Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mary Josephine Kemper Rogan

21 March 1939 | Address to Assembly of Presbytery of Ohio Valley by Reverend Jesse Halsey
Mr. Moderator—

Would it seem an intrusion for me [to] introduce at this time a brief memorial tribute to that “elect lady” Mrs. John Rogan who this morning passed through the gates into the nearer presence, of her Lord? My only qualification is the proud fact that for many years she has honored me with her friendship (and that her Minister is in the Chair and her close friend and former pastor Dr. Wilson is not present).

Mary Josephine Kemper Rogan was born almost a century ago. Hers was a proud heritage—and she has added luster to her inheritance. Her grandfather’s James Spring Kemper was the founder of Presbyterianism in this part of the Ohio valley. Mrs. Rogan carried on the great tradition of that ancestry. The sterling qualities of character that put duty first, that accept obligations rather than asserting right’s or privileges, these qualities dwelt in her, without measure.

Rejoicing ever in the truth, always patient, always kind her ministry of active usefulness, curtailed this last decade by the oncoming of years, found its continuance even unto the last, in sympathetic and generous interest in every good word and work.

“Patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints” in faith and by good works she adorned the doctrine of God her Savior.

She has fought the good fight and kept the faith; we rejoice in her translation, and we can almost hear her Master say, “Well done, enter thou into the joy of Thy Lord,” thou hast been faithful.”

Let me add two words more, one from the Pilgrim’s Progress, which she loved:
“When the day drew on that Christiana must be gone, behold all the banks beyond the river were full of horses and chariots that were come down from above to accompany her to the city gate. So she went forth and entered the river, with a beacon of farewell to those who followed. The last words she was heard to say were these—“Lord I come to be with Thee and bless Thee.” So her children and her friends returned to their place, for those that waited for Christiana had carried her out of their sight. So she went and called, and entered in at the gate with all the ceremonies of joy that her husband Christian had entered with long before her.” 
And this penned by her beloved pastor and long-time friend—
I landed on this rock, the Earth;
There met me at the gates of birth
A loving woman kind and fair
With gentle eyes and silken hair
That seemed with all its silken strands,
As plaything for my baby hands.
Here for the hungry guest was food
Divinely mingled, fit and good;
And when the wearied nursling wept
Her arms wound round him while he slept.

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