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October 20, 1983


PIX #1 - Present Church of the Brethren, 800 Columbus Ave. Built 1969.







PIX #8 - JASON DICKEY LINDOWER, photo from recent years.

PIX #9 - LEVI h. DICKEY, Father-in-law of J.I. Lindower

PIX #10 - The John I. Lindower family, taken in 1918. Front row, left to right, John I., father; Jason, son; Arminda May, mother; top row, Lester, son; and Della Marie, daughter.

PIX #11 - The Brethren's Old Folks Home as it first appeared in 1903 when it was built on Columbus Avenue. This photo was taken in 1919 or 1920. Those in the photo are John and Edith Warstler, superintendent and matron of the home at one time. They were aunt and uncle of Edith Masel and Evelyn Myers, both members of The Church of the Brethren. Other members of the family be- longed to the church as well.

Second only to the concern for evangelism and home mission work in Northwes- tern Ohio by the Church of the Brethren was the concern for the care of the elderly and the orphaned.

The history of the church showed that concern first came up for consideration in 1880. In 1881, 1886, 1887, and 1900 the matter was still being pursued by various committees appointed to raise finances and select a site. But it was not until 1902 that land was purchased in Fostoria on Columbus Avenue for the site and the first building.

Construction of the facility was completed in 1903 with dedication taking place June 26, 1904. Elder G.A. Snider was the first superintendent of the home, while his wife was matron. It was originally called The Old Folks Home.

According to the historical records, the idea of an orphanage never fully materialized. Facilities were purchased but later disposed of.

In 1929 the name of The Old Folks Home was changed to The Brethren Home.

In 1961 the Board of Trustees was enlarged to nine members, including six mem- bers, at least one of whom was to be a woman to be elected by the District Conference of Northwestern Ohio; one member a physician to be named by the Fostoria Medical Academy from its membership; one person to be named by the Board of Trustees of the United Community fund of Fostoria; and one person to be named by the Mayor of the City of Fostoria. The name of the institution was also changed to the Good Shepherd Home.

Earl S. Lehman, a member of the Church of the Brethren is superintendent of the home.

Members of The Brethren Church locally who were instrumental in organizing and situating The Old Folks Home in Fostoria were: John I. Lindower, S.B. Newcomer, G.W. Sellers, H.E. Whitmore, J.B. Light, L.H. Dickey and David Lytle.

This brief review of The Old Folks Home as it was originally known was the birth of the fine facility in our city today known as the Good Shepherd Home, one of the finest in this area.


Human-need programs worldwide in scope which the Church of the Brethren ori- ginated were: The Heifer Program, Church World Service Program and Crop Pro- gram. The denomination still headup the first two but the last mentioned has been taken over by the others.

Local outreach programs which the Church of the Brethren participate are the Soup Kitchen and Open Pantry.

In the last two years, the Rev. Baum's home visitation program has resulted in the development of an active vacation Bible school which has drawn large numbers of children.

Rev. Baum was installed as the pastor of the Fostoria church in 1980 by the Rev. Gordon Bucher, Hartville, executive secretary of the Northern Ohio Dis- trict of the Church of the Brethren.

Rev. Baum came to Fostoria from Roanoke, Ill., where he served as pastor of the Panther Creek Church of the Brethren for four years.

He attended Vernard Bible College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Since arriving in Fos- toria he has attended Findlay College and completed studies for the Bachelor Degree of Religion receiving it with honors in May of 1983.


Many members of the local Church of the Brethren have served it as they have been called to do within the ability of their talents.

Robert, Allen Byerly, born the son of Oscar and Myrtle Farrelly Byerly (de- ceased) on Jan. 27, 1915, has served his church faithfully, and in so doing has made great contributions as a pastor, educator, lecturer and administra- tor.

He attended Fostoria public schools, graduating in 1933.

Byerly's college and university education included Miami University, Findlay College, Oklahoma A&M, Garrett Biblical Institute, Bethany Theological Semin- ary, Butler University and Temply University.

