Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rev. Frank Nelson of Cincinnati

from Frank H Nelson of Cincinnati by Warren C. Herrick

Among the many tributes paid at the time of Mr. Nelson's death, was one given by the Reverend Jesse Halsey, the beloved former minister of the Seventh Presbyterian Church, who culled the phrase "An Unmitered Bishop," a title which is signally descriptive of the man by reason of the many civic causes to which he was spiritual advisor, and thus a father-in-God to diverse groups scattered over the seven hills and in the "bottoms." He actively furthered many humanitarian causes: the Juvenile Protective Association, the Anti-Tuberculosis League, the Branch Hospital, the Community Chest, the Council of Social Agencies, the Helen S. Trounstine Foundation, the Hospital Social Service, St. Michael's Convalescent Home, and many others. Now that he is gone, the long list of social enterprises ceases to be a mere string of activities and becomes a roll of drums.[11] His whole life seems to exemplify the words of the philosopher Bacon: "The nobler a soul is, the more objects of compassion it hath." His spirit breathed out upon men, and in his lifetime the city felt its beauty and greatness, drawing from his constancy the courage to endure. He protested impatiently against the nonsense often bandied about concerning the alleged immorality of city folk compared with country folk, and cited confuting evidence out of his pastoral experience to prove his conviction saying, "Heroes of these days are the poor people who live in our big cities."

. . .

Mr. Nelson was one of the three founders of the Council of Protestant Churches. No small detail was above him, and with Jesse Halsey he rummaged through second-hand stores for furniture for the first office. With the ministers of other churches he worked in closest cooperation, and together they fought the Cox Gang, supported the Social Agencies, and many other activities to which the civic-minded and church-minded in Cincinnati gave unstintingly of their devotion.

. . .

"All the hold those people have on God is me. It is terrible. It bothers me. They love me but they don't come to church." Mr. Nelson confided in this vein one night to his intimate friend, Jesse Halsey, into whose study he had stopped on his way home from a call in a distant suburb. While it was inevitable that some people should use him as a crutch or should let him do their climbing for them, the truth of the matter is that he was a chosen channel for the communication of the Divine Spirit to earth-bound men. Because he was genuinely humble, he was troubled about those people who could approach God only through him. If they little sensed that what they loved in him was God, they nevertheless were compelled by their limitations to think of God in terms of Frank Nelson.

. . .

The admiration and affection which Mr. Nelson elicited was pointedly demonstrated at his funeral. Bishop Burton sat in the chancel alongside the Reverend Jesse Halsey, the Presbyterian minister. Dr. Halsey said: "Bishop Burton, perfect gentleman that he is, not once crossed himself in deference to Frank's (to him, atrocious) low church prejudices!" Frank Nelson was like that. Respect for him sometimes came grudgingly, but it came because there was no personal animosity in the man. He was honored because he was a moral and a spiritual force with which to be reckoned."

From "Frank H Nelson of CINCINNATI" by WARREN C. HERRICK, With A Foreword by Charles P. Taft, LOUISVILLE . THE CLOISTER PRESS . MCMXLV COPYRIGHT, 1945, By The Cloister Press.

[Ed note: Frank H. Nelson was Rector of Christ Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, from 1900 to 1939. He died on July 6, 1945.]

from A Profile of Christ Church Cathedral
When the Rev. Frank Nelson became the rector in 1900, the Parish House was the center of a neighborhood to which people came for help and recreation, and from which parishioners went forth to help their neighbors. Under the Rev. Mr. Nelson’s leadership (1900-1939), the parish continued to expand services to the community, but it also became a place of leadership in the improvement of the City of Cincinnati itself. The Rev. Mr. Nelson emphasized three aspects of Christ Church’s life: worship, social responsibility and financial stewardship.

from Wikipedia
Charles Phelps Taft II (September 20, 1897 - June 24, 1983)
was a U.S. Republican Party politician and member of the Taft family. From 1955 to 1957, he served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Like other members of his family, Taft was a Republican for the purposes of state-wide elections. However, when running for municipal office in Cincinnati, Taft was a member of the Charter Party. During his term as mayor, Fortune magazine ranked Cincinnati as the best managed big city in the United States. As mayor, he gained the nickname "Mr. Cincinnati".

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