this week on June 4, 1918,
two months after the
birth of my mother.
50 years ago this week.
before he would have celebrated his 50th birthday.
level Sunday school program over which
Pastor Rice presided. As you will notice,
his daughter Jane (Janie as I called her)
me of John Ettline. He was "larger than life,"
with a stocky build and a strong, resonant voice.
Every Sunday at the conclusion of the service,
Rev. Rice shook hands with members of the
congregation as we filed out of the church.
He had big, powerful hands and a vice like
grip. Herb Rice didn't just shake your hand.
He crunched it. :) At our annual Sunday
school picnics, "Babe" Rice could smack
a softball from here to kingdom come.
Herbert L. Rice? I admired Rev. Rice
because, unlike some ministers, he was
not aloof. He did not pontificate from an
ivory tower. He was down to earth, a man
of the people, by the people and for the people.
His honest warmth and enthusiasm were infectious.
the life lesson I learned, was to treat others
with tolerance and compassion. Like John
and Helen Ettline, Pastor Rice wasn't afraid
to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.
He didn't shy away from sinners. He moved
toward them and embraced them. He did not
worry about being corrupted by them. It was
just the opposite. Rev. Rice's guiding light
shone upon them and changed their lives.
entitled: "Spiritual Refreshments." On this the 100th
anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of
his death, I wish offer spiritual refreshment of my
own by dedicating a song to him. Rev. Rice was
a cool guy and I think he would appreciate the
message behind "Natural Born Sinner" by my
favorite metal band In This Moment. The song,
which encourages us to choose love over hate
and tolerance over prejudice is, I believe,
in step and in sync with the preaching of
my beloved minister Herbert L. Rice.
and I loved him. Like John and Helen Ettline,
like my dear friend Margaret Schneider, and
like my parents, Walt and "Terry" Anderson,
Rev. Rice was an excellent role model and
a major influence in my life. Thank you,
Pastor Rice. I will remember you always!