committee to arrange program: H. B. Musselman, W. G. Gehman, C. H. Brunner.

First. An essay by Elder E. N. Cassel, “Tact in Pastoral Work.”

He is a pattern to his flock and not to lord over God’s heritage. By living close to the Lord he will become more efficient for the work. Should have judgment in visiting the flock, think and speak about the good in people. The object of visiting is to feed the flock.

Second, “The Pastor’s Wife, Her Influence For Good or Evil” By Elder E. T. Shick.

She should be in subjection to her own husband, she shall be a house wife to keep the house, and dress plain, not dressing her children for show. In bossing the pastor she will have a very bad influence upon the work.

A collection for the labor and expense of the secretary amounting to $4.96. Thanks.

Third, “The Pastor in his Home and Study,” by Elder W. S. Hottel.

The pastor is one that ruleth well his own house. A man of his word in his home. He should not be unkind. The home is the place to be equipped for the work. Study to show thyself approved, not to read the word but to study it. Everyone can become a student of the word. The object of study is to rightly divide the word. It is all inspired.

Adjourned by Benediction by Elder R. L. Woodring.

Third Session, 7 p. m.

Opened by singing and prayer by Elder E. T. Shick.

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

The questions were answered by Elders L. Frank Haas and W. G. Gehman.

First, “God’s Pattern for the Pastor in Sacrifice and Long Suffering,” by Elder R. L. Woodring.

Pastors according to God’s heart, which shall feed you with knowledge, should know the need of his people, he is out to administer grace. Two classes in the church; first, the active, those that pay, pray and persevere. Second, the nominal, who sit and sleep, slide and criticize.

Second, “The Home Missionary Work,” by Elder C. H. Brunner.”

An open door for service for young men. It is the duty of the society to prepare the best material possible for the church. Uniforms are a benefit in opening new missions and saloon work. Good music is a great help as well as good singing.

Resolved, That we tender a rising vote of thanks to the members of’ the Allentown class for their kindness and hospitality shown us during this Convention.

Resolved, That the minutes be printed in the Conference Journal if we print one.

Adjourned in prayer by Elder L. Frank Haas.

J. G. Shireman, Chairman

E. T. Shick, Secretary


W. G. Gehman

L. Frank Haas

H. B. Musselman

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