This study is based upon a careful study of the Bridgewater CoB Council Minutes. The Ministerial Commission carefully examined the minutes from 1907 through 1978, making note of callings and advancements during that time. The minutes for the period of 1978 to the present had been reviewed earlier by Emmert Bittinger.

Ministerial Callings and Advancements

There were three degrees of the ministry:

  • First degree, (formerly called “speaker”), elected for one year probationary period.
  • Second degree, ordained into the ministry permanently.
  • Third degree, Ordained as an Elder and permitted to have oversight of a Congregation without supervision.

Peter S. Miller, a Bridgewater resident, elected April 19, 1878 (Sapp., p. 8). Since Bridgewater Church house was under construction, this election likely occurred in the Garbers church house with a Cooks Creek Elder

John. Miller, a Bridgewater resident and farmer-minister,  had been elected to the eldership before 1882 in the Cooks Creek Congregation.  He was listed in a published national list, the Record of the Faithful as an Elder of the third degree in 1882.  Soloman  Garber, however, was presiding elder of Cooks Creek at this time.  John Miller is an ancesterof Naomi Miller West.
Joseph M. Kagey elected in 1882 (Sapp., p. 16-17). most likely in the Garber church where the entire congregation could vote. He was undoubted elected to serve at Bridgewater. He worked there from the very beginning of the building of the church house in 1878.

P. S. Thomas, a Bridgewater resident, elected 1892 (Sapp. 12) most likely at the Garbers Church so the entire congregation could vote. He lived and served at Bridgewater.

Emanual Long, a resident of Bridgewater area, elected 1898 under Cooks Creek supervision. Elder of Cooks Creek. He served Bridgewater Church as long as his health allowed, to ca. 1910-14?

Prof. John S. Flory elected 1905 at Bridgewater but under Cooks Creek supervision. He was advanced to the second degree by Council on May 8, 1908. Ordained elder May 12, 1917.

Prof. Walter Yount was installed into the Eldership May 9, 1908.

Oscar Miller was advanced to the second degree on May 20, 1911. Ordained Elder May 14, 1927.

Howard Alley was advanced to the second degree on May 20, 1911.

H. L. Yager elected to the ministry Jan. 11, 1913.

D. H. Hoover elected to the ministry Aug. 10, 1913.

Albert Miller  elected on Aug. 10, 1913.

Aubrey Coffman elected (not present) on Mar. 28, 1915. Installed March. 28, 1915.

J. D. Huffman advanced to the second degree Mar. 28, 1915.

D. B. Garber  advanced to the second degree Mar. 28, 1915.

Jacob Zigler advanced to the second degree Mar. 28, 1915.

D. H. Miller advanced to the second degree Mar. 31, 1917.

Sidney L. Bowman advanced to the Eldership May 12, 1917.
Note: many fine ministers came to the college to teach, and many came as students. Often, they united with the local church. Then Bridgewater CoB observed them and called worthy candidates to the ministry. Some of the names above and below represent such transferred members as teachers or students.
Norman A. Seese elected to the ministry Mar. 31, 1917.

Decision to secure a pastor: March 31, 1917. Action delayed until the May Council so that people could evaluate the proposal. April Council then decided to elect a pastoral board consisting of nine members.

Earl Flohr  ordained to ministry March 23, 1918

Amos Holsinger ordained  to ministry March 23, 1918. Beaver Run minister all his life.

Carl Driver ordained to ministry March 23, 1918.

These three (above) were installed the following Sunday
Paul Garber elected Sept. 11, 1918. Installed by Peter Garber.

Voted to elect Hiram G. Miller to succeed himself as presiding Elder one more year. Feb. 8, 1919.

Howard Mason was elected to the ministry Sept. 25 1919.

Cyrus Cline installed into ministry Nov. 13, 1920 by ministerial Board. (second degree).

Lurty Haney installed into ministry Aug. 13, 1921. His license apparently had not been renewed, but he considered himself still a minister. So on Aug. 15, 1928, the congregation voted on whether to elect him as a minister (retain him), and the vote was not strong enough to elect him.

Elder John S. Flory  elected Nov. 13, 1920 by the congregation  to become presiding Elder. He served in an exemplary manner for twenty years in this position.

Earl Fike, Sr., installed in the ministry Feb. 14, 1925.

Homer Humphreys elected to the ministry Nov. 14, 1925. On Nov. 12, 1927 Bro. Humphries asked to be relieved of his license as he wishes to become a medical Missionary. Granted.

Dewitt L. Miller licensed for one year Feb. 12, 1927. He was relicensed Feb. 10, 1928. He was ordained into the ministry on May 12, 1928.

Walter S. Flory, Jr., elected to ministry Mar. 31, 1928 and installed on May 28, 1928.

Robert Sherfy  called into the ministry Aug. 7, 1933. His service of ordination was then held on October 29th of the same year. He had been licensed in Daleville Congregation.

Robert L. Strickler elected to ministry on May 6, 1935 and installed on May 19, 1935.

Robert Hoover licensed to the ministry April 20, 1938 after having been elected on Jan. 12, 1938. He was approved to to be ordained the ministry on Jan. 10, 1940, and the ordination took place April 10, 1940.

Galen Crist  authorized to be licensed to the ministry May 3, 1937 [8?]. On April 12, 1939, 1929 the District Ministerial Board ordained him into the ministry.

John Evans Bowman approved to be licensed to ministry. His licensing took place April 10, 1940.

Paul H. Bowman, Jr., installed into the ministry  (2nd degree) by the Dist. Ministerial Board on Mar. 6, 1942.

