Church Leaders in 1955

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

Who were our past church leaders? A little insight is provided by The Religious Pioneer, a predecessor of our current Heirloom. The newsletter served the newly joined congregations of our First Universalist Church and the City Temple. In the issue published in December of 1955, short biographical sketches of those who had been elected to serve the church were included in the newsletter. Here are those sketches.

Mr. Lewis MacLaughlin was elected President of the combined congregation following the annual meeting last month. “Lew” is an engineer of the telephone company and has served as an officer of the Engineering Society of Cincinnati. His wife, Hermine, is a teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools. The MacLaughlins have three children: Bill is a sophomore at Ohio State, Sarah is President of the Youth Fellowship, and “Lew, Jr.” is a member of the Sunday School.

Mr. Howard Smith was chosen as Vice President. “Howard” served as President of the Board during the early years of federation and up through the union of our congregations. He is employed by the Provident Savings Bank and Trust Company. Howard is also a member of the State Board of the Universalist Church of Ohio and is serving the Blanchester Church by preaching on alternate Sundays.

Mrs. Marjorie Phillips is the Secretary of the Board. “Marj” has long been active in the church and has directed many of the efforts of the Clara Barton Guild. She is an executive of the Hamilton County Red Cross and is well known for her work in disasters. For many years she has had charge of the Eastern Avenue Shelter whenever the Ohio River goes on a rampage, and has directed similar efforts in other areas.

Mrs. Ruby Heierman was re-elected as Treasurer. “Ruby” is the wife of Walter Heierman, who was formerly on the Board of Trustees. She has been active in the program of the Service Circle and was President of that organization until this fall.

Mrs. Emma Hessler was re-elected as Collector or Assistant Treasurer. “Emma” is the wife of Albert Hessler for many years the treasurer of the church. Emma and Al have one daughter, Ruth. She is the Secretary of the Ohio Valley Federation of Liberal Religious Youth and active in our local program.

Elected to the Board of Trustees were Florence Case, Marjorie Phillips, Donald Steelman, Howard Smith and William Lewis. Florence Case and William Lewis were formerly members of the Universalist Board and Federated Board. “Don” Steelman is one of our newer members. Florence is Laboratory Technologist at the Research Laboratory of the Children’s Hospital. “Bill” is an engineer for the Magrath Construction Company. Most of the time, he is directing work at the Armco Plant in Middletown. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the U. C. O.

Bill and Irma Lewis have two children in our Sunday School.

“Don” and Muriel Steelman joined the church in 1955 and have been active in many of its projects. They took part in the Service Program and Muriel is part of the Clara Barton Guild and Service Circle. They are both in the newly formed Couples Club.

Image: Essex Place church building, the home of our congregation in 1955.