From 1952 to 1967 he was chairman of the Department of Religion and Philoso- phy, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa.

He was director, junior year abroad, at Marburg, Germany and Strasbourg, France. (Brethren College Abroad 1963-64).

From 1967-74 Byerly was director, University Center at Harrisburg, Pa.

He was licensed to the ministry, Fostoria, 1934, ordained in 1936 at Union- town, Pa., and ordained to Eldership in 1942 at Cushing, Okla. Prior to accepting a call to pastor a church near Cushing, he was assistant pastor of the Fostoria church and a director of the church's Northwest Ohio Board of Christian Education.

Dr. Byerly has been pastor at LaPorte-Michigan City parish from 1974 to present.

In 1975 he was lecturer for the United Theological College, Bangalore, India.

Needless to say, Byerly is kept busy with his own church plus the various committees on which he serve regionally and nationally.

The Byerlys have three sons, Kenneth B., Mark A., and Timothy F., with Kenneth being the only one to enter the field of church ministry.


There is an old expression..."like father, like son," which apparently held true with the Lindower family. Three generations of that family were members of Church of the Brethren, going back to its early days with the Rome church.

Samuel W. Lindower, born in 1843, in Hancock County was married to Elma Ren- shler. To them were born 12 children, one of them being John Irvin, shown in the accompanying group photo with his wife and three children, including Jason. Also in the group picture is daughter Della Marie (Dull), presently a resident at Good Shepherd Home.

Samuel W. Lindower, as mentioned previously, was connected with the early Rome church. For a time he left the church and joined the Old German Baptist Church. Still later, in 1900, he returned to the Church of the Brethren.

John Irvin Lindower was born in 1871 in Biglick Township, Hancock County. He married Arminda May Dickey, daughter of Levi and Nancy Dickey, both of whom were devout members of the Rome church.

John Irvin Lindower in addition to being a school teacher, farmer, hardware merchant and seed dealer was also a hardworking layman in the local church and on the District Mission Board. He was also involved in starting the Old Folks Home in Fostoria and a major influence in the establishment of the Toledo Mission Church.

Then along came Jason Dickey Lindower, son of John Irvin and Arminda, born in 1906. Many readers will remember Jason, a graduate of Fostoria High School. He worked as a bank clerk and accountant from 1926-1937, later joining Owens- Illinois Inc. and remaining there until his retirement in 1971.

As a layman, Jason was active in the Fostoria church, the First Church at Toledo and the Heatherdowns Church also in Toledo. He has also served on various district committees, including the Historical Committee, responsible for collecting data about Northwestern Ohio churches. He and his wife Blanche E. (Fruth) were volunteer co-directors of the Brethren Service Center at Nappanee, Ind. from November 1975 to January 1978.


In addition to those who were early members and elders of the church, mention- ed elsewhere in this history, here are others:

Andy and Ella Sellers, Mrs. Fannie (Dolly) Engle, Mrs. Dianna (Grandma) New- house, Sam and Sara Newcomer, Jess and Lottie Basehore. After the death of Lottie, Jess married Mary Basehore.

Andy Whitmore, Mrs. (Grandma) Crawford, Charles Wright, Jake and Alice Gobel, Floyd and Mazzie Clevenger, Ora and Salome Whitmore, Claude and Margaret Snavely, Willis and Nellie Schubert.

Fred and Mabel Buckingham, Oscar and Myrtle Byerly, Edger and Martha Devore, Earl and Lena Hall, Charles and Fannie Frederick, Henry and Dessie Kint, Henry and Daisy Harshman, Logan and Minnie Sellers.

Charles and Bessie Lee, Edger and Terrsa Clark, Mae Whitmore Caskey, J.C. Whitmore, David Lytle, B.F. Snyder, David Byerly, J.L. Guthrie, D.P. Weller, J.J. Anglemyer, G.W. Garner, A.G. Freed, Orville Noffsinger, Dean L. Farr- inger, Kenneth Long.

After 50 or more years, obviously there are other names which deserve to be in the above list, but which regrettably are not because of oversight or mem- ory failure.



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