An ice cream social and autograph party, a pancake breakfast, and the first-ever Southern Ohio Grace Brethren Heritage Tour are all being sponsored by the Brethren Missionary Herald Co. as part of this year’s annual Grace Brethren conference, Equip09, to be held July 26-31 at the Grace Brethren Church of Worthington (Columbus), Ohio.
The first event is a gala ice cream social and BMH authors’ autograph party following the opening plenary session on Sunday evening, July 26. Already more than 10 BMH authors, including such favorites as Tom Julien, Kary Oberbrunner, Todd Scoles, John Davis, David Plaster, and many others have committed to being available to autograph their books. All books by authors present that evening will be for sale at 50 percent off retail (for this event only) and the ice cream is free, so plan now to enjoy the ice cream, the fellowship, and visiting with some of the gifted authors who have published with BMH Books.
The second event will be the all-conference pancake breakfast and BMH corporation meeting on Monday, July 27. Beginning at 7 a.m., Chris’ Cakes will have their world-famous pancake flippers in operation (they have flipped for four U.S. presidents and hold the Guinness world record) for your pleasure. Staff and board members of BMH will be serving your tables, and at 8:15 a.m. there will be a short corporation meeting for all BMH corporation members, concluding in time for everyone to get to 9 a.m. classes. Pancake breakfast tickets are included in the conference registration, but additional guests are welcome at $5 each.
Finally, the first-ever Southern Ohio Grace Brethren Heritage Tour will depart from the Columbus church about 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, and return around 9 p.m. Tour guides Todd Scoles and David Plaster will share historical context and background, as will a talented couple from the Powell church who are experts in Brethren history and will be in costume for the event.
The first stop will be at Carriage Hill Farm, founded by a Brethren family, Daniel and Catharine Arnold. Operating now under the auspices of the Montgomery County park system, Carriage Hill Farm includes some 900 acres rich in cultural, natural, and Brethren religious history. A park historian knowledgeable in Brethren history will personalize a lecture for our group.
The next stop is the Bear Creek Meeting House where an elder from our sister group, the Old German Baptist Brethren, will lead a tour of the meeting house which was built in 1882 and has been little changed since then. Even the same benches are being used in worship.
The final stop will be the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, a rich research archive for Brethren history and genealogy. Nine Brethren groups, all tracing their origins to Alexander Mack and Schwarzenau, Germany, in 1708, have cooperated in combining books, historical records, and artifacts for the Center. Currently comprising about 7,100 square feet, the Center is staffed by volunteers, includes historical displays and a bookstore, and more.
The tour will conclude with a delightful family-style meal at Rob’s Restaurant in Brookville, which serves home-cooked meals in the German and American tradition.
An added feature will be Jeff and Sherry Martin of the Powell (Ohio) Grace Brethren Church, who do historical reenactments of a Brethren elder and his wife, well-researched and in period costume. The Martins have agreed to join the tour in costume to take questions on the bus trip.
Cost for the entire tour, including bus, meal at Rob’s and entry to all sites, is $30 per person. Register today, as seating is limited. Questions should be directed to Ann Myers at BMH by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, of course, all week long BMH will welcome your browsing and fellowship at our book exhibit table, where the more than 130 fine products published by BMH will be available, including latest copies of the all-Grace Brethren periodical, FGBC World.