St. David’s Episcopal Church
(Brown County Episcopal Mission)
The following is the 50 year history celebrated in 2009
This history is dedicated to all those at St. David’s Church who make it a wonderful place to be.
Much work and planning has gone into planning our 50th Anniversary celebration and we give a special thanks to the 50th Committee for their time and efforts.
50th Anniversary Committee – 2009
Phyllis Sindlinger – Chair
Jonathan Hutchison & Gene Niednagel- ex-officio
History by Marge Grimm,
Editors: Judy Huber, Phyllis Sindlinger, and the50th Anniversary Committee
50 Years of Pastoral Leadership
Rev. Jonathan Hutchison
Lay Pastoral Associate
Deborah Pender Hutchison
Jan. 1, 1991 – Dec. 31, 2009
For 18 years Jonathan and Deborah have led us in worship and song, bringing their beautiful music and relaxed way of life into our busy and often hectic lives, giving us times of peace, love and appreciation for God’s creation which surrounds us in abundance. For this we are eternally grateful. They will be missed.
Jonathan and Deborah’s Story, by Scott Olive (1987)
In May, 1986, Jonathan, Deborah and their sons Patrick and Daniel Hutchison came to Indiana from the mountains of northern New Mexico, choosing to make their home in Bean Blossom because of their love of rural life and the beauty of Brown County. They live in a log cabin near the Bean Blossom covered bridge, nestled at the foot of the hills and surrounded by pasture and woodland.
They moved to Indiana when Jonathan, a priest in the Episcopal Church, was appointed Coordinator of Youth Ministries for the Diocese of Indianapolis. In this part-time position, he visited parishes and missions to assist the development of the ministry of young people, serve the camping program, and participate in diocesan youth events. The remainder of Jonathan and Deborah’s livelihood took them on the road as singers, songwriters and Christian recording artists. They travelled throughout the United States singing in worship services, giving concerts in churches, schools, colleges, prisons, treatment centers, group homes and other institutions.
The entire family travelled together on music tours, accompanied by their three-legged Labrador Retriever, Galadriel. Because they were often away from home, Patrick and Daniel were home schooled on the road using a special home study curriculum. Their education included field trips to natural wonders, cultural exhibits and local museums. They experienced every conceivable kind of Sunday school.
When the youth and music calendars were clear, the Hutchisons came to worship at St. David’s. The warmth of the people of St. David’s always made them feel welcomed home and there was just something special about being able to walk to church. Deborah reminds us that their travels were another form of outreach for St. David’s.
In addition to Scott Olive’s story, we add the following:
In January, 1991, with the retirement of Rev. Taylor, Jonathan became the priest of St. David’s, bringing their music to our services on a regular basis. Jonathan plays the guitar and Deborah the flute. Their individual and combined voices bring a bit of heaven to our church. Patrick and Daniel grew up and went on to their own adult lives, visiting us when they are able. In 1997, Deborah became a Licensed Lay Minister, bringing us her heartfelt messages on occasional Sundays and taking on pastoral care of the congregation.
The past 18 years have seen many changes, but Jonathan and Deborah have led our congregation with open hearts, caring, and Christ’s love for each other and those around us. This love has brought us to begin in 2009 to enlarge our church with an addition and an enormous outreach program into the community and the world. We give a heart warming thanks to Jonathan and Deborah for their dedication to our church and its people.
Rev. William Casady
1959 – 1960 — 2 years
Rev. Casady was our original organizational priest. He came over from Columbus where he was the priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He was with the first organizational meeting of the ten original families in October, 1959, at the home of Andy and Judith Rogers. He continued helping with the organization of the mission in 1960 until Rev. Stewart Wood became Priest-in-Charge.
Born July 12, 1924, his parents were C. Thomas and Frances D. Casady. He married Joanne and he and his wife had five children. Rev. Casady served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1946. He then attended and graduated from Canterbury College in 1950 and went on to study theology at the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1953. In 1989 he retired from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and then spent many hours volunteering his time to brighten the days of those in need in Bloomington, Indiana.
Rev. Casady passed away on December 26, 2006, in Bloomington, Indiana. A celebration of his life was held at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom.
Rt. Rev. R. Stewart Wood Jr.
1960 –1963 – 3 years, 3 months
Rev. Stewart Wood Jr. is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wood of Indianapolis. After graduation from high school in Indianapolis, he attended Dartmouth College, Virginia Seminary, St. Augustine College in Canterbury, England, and completed a year of field work in Washington, D.C. He received his Bachelor of Divinity degree in May, 1959, from the Virginia Seminary and was ordained December 19, 1959. He married Kristin Miller of Indianapolis and they have one daughter, Lisa Cameron.
Rev. Wood assisted Rev. Casady during the 1959 and 1960 organizational meetings while he was curate of St. Paul’s in Columbus. He officiated at our first Christmas Eve service on December 24, 1959. In June, 1960, he was appointed the official Priest-in-Charge of the mission as well as All Saints Church in Seymour, assisted by Rev. Casady.
In August, 1963, he was transferred to Grace Episcopal Church in Muncie, Indiana. From there Rev. Wood became the Bishop of Michigan. Currently he is retired and he and his wife Kristin live in Quechee, Vermont.
Rev. William R. Detweiler
1963 –1965 – 2 years, 2 months
William Detweiler was born on a farm in Chalfont, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1951. He then served in the Navy for five years at Newport, R.I., Japan, and Washington, D.C. After separating from the Navy as lieutenant in 1956, he attended Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkley, California, graduating in 1960. Moving to Indiana , Rev. Detweiler was ordained a priest at Grace Church in Muncie by Bishop John P. Craine. He then served as curate as Grace Church until 1963. On August 3, 1963, Rev. Detweiler married Mary Jo Holmes. From Muncie he and Mary Jo came to our Brown County Mission, on September 1, 1963, serving two years. In 1965 he was called to serve as assistant and Director of Christian Education at Trinity Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, remaining there for five years. He then held various secular positions until his retirement in 1995.
Rev. William and Mary Jo have two children, Elizabeth and Hans, each of whom have two children. They currently (2009) reside at Alexandria, Virginia.
Rev. Ralph E. Dille
1966 – 1974 – 7 years, 5 months
Rev. Dille was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on March 14, 1914, to Curtis and Emma Dille. He was educated at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and graduated in 1943 from Nashotah House Seminary of the Episcopal Church at Nashotah, Wisconsin.
He married Lucille Violet Elger on June 21, 1943, in Waukesha and they had four children: Geofrey, Ellen, Claudia, and Martha. Rev. Dille served at churches in Wisconsin and Texas before moving to Indiana as Rector of St. Matthew’s in Indianapolis in 1959. While there he initiated the building of a new church, which was completed in 1958. Also while at St. Matthew’s, he and Lucille began building a summer and weekend cottage in Brown County. In June of 1965, Rev. Dille resigned his work at St. Matthew’s to become Social Service Director and Investigator at the Marion County Home in Indianapolis.
In January, 1966, Rev. Ralph E. Dille became Priest-in-Charge at the Brown County Mission, serving there from Friday evening to Sunday evening. During the weekdays he would continue in his position with the Marion County Home in Indianapolis. He felt this would be a wonderful opportunity to serve the Brown County Mission as well as enjoy Brown County. Rev. Dille also encouraged the church congregation to seriously consider building a new church building. With his guidance this was completed in 1969. In 1973, with their children grown, he and Lucille moved to their Brown County cottage.
Rev. Ralph E. Dille retired on April 1, 1974, because of ill health, but he continued to fill in occasionally when needed at St. David’s. On February 2, 1977, he passed away at the age of 62 at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove. One month later, on March 1st, his wife Lucille was killed in an automobile accident on St. Rd. 135 N. in Johnson County. They both are buried at the Weeping Willow Cemetery in Bean Blossom, Indiana.