Prof. Morley J. Mays approved to be ordained, Jan. 13, 1943.

Jack G. Miller approved and licensed on Oct. 13, 1943. He was continued on Apr. 11, 1945 and again on April 10, 1946. On Jan. 14, 1948, Bro. Miller requested not to be renewed.

Harry Gardner voted to be licensed on June 9, 1946. He was renewed on April 9, 1947 and again on Jan. 14, 1948. Ordination approved Apr. 11, 1951.

Mervin Cripe was voted to be licensed on July 10, 1946.

Donald Clague approved for ordination to the Eldership on Jan. 14, 1948.

Myron Miller voted to  license Jan. 12, 1949. Extended “indefinitely” Apr. 12, 1950.

Robert Zigler voted to  license Jan. 12, 1949. Extended “indefinitely” Apr. 12, 1950.

D. C. Flory voted to  license Jan. 12, 1949. Extended “indefinitely” Apr. 12, 1950.

B. M. Flory voted to license Jan. 12, 1949. Extended “indefinitely” Apr. 12, 1950.

Rufus King voted to be ordained into the Eldership Apr. 20, 1949.

Orville Gardner  voted to license April 11, 1951. He was licensed again Jan. 9, 1955.

Donald Willoughby voted to license Apr. 1, 1953.

I. James Eshelman approved for ordination to Eldership Oct. 13, 1953.

Dale Delauter was licensed to the ministry by our Elder Bro. Delauter, July 14, 1954. His relicensing was approved Aug. 7, 1955.

Roger Sappington approved for ordination to Eldership in April 1960.

David Metzler approved for ordination to Eldership in April 1960.

Thomas Davis approved for ordination to Eldership in April 1960.

James Ott approved for licensing Jan. 24, 1965. He was approved for relicensing July 10, 1966. Approved for ordination on Sept. 6, 1970.

Loyal Vandeveer approved for relicensing July 11, 1965.

Kenneth Wenger approved for relicensing July 11, 1965.

Henry Rist voted to relicense Oct. 9, 1966.

Leland Harding voted to relicense Jan. 1977. He had been first licensed in Northern Indiana District and had his license transferred to Bridgewater (Council minutes 1-18-1976).

Brian Hildebrand approved for licensing April 1977. App. Relicensing Jan. 1979 and Apr. 1980. License extended to 1985. He was then ordained at Fairview.

Laurie Miller  approved for licensing April 1977. Relicensing approved Oct. 25, 1981. He requested not to be relicensed again.

Michael Fike approved for licensing Oct. 1977. Approved for relicensing Jan. 1979

Robert Miller approved for licensing Oct. 1977. Approved for relicensing Jan. 1979. He was called to become Minister of Christian Nurture in January 1980. Relicensing approved on Apr. 1980 and Oct. 25, 1981. Approved ordination Oct. 30, 1983. Done on June 3, 1984 (at Seminary?).

Peter Haynes was approved for licensing at Council on Feb. 7, 1978 and was licensed Sunday morning, June 11, 1978.

Robert Morriswas approved for licensing on April 1980.

Dan Ulrich licensed Sunday morning May 24, 1981. He was ordained while pastor at Easton, Md., on Oct. 27, 1985 with Rev. Robert Sherfy, retired, assisting at Easton.

Kevin Daggett licensing approved Oct. 25, 1981. Relicensing approved Oct. 30, 1983.

Curtis Heisey approved for licensing May 2, 1982. Relicensing approved Oct. 30, 1983.

Walt Crull approved for licensing July 28, 1984. Service on Dec. 30, 1984. Relicensing approved Oct. 25, 1987

Martha Beahm approved for licensing Dec. 9, 1984. Service on Dec. 30, 1984. Relicensing approved Oct. 25, 1987.

Larry Seilheimer licensing approved July 30, 1989. Moved away; moved back into area in 2009

Statement by Pastor Alley that we would like to place more emphasis on calling people to the ministry. Jan. 26, 1992.

Statement by Dale Ulrich of Ministry Commission asking congregation to suggest names. He later reported that 58 persons had been suggested for ministry.

Brian Messler voted to be licensed, Sept. 26, 1993. Approved relicensing Oct. 3, 1994 and again on Oct. 29, 1995 and again Oct. 27, 1996. Moved away.


In 1993, the Ministerial Services Commission prepared a special recognition service for our retired pastors and their spouses. A biographical booklet with their names and service record was prepared as part of the celebration of their years of service. A copy of this recognition booklet is preserved in the Records Room. This is an appropriate way to lift up the ministry. It provides a needed recognition for the ministers and their families as well as honoring the pastoral ministry as a calling of God.


Shawn Replogle approved for licensing Apr. 28, 1996. Relicensing approved Oct. 27, 1996. Ordination approved Jan. 25, 1998 with service on May 10, 1998.

Brian Flory approved for licensing Oct. 26, 1997. Relicensing approved Oct. 21, 1998. Ordination approved Sept. 26, 1999. Service on Nov. 7.

Ray Glick licensed as a “lay speaker” for three years. Sept. 24, 2000.

Mary Virginia Wampler licensed as a “lay speaker” for three years. Sept. 24, 2000.

Daryl Ritchie approved for licensing on June 9, 2002. Approved relicensing in fall of 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Daryl Ritchie was ordained in 2006 in his home church where he is pastor.

Jeffrey Carr – licensed February 2008; ordained in February 2009.

Linda Lefever Alley – licensed February 2008.

1907-2000; This study was commissioned by the Ministerial Services Commission of the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren and and carried out by Emmert F. Bittinger and Ministerial Services Commission and updated in 2009 by Lori Lineweaver.