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THE HISTORY OF CALVIN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Part II:  The Sizzling 60's

It was a great time to belong to Calvin Church. New Year’s Day, 1960, saw the membership at 138, with lots of young people and children, worshiping in a new church building that was just 15 months old. Pastor Bill Fogg and the church leadership had done a great job of moving the church forward. The Clermont community was growing and by the end of 1960, membership was at 152. Just a year later, membership had increased by 19 to 171. The Rev. Fogg, after 5 years, was called in January 1962 to Mentor, Ohio to the pastorate of another brand new church. What would happen to this new, little church now?

 

THE BOB CHESNUT YEARS : August,1962 to September,1966

He came fresh out of Harvard Divinity School, along with wife Jan, and he was a good fit for a church and community that was growing by leaps and bounds. His ministry stressed the mission of our church in the community, especially in efforts to pass much needed bond issues in the mushrooming West Clermont School District. Bob Chesnut, along with other area ministers, initiated weekly breakfast meetings in 1966 which led to the creation of the Southeastern Ecumenical Ministry, of which Calvin Church is a charter member. By the beginning of 1966, membership had increased from 164 to 190. He promoted Christian education, which resulted in a huge Sunday school attendance of 115. The church went to a 9:00 and 11:00 service to accommodate the increasing membership; Sunday school was held between the services.

Jane Wiseman was the elder in charge of Christian education and also the choir director. She was assisted by organists Stella Schoonover and Wilma Sheppard. Joyce Elliott was Superintendent of the Sunday school. The Chesnuts’ four year tenure came to a close in September, 1966, when Bob moved back to the Harvard University campus to pursue a Doctorate.

THE PAUL MILIO YEARS : November,1966 to November,1970

 

Only two months elapsed (must be some kind of Presbyterian record) before we had our third minister, Paul Milio and his wife Judy. Pastor Milio continued the strong community and ecumenical programs of Calvin, particularly with respect to the creation of the Southeastern Ecumenical Ministry in January, 1967. He also contributed to the growth of the sacramental life of the church with increased celebration of the Lord’s Supper and the installation of a communion rail where the congregation came forward to kneel and take communion.

 

Rev. Paul Milio

In 1967, planning began for a new worship facility when it was announced that a new planned community would be constructed just north of the church (It never happened). Marge Verwold delivered the message at the first Laywomen’ Sunday. In 1968, the Head Start federal program began using the building. Clerk Stan Baker reported that the average Session meeting lasted 3 hours and 17 minutes (WOW). The parking lot was doubled in size for the princely sum of $3,800. By the end of 1969, church membership had stabilized at 190, but the Sunday school attendance had shrunk to about half of its 1966 high. After a pastorate of four years, Paul and Judy moved on to a church in Morrisville, NJ, in November, 1970. In part III,  we’ll look at what happened to us after Paul Milio departed.

On to The Sensational 70's

Back to It Started in the 50's

 

Home Page: A History of Calvin Church

 


During 2007, Bob Bridges, our church's resident historian, reminisced about each decade of Calvin’s existence. Although he wasn’t at the church in the ‘50s, he's spoken with many who were. He has pieced together a sketch of those earliest years.  In 2010, he updated the church's history.

 

 
   

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