Rev. Overton Sacksteder (Father Lad)
1974 – 1978 –5 years
Rev. Sacksteder served St. David’s as one of the interim priests during 1974 and 1975 in a pastoral and administrative position, working at the church two Thursdays of the month. While serving St. David’s, he also served All Saints Church in Seymour and St. Thomas Church in Whiteland, Indiana. He and his wife Mary (Winkie) lived in Seymour. In 1976 he became the Priest-in-Charge, as well as serving All Saints Church in Seymour. He held Sunday service at 11 A.M. and was at St. David’s on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other Saturday. During 1977, Father Lad was assisted by Rev. Brian Patrick Hall. This arrangement continued till April 1978, when Father Lad left St. David’s to pursue a career in pastoral counseling.
Rev. Brian Patrick Hall
1977 – 1978 – 2 years
Rev. Brian Hall was an assistant to Rev. Sacksteder all of 1977 until the end of April of 1978. When Rev. Sacksteder left, Rev. Hall became Priest-in-Charge on a part-time basis and maintained a counseling office in Nashville. He lived in Brown County on Possum Trot Rd. with his wife Diane and was a professional counselor as well as an author of several books.
At the end of 1978, Rev. Hall left St. David’s and Brown County to pursue his career in counseling and writing. He and his wife moved to San Francisco, California. Rev. Hall received his BA in Classics at the University of British Columbia in 1962, his MA in Sacred Divinity from Huron College, University of Western Ontario, in 1965. He was ordained as an Episcopal Priest in 1965. After moving to California, he received his PhD in Psychology of Religion from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California, in 1979. He became a professor of Pastoral Counseling and Counseling Psychology at the University of Santa Clara in California from 1979 to 1996. Rev. Hall currently lives in Santa Clara, California, and is the founder and president of Values Technology, Consultants and Practitioners.
Rev. Dr. Harold Edwin Taylor
Jan. 5-Dec. 31, 1975 – 1 year
Jan. 1, 1979-Dec. 31, 1990 – 11 years
Rev. Harold Taylor returned to St. David’s on January 1, 1979, as Priest-in-Charge on a part-time basis. He was known as Father Hal.
Father Hal was born Dec. 4, 1918, in Moline, Illinois, to John Henry and Agnes Emma (Bolte) Taylor, growing up in Aurora, Illinois. They lived near the Waycross Mission in Aurora, where Hal as a youngster developed a strong interest in religion. After attending Aurora East High School, he attended the University of Illinois receiving a BA in Music with emphasis on piano, flute and cornet. From there entered the US Navy Band division. Not happy with the music in the band, he transferred to the Chaplain Corp as assistant chaplain. After his discharge from the Navy, he attended the Episcopal Theology School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Harvard Graduation School from 1946 to 1949.
During these years he met Gladys Gillman (GG) and they were married in 1953 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gladys and Hal have three children: John, Steven and Jill. They have two grandchildren, Callie and Austin, children of John Taylor.
Hal began his professional career with Christ Church in Cambridge as assistant priest, where he started the Big Sister movement. He then went to Whitesville, Massachusetts, as priest where he organized the Group Life Movement. A calling from a friend took him to St. Francis in the Fields in Louisville, Kentucky, where he headed the Christian Education curriculum.
Hal went next to St. Stephen’s in Terre Haute, Indiana, as priest under the Diocese of Indianapolis. During this time he attended Indiana State College in Terre Haute, receiving a degree in Psychological Counseling. From Terre Haute he went into marriage counseling for the Indianapolis Court System. From there Hal came to St. David’s. His hobbies include music, piano and flute, motorcycling and now painting. After his retirement from St. David’s, he moved to Bloomington, where he currently pursues a career of helping those in need through “Citizens for Effective Justice,” “Shalom Day Center for the Homeless” and “New Leaf, New Life Jail Ministry”.
Rev. Jonathan Schofield Hutchison
January 1, 1991 – December 31, 2009 – 19 years
Jonathan was born October 26, 1951, at Danville, Pennsylvania, to Schofield Duy and Edith DeMott Hutchison. An only child, Jonathan grew up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Kent High School in Kent, Connecticut. Music was always in his home and he took piano lessons as a child, later teaching himself folk, rock, blues and playing the guitar.
Jonathan received a BA at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in 1974. While at Hamilton, he met Deborah who was attending Kirkland College (the women’s coordinate college with Hamilton) and they became musical friends. Developing a deeper relationship, they married on September 14, 1974, at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Barneveld, New York. Jonathan and Deborah have two sons, Patrick and Daniel.
Jonathan went on to receive his Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1981. Following this, he and the family moved to New Mexico, where Jonathan was ordained a priest at The Cathedral of St. John’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 19, 1981. Then he became the assistant to the rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Taos, New Mexico. From here Jonathan and Deborah took their special kind of music into “freelance national touring ministry in music,” from 1983 to 1990, home schooling Patrick and Daniel. They then moved to Indiana when Jonathan took the position of Coordinator of Youth Ministries for the Dioceses of Indianapolis and purchased a home in Brown County. In 1991 Jonathan became our priest on a part-time basis. In 1993 to 1998 he also served as chaplain for Hospice of Southern Indiana.
Jonathan’s hobbies include music, gardening, photography, creative writing, sculpture and reading. He will be retiring as of December 31, 2009. When asked about his retirement, his response was, “I don’t intend to seek another position in the Church, but one never stops being a priest and I will probably be invited to function as such from time to time. The priesthood is far more than a job; it’s a way of life and a spiritual path — one which brought much personal growth and satisfaction. I expect that retirement will afford time to explore interests of a more individual sort.”
Deborah Pender Hutchison
Lay Pastoral Associate
Deborah was born December 29, 1950, in Utica, New York, to Patrick Francis and Elizabeth (Ritson) Pender. Her siblings were Peter Ritson, Judith Ellen and Don Patrick Pender. She grew up in Utica until the age of ten, then in Barneveld, New York, graduating from Holland Patent Central High School. Following graduation from high school, Deborah attended the State University of New York at Binghamton and Kirkland College (the women’s coordinate college with Hamilton, where Jonathan went) in Clinton, New York, where her major was Studio Art. She also attended one year of study at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.
Deborah spent many hours home schooling Patrick and Daniel during their touring musical ministry between 1983 and 1990. Her hobbies include music and writing, especially poetry. When asked what she hopes to do in retirement, her answer was: “I plan to continue serving clients as a spiritual director, and to devote more time to writing –particularly poetry, get my neglected garden into shape and do some volunteer work in the community. We expect to do some traveling and to spend significant time at the family lake cottage in Pennsylvania.”
Our Anglican Episcopal Community
St. David’s is small church that is a part of a bigger picture and that picture is our Anglican Episcopal Community. In England we are called Anglicans and leading us there is the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
In the United States we are called The Episcopal Church and leading us is Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.
In the United States we are divided into dioceses. There are 110 dioceses in the United States. Our diocese is The Diocese of Indianapolis, consisting of the lower two-thirds of Indiana including 61 counties. This also includes our companion dioceses, the Dioceses of Bor, Sudan, and the Diocese of Brazilia, Brazil. Leading us is The Right Rev. Catherine Maples Waynick, Bishop.
St. David’s Episcopal Church is in the Southeast Deanery.
Every three years the Episcopal Church of the United States has a General Convention, which alternates in major cities for the convention. The delegates (deputies) to the General Convention are chosen at their Diocese Convention. Four lay and four clergy persons as well as the Diocese Bishop are chosen from the diocese to go to the General Convention.
The convention met this year, July 8 –17, 2009, in Anaheim, California.
Also each year, the Diocese of Indianapolis has a Diocesan Convention, and alternates cities for the convention. Every church is asked to elect two delegates to go to the Diocese Convention. This year the diocesan convention is at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis and at the Hilton Hotel on the circle in downtown Indianapolis on Oct. 29-31, 2009. Our representatives will represent St. David’s views on small and major issues in the Episcopal Church and bring back news of these issues.
There are two publications that keep the Episcopal community in touch with each other.
- Tidings – This is the newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.
This paper brings news and activities of the different
parishes and missions of the diocese and our companion dioceses
of Bor, Sudan, and Brasilia, Brazil, as well as a message from
Bishop Cate and from our Archbishop Katherine and news from
other U.S. and overseas dioceses.
