NOTICE: This site will go offline July 1st, 2024.
Please contact if you are interested in maintaining this site after July 2024.


User Rating:  / 0
Community Calendar
Social Groups
Web Links


Church produced five ministers
May 27, 1982


pix # 1 - Grace

pix # 2 - The REV. CARL W. BORMUTH

pix # 3 - The REV. JOHN RAINEY



pix # 6 - The REV. JOHN E. MASTERS

Author's Note: This is the second and last installment of the article about the Grace United Church of Christ in Fostoria, starting back more than 100 years ago when its congregation consisted of mostly German settlers, and it was known as the German Reformed Church.

The next 50 years of the church, which started as the German Reformed, saw many more changes including two more name changes and new modern building to meet the challenge of the times.

It was during the pastorate of S.L. Fritz (1940-51) that the church name was changed to First Evangelical and Reformed.


In 1954, when W.O. Keeler was pastor, the church celebrated its 75th anniversary with a one-week program starting on March 15. And, it was during his pastorate that the church united with the Congregational Church and the name became First United Church of Christ.

The highlight of Dr. E.H. Klingel's ministry was the launching of a building fund drive for a new church building, with the result of $90,000 pledged and half received initially.

When Carl A. Folk became pastor in 1962, a "Self Study" was made to determine requirements to give the church positive direction as to its mission, membership, leadership, program and property.


One giant step was taken in 1968 when five acres of land was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. D.C. Bachman, members of the church, for a new church building on U.S. 23 north of Fostoria.


The new church edifice was completed in 1969, Focht Brothers, Tiffin being the general contractor, and Seneca Lumber & Millwork Co., Fostoria, furnishing the millwork.

It was Sunday, April 7, 1968, that the new building was dedicated with a full-day program, starting with a "parting service" at the old church at South and Poplar streets. It had served the congregation for 68 years.

The program on that very special day consisted of placing the dedication plaque and historical repository, a service of praise and thanksgiving, reception in the fellowship hall, and a tour of the new building.


The Grace United Church of Christ celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1979. Activities started with a carry-in dinner in the fellowship hall on Jan. 7. March 18 was Historical Day, featuring old-fashioned potluck and hymn-sing, with many of the members wearing old-fashioned dress. Other special days were: renewal of wedding vows May 13; ice cream social June 24; rededication with sons of the church participating Sept. 9; old-fashioned Christmas party and recognition of members of long-time members Dec. 16.

On that Sunday (Jan.7,1979) special services of celebration and rededication were observed, with the Rev. James W. Garner, the present pastor presiding. Garner, who had been pastor for seven years at that time, issued a statement for publication which set forth the church's position. - "Our church has changed from focusing on 'personal piety" to mission and social action. Our denomination tends to be more liberal, concentrating on what we are doing to help others, instead of more specifically how we can be more pious. We look outward, not inward. The church builds schools, orphanages, hospitals and homes for delinquents."


All churches are anxious to have young people in their congregations enter some phase of church ministry, that being one indication of a successful ministry. The Grace United Church of Christ in Fostoria is proud to have had five of its young men accept the call to become ministers.

They are:

The Rev. Carl W. Bormuth - ordained 1938 at Lisbon, Ohio, St. Jacobs Reformed Church, where he then served from 1938-47; Paradise Evangelical and Reformed Church, Louisville, Ohio, 1947-55; St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church, Oak Harbor, 1955-73. Bormuth is now retired, residing in Nevada, Ohio, and Florida during the winter season.

The Rev. John E. Masters - ordained June 28, 1964, served at Peace and also St. Paul's United churches of Christ, Brownstone, Wis., 1964-68; St. Paul's at Rockford, Ohio, 1968-73; First Congregational Church of Christ, Lebanon, Mo., 1973-82; scheduled to move to Syracuse, Neb. in June.

The Rev. John J. Rainey - ordained June 23, 1957, served at United Church of Christ, Salem, Ill. 1958-59; Toledo Salem Church of Christ, 1959-67; Point Place Church of Christ, 1967-82.

The Rev. Doctor David T. Spooner - ordained June 23, 1957. Served at Phillips United Church of Christ; Cincinnati, as assistant pastor for one year, then decided to be a hospital chaplain and prepared for that work, after which he became associated with City Hospital at St. Louis, where he has been continuously. He has received his doctorate and is now the executive chaplain.

The Rev. Doctor David J. Hottenstein - ordained at the United Church of Christ at Poplar and South streets in Fostoria in 1963; served the following UC of C churches: Cortland, Neb.; Hamilton, Ohio; Warsham, Mass.; Bethleham, Pa.; Easton, Conn. received his doctorate in 1973.

Two young people of the church contribute their artistic abilities to the church. Gaylen Dillon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Doyle Dillon, is art director for church activities of that nature. Linda Irene Manecke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Manecke, assists him. The Dillon and Manecke families have been active in the church for three or four generations.

The accompanying illustrations show banners Dillon and Manecke designed and made recently. They are mounted in the sanctuary to remind the congregation of their commitments to the church's program and outreach.

Acknowledgments: The author thanks the following for assistance in compiling the articles about Grace United Church of Christ: Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Hottenstein; the Rev. James Garner and church secretary Nancy Dillon; Mrs. John Slosser; Floyd Manecke; Pat Danner, and the parents or relatives of sons of the church who provided information about them.

United Church of Christ, with Pastor James W. Garner, at 4481 North U.S. 23.

Top of page


Hosted by Noguska Computer Center Serving Fostoria's computer needs since 1973!