About Our Town: Retired minister keeps busy

By Mark Swartzendruber
Posted 8/12/99

Just remember this - it is hot all over the U.S. so we have no monopoly on the heat. Wait another 30 days. But the 1.7 inches of rain was a welcome sight.

This week we got some Wealthy apples …

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About Our Town: Retired minister keeps busy


Just remember this - it is hot all over the U.S. so we have no monopoly on the heat. Wait another 30 days. But the 1.7 inches of rain was a welcome sight.

This week we got some Wealthy apples which were very nice from Ken Leichty. They sure made good apple butter.

The Clayton Whites are on a tour to Alaska with a group tour from Pennsylvania. The tour will make a stop in Anchorage and they will attend church services in the Peace Mennonite Church in Anchorage where Jim and Faith Carpenter attend. The weather in Anchorage was 50 degrees the high and 53 degrees the low on July 30.

Christina (I don’t know her last name) arrived at the Linwood Swartzendruber home in Hiawatha. She is from Macedonia and plans to attend IMS this year.

I met Daniel and Viola Miller from Seattle, Washington who read these lines in Washington. They came to attend the funeral of Amy Miller, his sister. They like to keep up to date on the Kalona happenings. Also, Mrs. Fred Schwartz from Sturgis, Michigan stopped to say hello. She also came for the funeral.

Bill Walton said, “In basketball you can be the greatest individual player in the world and still lose every game because a team will always beat an individual.”

What do a retired minister and a registered nurse do in their retirement days? This was the question posed to Dave and Mary Groh. Mary said she knits, reads, quilts, gardens and plays the piano. Dave says he is a groundskeeper at Pleasantview Home, gardens, and collects stamps. In the winter he puts these stamps in a collector’s book. Besides that, he is a secretary for the Iowa-Nebraska Conference and once in a while he still will preach.

Dave was born and raised in Kingston and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1956 he had 3 years from Goshen College and 3 years from Goshen Seminary. He felt the Lord was calling him to a pastor’s position. After graduation he gained experience in Puerto Rico for 2 years and in a bookstore in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for 3 years.

In 1961 he had an 80-member congregation in Ontario, besides doing some other work for an income. In 1966 a church in Albany, Oregon called for a pastor and he served there for 9 years. In 1975 he began 11 years in Millersburg, Ohio and one year in Smithville, Ohio.

Dave says he bakes the bread every week and has for 20 years. It must be tasty if they consume that much. In 1973 Dave went to Israel and also is interested in archeology.

In 1988 he came to Kalona Mennonite where he served until 1996. Since then he was an interim pastor at Bethel at Wayland and the Fort Dodge Mennonite Church for one year, commuting back and forth.

They have four sons in Brooklyn, New York, Ontario, Ohio and Washougal, Washington, and nine grandchildren. Mary still does part-time nursing work at Pleasantview Home.

When asked for an interesting factor in his preaching, he told of the time he was preaching on the tax collector and the publican. He used the word “republican” by mistake. Someone the audience shouted “Amen” and that really woke up the congregation.

They live in Lando Gingerich’s house and very recently one of Lando’s granddaughters called and asked to see Grandpa’s house. She was from Ella’s family. They do enjoy Kalona very much, but the hot summer weather gets to them at times.

Mrs. Herman Yoder, Mary Lois Widmer, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Farmer, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Swartzendruber were evening guests at the Marion and Marlene Leichty home in Noble, Iowa. It was in honor of Bessie’s 93rd birthday.

Word for the Week

The Word for the Week is “captious”. The word means fault finding, being very critical. We could say their captious remarks would irritate everyone they met. I would hope we could leave that word out of our vocabulary and try to find the better parts of a person.