- David’s Newsletter – This newsletter is published quarterly by Jane Herr.
It brings us news of our own church: what the committees are
doing, activities past and future, diocesan news, recipes, poems,
personal news, birthdays and anniversaries as well as a message
from our Vicar, Jonathan Hutchison.
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
“Shalom.” Peacemaking is a ministry priority for Katharine Jefferts Schori, who took office November 1, 2006, as the 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, which includes 2.4 million members of 110 dioceses.
Bishop Jefferts Schori was elected to this office on June 18, 2006, by vote of the 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio. This convention set the United Nations Millennium Development Goals as the Episcopal Church’s top mission priority.
Bishop Jefferts Schori’s career as an oceanographer preceded her studies for the priesthood, to which she was ordained in 1994. She remains an active, instrument-rated pilot. She was elected as Bishop of Nevada in 2000 and ordained on February 24, 2001. At the time of her election as Bishop of Nevada, she was assistant rector of the Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon.
Bishop Schori holds a degree in biology, an M.S. and Ph.D. in Oceanography, an M. Div from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and an honorary D.D. from CDSP.
Bishop Schori was born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida. She grew up in the Seattle area. She and her husband, Richard Miles Schori, a retired theoretical mathematician (topologist), were married in 1979. They have one adult daughter, Katharine Johanna, who is a captain and pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Bishops of Indianapolis
Bishop John Pares Craine
Bishop from 1959
John Craine was born in 1911 in Ohio. He married Esther and they had three children: Susan, Elizabeth and John Jr. John attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and seminary at Bexley Hall, Ohio. He then served at St. Mark’s and St. Phillip the Apostle in Cleveland, Ohio, Trinity in Oakland, CA, Grace Church in San Francisco, CA, Trinity in Seattle,Washington, and Christ Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1959 at the age of 48, he was ordained and consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis. During his time as bishop, Bishop Craine was heavily involved with the Christian Community Service which helped those in the inner city. He worked tirelessly for and created organizations to help the poor, the sick, the aged, children, and our companion Diocese of Haiti. He championed the ordination of women and worked for the revision of the prayer book. The Rt. Rev. John P. Craine changed the “Mission District of Indianapolis” into one of the leading dioceses because of his tireless energy, pleasing God by helping those in need.
Bishop John Pares Craine departed this life December 24, 1977.
Bishop Edward Whitker Jones
Edward (Ted) Whitker Jones was born March 25, 1929, in Toledo, Ohio. He married Martha Anne Shelburne in 1963, and they had three children. Ted attended Williams College in Williamstown, VA, and Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. He served Grace Church in Ohio, Christ Church, Chaplin to Oberlin College, Executive Assistant to Bishop John H. Burt of Ohio, and St James Church in Lancaster, PA.
On September 10, 1977, at age 48, he was ordained and consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis. As Bishop he spoke of the church as a healing, theological, liturgical, institutional and witnessing community. He said,“Two issues are testing the Church as a healing community: whether to ordain practicing homosexuals and the ordination of women.” The 1979 ratification of the new prayer book was still ahead.
He championed overseas missions in Honduras and Nigeria as well as missions throughout the world. Bishop Jones became involved in “Venture in Missions” with the Diocese of Indiana. When the convention asked for a youth minister, Bishop Jones brought in Jonathan Hutchison as coordinator of youth ministries. Among his many projects was the Waycross Episcopal Conference and Camp Center in Brown County, Indiana
Bishop Edward Whitker Jones retired in 1997 after 20 years as bishop. He departed this life July 28, 2007, at the age of 78 in Bloomington, Indiana.
Bishop Catherine Maple Waynick
The Right Rev. Catherine “Cate” Maples Waynick became Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis on September 10, 1997. She is one of eight women bishops in the United States.
Bishop Cate is married to Larry Waynick, a retired elementary school principal, and they have two married children, Steve and Sarah.
Cate Waynick attended Central Michigan University from 1966-1968 and earned a BA in religious studies from Madonna College in 1981. She attended St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, and was awarded the Master of Divinity in 1985. She began work on a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, and was given an honorary Doctor of Divinity in May of 1998 by New York’s Theological Seminary.
At the time of her election, Bishop Cate had been serving as rector of All Saints Parish in Pontiac, Michigan. Prior to All Saints, she served ten years as associate rector at Christ Church, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Bishop Cate continues to guide her parishes to promote Christ’s peace and to reach out to those in need in a world of upheaval and uncertainty.
Original Charter Members
James Hausman and Marion Carol (Dietrich) Mara
The idea of an Episcopal Church in Brown County began with James and Marion Mara; they remained the main promoters of its becoming a reality. With a group of Episcopalian friends and other faiths, they began its organization in 1959.
James was born September 24, 1915. He helped develop, manage and was the first director of the Episcopal Waycross Camp and Conference Center. At one time he owned the Orchard Hill Motel and a construction business in Brown County. He and his wife Marion and children lived at Waycross. Marion was born May 23, 1919. She had been the owner of the Quilt Parlor in Nashville. She and James had three children: James H. Jr., Sydney Ann and Stephen Dietrich.
James passed away November 13, 1990, at the age of 75 in Bloomington Hospital. Marion passed away Feb.18, 2006, at the BCHLC, age 86. Both are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Nashville.
Lennis A. and Judith M. (Gregory) Baughman
Lennie was born June 19, 1924, in Helmsburg and was a life long resident of Brown County. He worked at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis and also was manager of Waycross Camp and Conference Center for 26 years. Lennie was devoted to many charitable causes in Brown County and was an avid sports fan.
He was an active member of the community, a past member of the Brown County School Corporation, past president of the Brown County Country Club and past president of the Brown County Water Utility.
Judy was born in Tennessee, lived in Indianapolis until the age of ten, then moved with her family to Brown County. She and Lennie were married in 1942 and lived intermittently in Indianapolis, Brown County and Morgantown, finally settling in Brown County. She was office/housekeeping/food manager at Waycross. She enjoys painting, puzzles, cards and people.
Lennie and Judy had two children, Jim and Greg (deceased). Lennie passed away on September 9, 2008, at age 84 and a Celebration of his Life was held at Waycross by Rev. Jonathan Hutchison. Judy, her son Jim and his wife Jennifer currently (2009) enjoy the serenity of the Hurdle Road family home.
Andy and Judith Rogers
Frank Andrew (Andy) Rogers was born and raised in Bloomington, In. His family was Episcopalian, attending Trinity Church in Bloomington. His father went into partnership with Mr. Johnson, purchasing the Nashville House Restaurant and Inn.
After graduating from Indiana University, Andy went into business with his father. He built the Seasons in 1970 (originally a Ramada Inn), bought the Ordinary (originally The Old Hickory) and bought the Brown County Inn in the1980’s.
He married Judith Elinor and they had two children, Jane Stafford and
Anne Elinor. Judith was born in Toledo, Ohio, but grew up mostly in Indianapolis. She was an elementary school teacher, a children’s librarian and worked for the Monroe County Library. Judy passed away in February, 1985.
His second wife is Frances (Fran) and their children are Gina and Andi. Currently (2009) he and Fran continue to operate the businesses and live here in Brown County.
John and Mickey Williams
John Merriwether Williams was born on August 27, 1921, in Washington, Georgia. He was a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force during WW II, attended the University of Tampa, Ball State University and Indiana University. John taught Industrial Arts at Brown County High School and was principal at the new high school in 1963. He also taught at Starr Commonwealth for boys in Albion, Michigan, and Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis. He was an avid hiker and archaeologist, and a member of the Indianapolis and Sierra hiking groups.
John married Mary Lynn (Mickey) Seip on December 30, 1947, at Plymouth, Indiana. They had three children: John Merriwether Jr., Ann and Sarah. Mickey was born in Hayden, Colorado, and grew up mainly in Plymouth. She attended Lindenwood College and Ball State University, teaching kindergarten in Brown County and Indianapolis.
John and Mickey moved to Brown County, Indiana, in 1958 where John began his teaching career. John passed away on June 1, 2009, at the age of 87. Mickey continues (2009) to enjoy their Brown County home, family, friends and church.
