This year marks the anniversary year of significant events in the heritage and history of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC).
1708 (300 years ago) – The Brethren Movement began with the baptizing of eight in Schwarzenau, Germany, with a clear separation from the established churches of that time.
1883 (125 years ago) – A “Progressive” group withdrew from the movement, becoming The Brethren Church (later, a further division of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches).
1938 (70 years ago) – Grace Seminary graduated its first class at the Ellet Brethren Church in Akron, Ohio. Receiving degrees were Robert E. A. Miller, Kenneth Ashman, and Russell Williams.
1948 (60 years ago) – Grace Seminary instituted a collegiate division of the school that is known now as Grace College.
1993 (15 years ago) – Focus Retreats were initiated, providing opportunities for FGBC leaders to fellowship in annual regional meetings for revitalization and challenge.
1998 (10 years ago) – Tom Avey was appointed as the FGBC’s first Fellowship Coordinator. (He continues to serve in that capacity.)
Fifteen Years Ago – 1993
Scott Blum, stand-out basketball player at Grace College, was named the National Christian College Athletic Association’s player of the year. (He is the current women’s basketball coach at the college.)
Robert W. Thompson, former executive director of Grace Brethren Home Missions and moderator of the FGBC (1976-77), died on May 4.
Chaplain Orville Lorenz died in late April, having served in the U.S. Army for 20 years, including three years during World War II.
Twenty Years Ago – 1988
The following were ordained to the ministry: David Mitchell in Telford, Tenn., John McIntosh in Mabton, Wash., and Paul Mutchler in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Dr. Robert Collitt, long time FGBC pastor and evangelist, died in April.
Fifty Years Ago – 1958
Tom and Doris Julien and their daughter were to leave in June to begin their missionary service in France, but their departure was delayed while they awaited visas.
William E. Male, pastor in Philadelphia, Pa., was ordained to the ministry on May 8.
Fifty-five Years Ago – 1953
W. Russell Ogden was ordained to the ministry at South Bend, Ind. His father, W.A. Ogden, delivered the message.
Sixty-five Years Ago – 1943
Gerald Polman graduated from Bob Jones College, then located in Cleveland, Tenn.