Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walnut Hills Church Installs Its New Pastor; Former Minister Delivers Farewell Sermon

Just before the installation last night of the new pastor of Seventh Presbyterian Church, Walnut Hills, the incoming minister, Rev. Clayton E. Williams, center, joined the former pastor, Rev. Jesse Halsey, right, and Rev. Joseph R. Sizoo, New York City, who delivered the sermon, in a last-minute conference in the church study.

The Enquirer, Cincinnati
Monday, December 8, 1941

In a simple but impressive service, Rev. Clayton E. Williams was installed last night as pastor of Seventh Presbyterian Church, Walnut Hills, where for 28 years the pulpit was occupied by one of Cincinnati's most widely known clergymen and civic leaders, Rev. Jesse Halsey.

Rev. Mr. Halsey gave the charge to the  people in last night's ceremony, having delivered his farewell sermon at the morning service. He said in his sermon, "May our country ever be the instrument of righteousness in the hand of the Eternal."

Rev. Joseph R. Sizoo, New York City, gave the sermon last night, a talk fraught with the significance of the hour as he recalled that he and Rev. Mr. Williams, an old friend, were in France together in what must be known now as the "former war" and not the "last war."

"Believe or not---men are brothers," declared Rev. Mr. Sizoo. "Until they act brotherly there can be no peace."

Rev. Mr. Sizoo, a native of Holland, said: "If we had confidence in Jesus, we could expect him to say at this time the same thing with which he comforted people at a similar time in the first century."

"He would repeat today, 'at the heart of things there is a God who is not hate but love.'"

Rev. Mr. Sizoo flew here for the service after delivering a sermon in the morning at his church, St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, New York, one of the oldest churches in that city.

Aside from his part in the installation and propounding of the constitutional questions--conducted by Rev. John H. Cowan, pastor of Westminster Church and Moderator of the Presbytery, in accordance with custom--Rev. Mr. Williams was given little to say in his first service in the huge church. His only active part in the service was to pronounce the benediction.

 . . .

In his farewell sermon Rev. Mr. Halsey said that "memories are precious things. Man wants to be remembered, whether it is in gravestones, pyramids, or the cairns of cave men. Our Lord very humanly said, "This do in remembrance of me.'"

"We call His memorial a sacrament because He is in it. Many other memorials are sacramental in significance. In this hour the flag takes on new significance--it has sacramental value--it is a symbol of a living faith in great human values which we call democracy."

"We need to remember that he who puts the state before God, however, commits sacrilege. God comes first and under God governments are ordained."

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