Fred and Jeanette Rigley
Charles Frederick Wildermuth Rigley was born July 1, 1914, in Owosso, Michigan. Fred attended the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida and the Art Students’League in New York City as well as studying under private instructors. At the urging of Adolph Shulz, Fred visited Brown County and relocated here in 1950.
He was a landscape painter and was known for his Indiana landscapes.
Fred married Mary Jeannette Greene July 5, 1945, in Michigan. Jeannette was born February 11, 1914, in Richmond, Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan and the Harvard School of Business. Fred and Jeannette operated Rigley Studios, an art supply and framing store in Nashville. They had two Children, Ellen Katherine and Joan Elizabeth.
Jeannette passed away March 12, 1993, in Nashville at age 79. Fred passed away March 22, 2009, in Nashville at age 94. A celebration of his life was held at the Brown County Art Guild.
Gladys Mayme (Christie) and Herbert McDonald
Gladys and Herb owned McDonald’s IGA for many years. Gladys was born September 15, 1906, in Indianapolis. She married Herbert McDonald August13, 1930, in Indianapolis.
At first they lived in Indianapolis and later moved to Brown County. Gladys and Herb had one child, Jack. She was a volunteer in many civic and religious organizations, St. David’s Mission being close to her heart.
Herb was born June 2, 1898, in Brown County. His family had operated grocery and dry goods stores for four generations. He was a veteran of WW I and an avid baseball fan. In 1934, John Dillinger fled to Bean Blossom after escaping from prison. He entered the grocery store and after an encounter, left Herb with a gunshot wound in the shoulder Herb passed away October 17, 1971, at his home in Bean Blossom at age 73. Gladys passed away June 3, 1992, in Nashville at the age of 85. Both are buried at Weeping Willow Cemetery in Bean Blossom.
Thomas Edward and Roxena (Besse) King
Tom was born November 27, 1911, in Columbus, Indiana. He was an electrician in the Navy during World War II and worked for Public Service of Indiana. He married Roxena Besse. She was a homemaker, an avid sports fan, enjoyed reading and sewing, and making all of her children’s clothing.
Tom and Roxena had four children: Eulala M., Deirdre, Roy William, and Anthena N. King.
Tom passed away April 23, 1989, at Bloomington Hospital. Roxena passed away Aug. 1, 2000, at her home on Coffee Hill. They both are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery, in Nashville.
Nellie Louise (Jewell) and Harold A. Meyrick
Nellie Meyrick was born July 28, 1895, in Decorah, Iowa. She was a graduate of Columbia University in New York City and served in the Nursing Corps during World War I. She married Harold (Dutch) Meyrick April 8, 1929, in Chicago. She was a devoted member of St. David’s Church.
Harold (Dutch) Meyrick was born March 19, 1899, in Decorah, Iowa. He was owner of Thermolator Company in Indianapolis. He was a veteran of World War I and moved to Brown County in 1948.
Harold passed away May 30, 1968, in Indianapolis and Nellie passed away January 4, 1983, in Decorah, Iowa. Both are buried at Greenlawn Cemetery,Nashville.
Elizabeth Percival and Dr. Harold C Percival
Elizabeth was born June 30, 1896, in Indianapolis and attended Normal School, teaching English, German and patriotism upon graduation. She married Dr. Harold C. Percival on June 28, 1921, in Indianapolis. Elizabeth and Dr. Harold had three children: Robert A. Donald H., and Margaret. In 1946 family moved to Brown County, Indiana, where Dr. Harold opened an office. They became friends with the other young founding members and were strong supporters of the new growing Episcopal Mission.
Dr. Harold C. Percival was born April 4, 1894, in Rutland, Vermont. He attended Indiana University and served in the U.S. Army during both WW I and WW II in the dental corps.
Dr. Percival passed away on April 2, 1969, in Indianapolis and Elizabeth passed away June 15, 1976, at the home of her daughter in Miwaukee,Wisconsin.Both are buried at Brown County Memorial Park.
Robert (Bob) A. and Elizabeth (Betty) Percival
Dr. Robert Percival was born October 24, 1928, in Indianapolis to Dr. Harold C. and Elizabeth Percival. He served in the U.S. Army in the dental Corps. Following the service he attended Indiana University and Ohio State, then established his dental practice in Brown County. Betty was born in Brooklyn, New York. She met Bob when her father, a U.S. Marine recruiting Officer, was stationed in Indianapolis, and she and Bob attended Howe High School in Indianapolis. Betty attended Indiana University, receiving a degree in Social Service. She and Bob were married on August 22, 1963, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. Betty was Bob’s office assistant for many years. They have five children: Robert Harold, Elizabeth Louise, Laura Marie, Suzanne Lynn and Daniel Anthony.
Currently (2009) Bob and Betty are retired and reside in the Nashville area.
St. David’s History
1959, Earliest Beginnings
In October, 1959, in the scenic rolling hills of Brown County, Indiana, a small group of people gathered together with the desire to establish an Episcopal mission church. They were led by Rev. William Casady of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Columbus. This small group of friends wanted a place of worship to bring up their children and to be under God’s guidance in the Episcopal faith. The first organizational meeting was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Andy Rogers. Those present were:
James and Marion Mara Thomas and Roxanne King
Lennis and Judith Baughman Nellie Jewell Meyrick
Andy and Judith Rogers Dr. Robert and Betty Percival
Fred and Jeanette Rigley Elizabeth Percival
John and Mickey Williams Rev. William Casady
The second meeting in October was held at the home of John and Mary Lynn (Mickey) Williams for all those interested in forming an Episcopal mission in the Nashville area.
A third meeting was held on November 5th at the home of Fred and Jeanette Rigley. At this meeting a petition was presented, signed, and taken to the Diocese Mission board meeting in Indianapolis for their approval. Those present were:
Fred and Jeanette Rigley Mrs. Elizabeth Percival
Andy and Judith Rogers Mrs. Betty Percival
Lennis and Judith Baughman Rev. R. Stewart Wood
Mrs. Nellie Jewell Meyricl
The next item on the agenda was where to locate the mission. After much discussion, the old Bean Blossom schoolhouse was selected. In spite of the condition of the building, it was decided to locate there until May, 1960, with the hope of finding a more suitable building. Everyone knew there would be much work involved in making the building presentable for worship services. Pledges were made to cover future expenses.
On November 8, 1959, the petition was taken to the Diocese of Indianapolis, Department of Missions by James Mara, Fred Rigley and John Williams. It was signed by the following persons:
Frank A. Rogers Lennis Baughman Thomas King Judith E. Rogers Judith Baughman Roxena King
Harold Meyrick Frederick Rigley Katherine Smith
Nellie Meyrick Jeanette Rigley Robert Percival
James H. Mara Bernice Bohanan Betty Percival
Marion D. Mara Donna Bohanan Elizabeth Percival
Jim Mara Jr. John M. Williams James Graves
Sydney A. Mara Mary L. Williams Joe Gatlin
Gladys E. Cox Miss Mrytle Chapin G race Gatlin
The Rt. Rev. John P. Craine, Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, gave permission at this time for the mission to be established.
The following evening, on November 9, a fourth meeting was held at the home of Dr. Robert A. and Betty Percival. The favorable report from the Bishop was given and received with happy hearts. They immediately began work plans, setting up in work squads with duties assigned to each squad. The borrowed stove needed to be connected and oil purchased. Several paid their November pledges so there would be money on hand.
On November 11th Bishop Craine wrote a letter to Rev. William Casady, granting consent to organize an Episcopal Mission in Brown County and making Father Casady Priest-in-Charge.
On November 17th another meeting was held at the Old Georgetown schoolhouse. Elizabeth Percival said this was the “beginning of the “Scrub Brigade.” Many work hours were donated to scrub, clean, paint and repair the place, hoping for an early December Service.
The Rt. Rev. John P. Craine, Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, came to the Brown County Episcopal Mission on December 1, 1959, to preside over an official organizational meeting. The following issues were settled:
- The name Brown County Episcopal Mission will be used until the mission is given a permanent name.
- The Second Sunday of each month a service of Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by a visiting priest of the area. The amount to be given him is $15.00
- Morning Prayer will be held the other Sundays by a Lay Reader.
- The service will be at 10 AM.
- The first Bishop’s Committee was elected as follows:
Frank (Andy) Rogers- Vice Chairman Lennis Baughman
James Mara – Treasurer Nellie J.Meyrick
Mary Lynn (Mickie)Williams-Clerk
Those attending this official organizational meeting were:
Bishop John Craine Gladys McDonald
Rev. William Casady Betty Percival
Rev. Stewart Wood Elizabeth Percival
James and Marion Mara Mrytle Chapin
Andy and Judith Rogers Floyd and Gladys Cox
Lennis and Judith Baughman Joe and Grace Gatlin
John and Mickey Williams B ernice Bohannan
Harold and Nell Meyrick Donna Bohannan
Fred and Jeanette Rigley
The first Services (Morning Prayer) began on December 6, 1959, with James Mara,
Lay Reader, in the old Georgetown Schoolhouse building.
On December 20th, 40 new folding metal chairs were purchased for $3.73 each from Cosco Co. in Columbus, Indiana. Elizabeth Percival wrote in her notes for the year 1959 the following: “Now we think we are very elegant with all matching chairs.”
The First Holy Eucharist, Christmas Eve, December 24, 1959, was held with Rev. R. Stewart Wood Jr. officiating. Again Elizabeth writes in her notes, “On Christmas Eve we celebrated our first Holy Communion at 8 PM with Father Wood. Father Wood has just been ordained on December 19, 1959. (It was) a very inspiring service with our very young priest and our makeshift equipment.”
Elizabeth ends this memorable year of 1959 with this note: “Pray with us and for us that the enthusiasm shown so far will continue as we need this mission here, for there are so many children in this group who need to be brought up in the Episcopal faith.”
1960 to 1963
1960 – The Year of Dedicated Work and Continued Organization
Under the leadership of Bishop Craine in Indianapolis, his Archdeacon, Canon Frederic Williams, Rev. William Casady, Rev. R. Stewart Wood Jr. and visiting priests, the year was off to an energetic and productive start for our new small congregation.
The first Baptismal Service was held January 10, 1960, by the Rev. James H.
Kirkhoffer. Those baptized were: Mabel Allbright – Elaine Boyd and her 4 children: Anthony Boyd, Gladys Boyd, Pamela Boyd, and Marion Boyd.
The first Inquirers’ Class was held January 19, 1960, by Archdeacon Frederic P. Williams with 30 people in attendance.
January 31, 1960 — “Two fine young men received training and will begin to serve as Lay Readers, Mr. John Williams and Mr. Andy Rogers.”
February 23, 1960– Notes from the mission history by Elizabeth Percival:
“In February, after much discussion of the pros and cons, whether to purchase the present site or to look elsewhere, we had to vacate the present quarters by May 1st . A parish meeting, which turned into an old fashioned New England town meeting was held, where we had a lively discussion of our future plans. It was decided to purchase the building where we were meeting if we could get the necessary diocesan approval. The diocese gave its approval at the March meeting of the Diocesan Council.”
March 12, 1960 – Bishop’s Committee Meeting
“A motion was passed that we buy the Old School property at roads 135 and 45 in Bean Blossom. This motion was made on the basis of a parish meeting held on February 23rd when the possibilities of property and buildings were discussed.” The price for the property was $9000 to be paid at $97.68 a month to Nashville State Bank.
This property transaction was recorded at the Recorder’s office in Brown County on May 31,1960. The Deed is in the Treasurer’s office at the Diocese of Indianapolis and a receipt will be kept in the church office.
The first Confirmations, April 12, 1960, were held at Evening Prayer by Bishop Craine. Those presented for confirmation by Rev. Frederic P. Williams were:
Mabel Allbright Anthony Boyd Robert A. Percival
Lennis Baughman Elaine Boyd Mary Jeanette Rigley
Judith Baughman Gladys Cox Elmer W. Strode
James Baughman Joseph L. Galton Helen L. Strode
Donna E. Bohannan Nell J. Meyrick James L. Strode
Elizabeth A. Percival – Received
The first Easter Service was held on April 17, 1960, with Rev. Chester Minton officiating. Elizabeth’s notes say, “The largest congregation to date, as usual with most churches on Easter Sunday. There was standing room only.”
The first Vacation Church School (Bible School) was held on June 6-10, 1960. Classes were provided for nursery, kindergarten, grades 1&2, and 10 year olds. Mr. Andy Rogers led a short worship service each morning. Teachers and helpers were: JudyRogers, Ellen Rigley, Mickey Williams. Judy Baughman, Betty Percival, Gladys Boyd, Irene Welch, Jane Raines and Mrs. Smith.
On June, 1960, Rev. R. Stewart Wood Jr. was appointed to be Priest-in-Charge of the Brown County Mission. He would also serve All Saints Church in Seymour. Father Wood and his wife Kris would live in Seymour. He would be assisted by Rev. William Casady.
In July, 1960, Elizabeth Percival’s notes read: Now improvements were made:
Building painted, insulation added
New wiring throughout
A new parking lot
Beautiful new chalice & paten
New piano from Ruddick’s Music Co.
Father Wood introduced the Commission Plan in July to the Bishop’s Committee for consideration. At the August Bishop’s Committee meeting it was adopted. The commissions and chairpersons were as follows:
Christian Education – John Williams Worship – Nell Meyrick Fellowship – Bernice Bohannon Outreach – James Mara
Christian Social Relations – Gladys Cox Finance – James Mara
Property – Lennis Baughman
The first Bazaar was held on October 27, 1960 – from Elizabeth’s notes: “An experiment entirely. Nell Meyrick was chairperson. Most of the women made handcrafts, cooking items such as canned fruits, vegetables and jellies. We discovered food stuff sold best and there was a demand for homemade pies, which no one thought to make. Profit $170.00.”
The first Marriage Ceremony was held on October 27, 1960. Grant Renier and Karen Sims of Indianapolis were married with Father Wood officiating.
Near the end of the year, Elizabeth writes in her notes the following:
“The beautiful new wood cross hanging over the altar is the product of the talents of John Williams, James Mara and Fred Rigley.”
This cross is approximately three feet tall and is currently hanging over the inside entrance to the sanctuary. Also, Elmer Strode and his son James and Tom King constructed the large cross on the mission grounds.
Elizabeth Percival ends the year 1960 by writing in her notes:
“I feel safe in saying there never will be as interesting and as exciting a year as this one – where we started from nothing with nothing but our idea and have made a permanent place for ourselves in the Episcopal Church family and in our local Brown County community.”
1960 to 1963
Rev. R. Stewart Wood Jr.
During Rev. Stewart Wood’s time as Priest-in-Charge of the mission there was much excitement and enthusiasm among the growing congregation. Father Wood was well liked for his compassion, energy and good sense of humor, even though he was a stickler for Episcopal Church rules.
He performed many baptisms, confirmations and brought in many new members. The church women began their group having their first bazaar, other fund raisers and outreach activities. Father Wood led them to work with the Brown County Mental Health Agency, participating in the Muscatatuck Mental Health Hospital project by visiting groups of patients. The Mission also sponsored a Girl Scout Troop.
There were many children, so more space was needed for church school. Gladys and Herb McDonald made available the small building across the street, the second building on the on the NE corners of St. Rd’s. 135 and 45. This building is currently still standing, but unused (2009). The teachers and fourteen children began having church school there on September 16, 1962. This arrangement lasted only a few months because of the hazard of crossing 135.
The long range plan for the mission at this time was to renovate the old schoolhouse which was the building used as the church and later to add a sanctuary to that building. The mission also desired to achieve parish status.
In early 1963, the diocese’s plans to transfer Father Wood to Grace Episcopal Church in Muncie, Indiana, were announced to the congregation and were received with sadness. The congregation gave him a heartwarming farewell party. Rev. William R. Detweiler would replace him on September 1, 1963.
Rev. William R. Detweiler
In preparation for Rev. William R. Detweiler, who was soon to be married, the Bishop’s Committee began looking for a vicarage. They found and purchased a house and lot on Old Settlers Road for $10,500. The Emily Upfold Endowment Fund gave them $1606.00 for the down payment. A loan for $9200 at 5.75% interest for ten years was taken out at Federal Savings and Loan for the balance and repairs.
Rev. Detweiler, recently married to Mary Jo Holmes on August 3, 1963, arrived as Priest-in-Charge on September 1, 1963. He and Mary Jo lived in the newly acquired and repaired vicarage. He served as part-time priest and was also priest of Waycross and Hickory Hill. Father Detweiler began two church services at 8 AM and 10 AM each Sunday. He also initiated discussions with the Bishop’s Committee about a possible new church building where there would be room for church school classes.
During 1964, the Mission lost two of its founding families. James Mara moved his family to Seminole, Oklahoma, to build another Episcopal Camp and Conference Center. John and Mickey Williams moved to Marshall, Michigan, where John would be a teacher at the Star Commonwealth School for Boys.
On October 14, 1965, Rev. William Detweiler was assigned to Christian Education work at New Orleans, LA. A temporary priest, Rev. Ralph E. Dille, would be Priest-in-Charge on an experimental basis for six months. In June of 1966, this plan would be re-evaluated.
1965 – 1974
Rev. Ralph E. Dille
On November 14, 1965, Rev. Ralph E. Dille arrived as Priest-in-Charge at the mission on a temporary basis, with this plan to be re-evaluated in June 1966. He would be part time, Friday – Sunday, and remain at his weekday employment as Social Services Director of the Marion County Home in Indianapolis. He and his wife Lucille and children Geofrey, Ellen, Claudia and Martha continued to live in Cumberland, Indiana, but they were building a cottage here in Brown County. Lucille was a school teacher in Indianapolis.
Father Dille immediately stated to the Bishop’s Committee that it was time to start some kind of definite plan for building. He suggested using the current building as a Parish Hall after a new church is built. He estimated a new building would cost $30,000 and 75% of it would be needed in cash before starting to build. A planning committee was elected of:
Elmer Strode, Don Tuggle, Katherine Clawson, Marie Glidden,
The Architectural Commission of the Diocese met with Father Dille and the Bishop’s Committee to discuss mission activities and needs for the new church building or renovation of the existing one. Long range plans for what was needed were: four church schoolrooms, an all purpose room and a church office. An architect was suggested as a master plan was needed so that in future years additions to the church will have continuity. During 1966 and well into 1967, plans went along the idea of renovating and adding needed space to the existing building, the old schoolhouse. Architect Richard Hartung presented his sketches for this plan.
The desire for the mission to become a self-supporting church was discussed again. Plans toward this goal were to begin by asking everyone who wished to join the mission to write to their former church and request a transfer.
In June, 1966, the congregation advised the diocese that they are very pleased with Father Dille and requested he remain as Priest-in-Charge on the part-time basis. The diocese granted their request. Since they would not need the vicarage, the suggestion to rent it was discussed, but correspondence with the diocese informed them that the diocese cannot rent property as it would have to pay taxes on that income. So on August 15, 1966, the vicarage was sold for $10,500.
In November of 1967 architect Tom Dorste at the Diocesan Architectual Committee meeting submitted drawings for a proposed new building for the mission.
In 1967 the diocese headquarters in Indianapolis in the old Sherwood House decided to move from this building due to costly repairs. The diocese made a decision to donate the furnishing of the St. David’s Chapel in the Sherwood House to the Brown County Mission for their new building. The Sherwood House had been donated to the Diocese by Mr. and Mrs. R. Hartley Sherwood and the chapel in the house was named St. David’s Chapel in memory of their son David.
Father Dille was the inspiration of our new church building.
Beginning in January, 1968, Tom Dorste presented his drawings for a new building to the Bishop’s Committee, to be presented to the congregation for approval. The congregation then had differences of opinion as to the style of the church building, conventional or contemporary. The contemporary style won out, resulting in members leaving the church. Mr. Dorste was asked to draw up plans for a new building that would include church space, church school rooms, moving the old schoolhouse building to the west end of the lot and getting an estimate from a local contractor. The need for a pledge campaign began with the Bishop’s Committee and was presented to the congregation. The pledge campaign was very successful. By June the Bishop’s Committee made the following resolution:
Whereas: On Friday, the 28th of June, 1968, the members of the Brown County Episcopal Mission committed themselves to construction of a new church.
Whereas: It is recognized that this joyous and responsible undertaking must have the approval of the diocese.
Whereas: The members of the Brown County Episcopal Mission appreciates the encouragement of the diocese.
Whereas: The members of the Brown County Episcopal Mission thanks the diocese for the generous gift of the altar and all appointments from St. David’s Chapel, formerly located in the Sherwood House, then the headquarters of the Diocese of Indianapolis.
Whereas: Be it resolved that the members of the Brown County Episcopal Mission, assembled on the 14th day of July, 1968, name their new church, St. David’s Episcopal Church.
In a special meeting of the Bishop’s Committee on August 23, 1968, architect Mr. Thomas Dorste of James Associates, Indianapolis, Indiana, was chosen as the architect and Mr. Al Robertson of Nashville, Indiana, was chosen as the contractor. The building cost estimate was $29,622.00. For moving the old schoolhouse to the west-end of the property and providing a foundation, the estimate was $2983.00. The furnishings from the St. David’s Chapel at the Sherwood House were received and put in storage and a letter was sent to Mrs. R. Hartley Sherwood inviting her to visit us at the mission.
The Ground Breaking Ceremony for the new church was held on September 20, 1968, at 5:00 PM. Those attending were: Bishop Rt. Rev. John P. Craine, Canon Frederic P. Williams, Rev. Stewart Wood Jr., Mrs. Marjorie B. Sherwood, Rev. Ralph E. Dille, church members and guests, 26 persons in all. The new church was built on the site of the old Georgetown Schoolhouse, which was on the S.W corner of St. Rd 135 and Rd 45. The old schoolhouse was moved to the west end of the lot to become the parish hall. Church services were held at Waycross until the parish hall was back in operation again.
At the October 18th meeting of the Bishop’s Committee, Father Dille reported the offer of a Baptismal Font from St. Multose Church in Ireland. (St. Multose was the nephew of St. David of Wales). This offer came through Mr. Murphy and Father Gibson of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. The committee requested Father Dille to contact Mr. Murphy and accept the gift providing the font is not more than 24” and that “shipping costs would be no more than $100.”
Construction work began immediately after the ground breaking, beginning with moving the old schoolhouse to the west end of the lot and now facing Rt. 45. By the end of November, the septic system was installed between the two buildings consisting of a 500 gallon tank and three fingers. Footers were put in; the roof beams were in place and a slab floor poured. Much discussion was held concerning windows, lighting, furnishings, decorations, and whether to have church pews or chairs, altar rails or kneeling benches. The large outside cross, made by Elmer and James Strode and Tom King, was placed between the two church buildings. It was decided that there would be no smoking in the new church building and it would be used strictly for a place of worship.
On January 15, 1969, a loan was taken out at the Brown County Federal Savings and Loan for $11,000 as well as $11,000 from the Diocesan Revolving Loan Fund for the new church building
On April 4, 1969, Good Friday, six months after the groundbreaking ceremony, the first worship service was held in the new St. David’s Episcopal Church. The first Easter service in the new church building was on April 6, 1969.
The Dedication Ceremony, led by Bishop John P. Craine and Rev. Ralph E. Dille, was held on Sunday, July 6, 1969, with the blessing of the building and its contents, which included all the items from St. David’s Chapel. The ceremony included a Holy Communion Service at 10:00 AM, the dedication ceremony at 3:00 PM, a party in the Parish Hall at 4:30 PM and a “Summer Get Together” for the parish and Bishop Craine at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Jordan.
A memorial plate of 1”x 3” was put on the hymn board in loving memory of Harold A. Meyrick, who passed away on May 30, 1968. Harold and Nellie Jewell Meyrick were among the original ten founding families.
St. David’s Baptismal Font
“An Irish Connection in Bean Blossom, Indiana”
Entering St. David’s church for the first time, many people are drawn to its imposing stone baptismal font. It was given to the church in September, 1969, soon after its July dedication.
The font came from Cullen Church of County Cork, Ireland, situated not far from the Blarney Stone and close to the ancient town of Kinsale. In September, 1849, a new church was erected there replacing an ancient building on a still earlier site. The font was found at the old site and was re-consecrated with the new church. It is assumed that the stone font is about four hundred years old.
An interesting story was told by Rev. Charles Gibson, who was rector of the Cullen church where the font was located. During the famine years, around 1849, the font was used by the Cullen church to serve soup to the hungry. From this event, the Cullen church became known as the “Souper” Church.
Rev. Charles G. Gibson, Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, was Rector of the Cullen Church when it closed and performed the last baptism in the font in 1960 in that location.
The whole idea of bringing the font to the U.S.A. was born in the mind of Joe Murphy (a member of Christ Church Cathedral) who was born in Ireland, lived in Indianapolis, and had a home named “Fin Barres Folly” in Brown County on Freeman Ridge Road. With the help of Rev. Gibson, it was arranged for the font to be gifted to St. David’s.
The cost of transporting the font was borne by Mr. and Mrs. Murphy, as a gift of historical interest to the new church in Bean Blossom. The font left Kinsale in April, 1969, for the U.S. via Liverpool and The Great Lakes. Delayed by many dock strikes, it finally arrived in September, 1969. It was unpacked and set in place at St. David’s on September 13th. It has three parts: base, stem, and octagonal top and weighs 1200 pounds.
In the fall of 1969, the first baptism was performed in St. David’s new font. A group from Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, came on their annual trek to Nashville. On their way, they attended the Sunday Eucharist at St. David’s. The Rev. Ralph Dille, Vicar, had invited Charles Gibson to come along and preach about the story of the font.
The following are Charles Gibson’s own words: “It occurred to me that having baptized the last baby (in 1960) in the font in Ireland, it would be very fitting to baptize someone in the same font in the U.S. I suggested the idea to Father Dille, who said. ‘Great, but there is too little time to produce a baby here.’ Greatly daring, I mentioned the problem to the guild at the Cathedral. Neva Willey, frequent visitor to Brown County and St. David’s, immediately volunteered, ‘I can help. I have a grandson and granddaughter, ages five and seven. I will bring them along.’ So, I baptized Leslie Rene Willey and Ian Christopher Willey at St. David’s amidst the glorious fall colors of Brown County. Bean Blossom’s Irish connection was complete.” (The Rev. Canon Charles Gibson–Christ Church Cathedral)
The parishioners of St. David’s were, and still are, thrilled to have such a historical font to beautify the church. A little bit of Ireland – right here in Brown County!
By Phyllis Sindlinger
1970, Our New Church Building
The year 1970 began with the realization that there were now two buildings to maintain. The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) continued to have fundraisers. They held an auction, garage sales, bake sales, book sales, homemade ice cream socials, monthly pancake suppers, chili suppers and a Christmas bazaar. Their monies went toward the needed repairs of the Old Schoolhouse, now the Parish House
Before and during the building of the new church, disagreements had risen. These disagreements concerned whether a new building was actually needed, the architectural style of the new building and the name chosen for the new church, as well as the use of and repairs for the Old Schoolhouse, now called the Parish House. Many parishioners left the church over these disagreements. As a result, with the cost of the two buildings and fewer people, there was never enough money to do the needed repairs and maintenance. An attempt was made to bring people back to the church and to resolve differences, but money problems continued to plague the congregation over the next few years.
During the January, 1974, Bishop’s Committee meeting, Father Dille announced his planned retirement as of April 1, 1974, due to his deteriorating health. In the minutes the following words were written by the Bishop’s Committee:
“His words evoked consternation and tears from his many friends and faithful followers. His retirement leaves us without a wise, strong guiding hand in the affairs of this parish. The congregation voted to accept his resignation with regret and that the entire parish extends to him our sincere appreciation and thanks for his eight years of faithful service to this congregation.”
Rev. Dille and his wife Lucille had sold their home in Cumberland, Indiana, in 1972 and had moved permanently to their Brown County cottage. Their three daughters, Ellen, Claudia and Martha, were now grown and married and their son Jeff was in the Navy. They would retire to their Brown County cottage. Rev. Dille would fill in at St. David’s whenever he was needed. He did this until his death in 1977.
1974, Interim Period
Archdeacon Fredric P. Williams – Priest in Charge
Rev. Jack Bird – Sunday and Holy Days Celebrant
Rev. Overton Sacksteder III – Pastoral, Administration
In April 1, 1974, upon the retirement of Rev. Ralph E. Dille, the three above interim priests replaced him. Rev. Sacksteder, who went by the name of Father Lad, was to be at St. David’s two Thursdays of the month. He would be serving All Saints Church in Seymour and St. Thomas Church in Whiteland as well as St. David’s in Bean Blossom. He and his wife Lucille lived in Seymour.
The Diocese of Indianapolis, under the direction of Bishop Craine, began a study of St. David’s financial condition, members, pledges and attendance, as all of these areas had decreased considerably since 1970. The Bishop’s Committee was increased from six to nine members. A Mission Planning Commission was organized of fifteen members to determine the long and short range goals and to select a program that was rich and varied to fill the needs of the parishioners. An outline for the Planning Commission with nine areas of importance was given to the Bishop’s Committee by Rev. Sacksteder.
Those areas of importance and those assigned to them were:
Worship – Ann Floyd–chair, Mary Rudd and Dee Asbury
Outreach – Howard Zody–Chair, Judy Baughman and Faye McGahey
Service (To help those in need) – Lenore and Elizabeth K. Mobley-Co-chair
Property – Bill McGahey–chair, Lennie Baughman and Gladys McDonald
Education – Dee Asbury–chair and Helen Faulkner
Music – Father Jack and Faye McGahey
Youth Group – Steve Stackhouse
Communication – Father Lad, Lennie and Judy Baughman and Faye McGahey
Finance – Gladys McDonald
The Planning Commission made resolution of the following:
- Lay Readers may now be women as well as men and instructed by Father Lad.
- Acolytes may be girls, boys, women and men.
- Evensong will be held at 7:30 PM monthly.
- A men’s group was formed to do work around the church grounds.
- Father Lad will visit lapsed members and follow up with lay member visitation.
- Breakfast for the Blue Grass Festival was organized and very successful. It was recommended to serve more meals next year as a fundraising project.
- Father Lad will resume the monthly Kalendar. This calendar was started by Rev. Dille in 1965, giving the coming months’ schedule of all services, meetings and projects as well as “Chatter”– encouraging words from Father Dille.
Archdeacon Fredric P. Williams – Priest-in-Charge
Rev. Harold Edwin Taylor – Sunday and Holiday Celebrant
Rev. Overton Sacksteder III (Father Lad)–Pastoral and Adm.
In January, 1975, Rev. Jack Bird was transferred to another assignment and was replaced by Rev. Harold Taylor (Father Hal) as Sunday and holiday celebrant. He was to be assisted by Rev. Dille when necessary. Rev. Sacksteder (Father Lad) continued to live in Seymour and to serve as Pastoral Care and Administrator. The following activities occurred during 1975:
- The Property Commission considered moving the altar forward to have a free standing altar. This was completed in September,1975.
- Two services began at 8:30 AM and 10 AM during the summer months and one service at 10:30 AM during winter months.
- Extensive landscaping was funded and finished by Harold and Elise Jordan.
- Father Lad (Sacksteder) recommended an architect be hired to either build another building or add on to the Parish House for Sunday school rooms. In November of 1975 architectural plans were drawn up for a 2000 foot expansion to the church building or Parish House. This would include a church office, mimeograph and supply room, three classrooms, meeting room, two bathrooms, remodeled kitchen, and a dining room or all-purpose room. More land was needed.
- A kitchen will be added onto the Parish House.
- Ann Floyd began a bimonthly newsletter which was enjoyed by all.
- Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers began.
- The Parish House was available to the community as a community outreach.
- A processional cross was added to the service.
- The 1928 Book of Common Prayer was used at for services a month and a trial liturgy was used at the other two services.
In December, 1975, Rev. Harold Taylor was re-assigned by the Diocese and Rev. Overton Sacksteder was in full charge. Rev. Dille would continue to serve when necessary.
Rev. Overton Sacksteder III (Father Lad) – Priest-in-Charge
With Rev. Taylor’s reassignment, Rev. Overton Sacksteder (Father Lad) was now Priest-in-Charge as well as serving All Saints Church in Seymour. He was to be the Sunday celebrant, holding service at 11 AM and at St. David’s on Tuesday, Wednesday and every other Saturday.
The following activities took place during January and February 1975:
- The kitchen to the Parish House was completed.
- Steve Stackhouse moved and there was no teenage Sunday School.
- All church school classes were stopped due to lack of attendance.
- The Bishop’s Committee is still talking about the new addition to the church or Parish House.
From March to the end of 1976, there are no more Bishop’s Committee minutes, newsletters or monthly Kalendars from which to obtain information.
Rev. Overton Sacksteder III (Father Lad) – Priest-in-Charge
Rev. Brian Patrick Hall – Assistant
Beginning in 1977, Rev. Sacksteder remains Priest-in-Charge and now has an assistant, Rev Brian Hall. The newsletter began again in January.
On February 2, 1977, Rev. Ralph E. Dille, former priest of St. David’s from 1965 – 1974, died of a heart attack at the age of 62. Rev. Dille was the priest responsible for promoting the building of our new church building in 1968-1969. One month later, on March 1, his wife Lucille at age 62 was killed in an automobile accident on St. Road 135 North. They both are buried at the Weeping Willow Cemetery in Bean Blossom, Indiana.
During 1977 the following activities took place under Rev. Sacksteder and Rev. Hall:
- Sunday Church Service was changed to 10:30 AM with Sunday School for adults and children at 11:30 AM.
- The new prayer books began to be used and paid for by each member.
- The ECW (Episcopal Church Women) continued to have fundraisers.
- The Shrove Tuesdays continued.
- Mary (Winkie) Sacksteder (Father Lad’s wife) organized a Sunday school class for grades 7–12.
In May 1977, Bishop Craine in Indianapolis became seriously ill and a new bishop was to take his place. On December 24, 1977 Bishop John Pares Craine, Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, passed away. He had served our diocese from 1959 – 1977 and was very much loved. On September 10, 1977, Edward Whitker Jones had been ordained and consecrated and on June 5, installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis
Rev. Overton Sacksteder III – Priest-in-Charge-January-April, 1978
Rev. Brian Patrick Hall – Priest-in-Charge – April-December, 1978
Rev. Harold EdwinTaylor – Assistant to Rev. Hall – April – December, 1978
In April, 1978, Rev. Sacksteder (Father Lad) left St. David’s going to New Orleans, Louisiana, to pursue a career in pastoral counseling. He was to receive his doctorate in this field from the Christian Theological Seminary in 1979.
The congregation voted to call Rev. Brian Hall as their new Priest-in-Charge. He and his wife Diane were living in Brown County on Possum Trot Road and he was a professional counselor and author of several books. He was to be with the St. David’s congregation ten months of the year and two months of the year work with overseas missions of Europe and India.
Rev. Hall made the following immediate changes:
- Sunday Service was at 9:30 AM with adult education and children’s church school as part of the service. The service will be concluded by 10:45 AM.
- There was to be coffee and refreshments after the service to make visitors feel more welcome and the morning more social.
On June 5, 1978, Edward Whitker Jones was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis.
By December of 1978 Rev. Hall decided to move to San Francisco, California, to continue his career in counseling and writing.
January 1, 1979 – December 31, 1990
Rev. Harold Edwin Taylor (Father Hal)
Following Rev. Hall’s move to California, St. David’s congregation voted to call Rev. Harold (Hal) E. Taylor to be their Priest-in-Charge. Father Taylor had a degree in counseling from Indiana University and was working with the Domestic Relations Counseling Bureau of the Circuit and Superior Counts of Indianapolis. He would serve St. David’s on weekends. Father Hal played the flute and provided much enjoyable music to his parishioners. He was also an ardent motorcyclist, often riding his cycle very long distances. He once owned and restored an Indian Motorcycle.
During Father Taylor’s tenure the following activities continued and began:
- Jonathan and Deborah and sons Patrick and Daniel Hutchison move to Brown County and begin attending St. David’s and providing their music to the church
- Rummage Sales – Were the main fund raisers.
- Church Pitch-In-Dinners – Second Tuesday of each month.
- Episcopal Service Guild (ESG) – Included men and women.
- Community Dinners – Began in April,1987–last Saturday of each month
- Ordination of Women (1988)– main topic of discussion at the Episcopal General Convention.
- 1989 John and Mickie Williams moved back to Brown County and were back at St. David’s.
- High School Group Outreach – Our youth began doing community services for the elderly in Brown County.
- In July, 1989, breakfasts for the ABATE motorcycle group began.
- Blessing of the bikes was held.
- October, 1989, was Muriel Lee’s Art Fair at the church. A portion of the proceeds was donated to St. David’s as well as the remaining art works for future sales.
- Sunday School flourishes under the direction of Lark Terman.
- David’s becomes involved with Habitat for Humanity. Father Hal served on the Board of Directors. Cushing Roth and Deborah Hutchison served on the Board of Advisors.
The End of the Month Dinners: Beginning in April, 1987, these dinners started as an outreach program for senior citizens of the area who did not attend St. David’s. This program was a huge success and eventually younger people began coming. Those attending would enjoy a good meal, make new friends and listen to music. Father Hal, Fran Snyder and Hal’s friends provided the music. There usually were between 60-70 people at the dinners which ran from 5–7 PM. These dinners were funded by the rummage sales run by the ESG. Those preparing the dinners usually consisted of the following:
Mickie and John Williams Hazel and Scott Olive
Jacque and Hank Stone Tim Baer
Jean and Dennis Thompson Karen Anderson
Bob and Nancy Nixon Art Haldeman
Sydney and Chuck Kelly Beulah Ackerman
Dave and Ellen Fox
The Bikers Breakfast, beginning in July, 1989, was the next big project for the church to undertake and was a fundraising project. Every year the motorcycle group (called A.B.A.T.E.) held an annual convention in Bean Blossom during July on Gatesville Road about two miles east of St. David’s Church. This was a large affair bringing hundreds of bikers to the area. Father Taylor, being a biker himself, thought of having the breakfast to give the bikers a good home cooked breakfast and be a money raising project as well. Pancakes were served as well as biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee. The breakfast was a huge success, with many parishioners helping with this endeavor each July. Much fun was had by the workers as well as the bikers. Some of those who usually helped with this big project were:
Jane Herr Scott and Hazel Olive
Fran Snyder Judy and Doug Miller
Steve and Sandy Fittz Jim and Judy Huber
Coral Hamlin Bob and Yvonne Oliger
Ray and Judy Laffin Jonathan and Deborah Hutchison
Gene Russell Chuck and Syd Kelly
Donna Stouder Mickie and Ann Williams
Lennie Baughman Joe and Sandy Ridenour
Jim Simms Art and Karen Haldeman
Along with the Bikers Breakfast, Father Taylor, with the encouragement from some of the bikers, began the “Blessing of the Bikes.” One of the bikers expressed this feeling about the blessing: “I feel like the Holy Spirit is out there in the wind and riding with us.”
At the end of 1990, Rev. Hal Taylor retired at the age of 72. He then moved from his Town Hill home in Brown County to Bloomington. There he pursue a career of helping those in need, the homeless and jail ministry and continues these projects today (2009).
Our Year, 2009
This year is dedicated to our 50th anniversary; Tim Fleck, our seminarian, was ordained as a deacon; a major structural addition will be added to the church and Rev. Jonathan Hutchison will retire.